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2011 Game Recaps

Phillies Season Ends with 1-0 Loss to Carpenter, Cardinals

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, October 08, 2011 12:40 AM Comments: 63

PHOTO AP

The St. Louis Cardinals squeaked their way into the postseason. They’ve done the same to get to the National League Championship Series.

In Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Chris Carpenter one-upped his good friend Roy Halladay, throwing a three-hit shutout in the Cardinals 1-0 victory over the Phillies. St. Louis will now take on their division rivals, the Milwaukee Brewers, in the NLCS.

Carpenter dazzled the Phillies, allowing just three hits over nine innings. He struck out just three, but induced 15 groundball outs in the win, the sixth of his career in the postseason. He allowed just one Phillie to reach third base and did not walk a batter.

It was a complete turnaround for the Cardinals ace from a rocky outing in Game 2; one in which he was pulled after only three innings – although his team did pull out a 5-4 win.

But in Game 5, it was all Carpenter from the get-go. Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa believes this is a game that will stand out for his pitcher and the fans.“I think he’ll remember this forever and so will the Cardinal fans, going into this game against Halladay and winning 1-0.”

Carpenter himself was in awe of the performances on both sides.

“First of all, it as an unbelievable night. First, Roy Halladayis probably at this time the best pitcher in the game, and we came out and were able to jump on him early and get a quick run, which was huge,” said Carpenter.

Continue reading Phillies Season Ends with 1-0 Loss to Carpenter, Cardinals

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Francisco’s Blast Sends Phillies to 2-1 Series Lead

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, October 04, 2011 08:29 PM Comments: 49

Ben Francisco did what?!?

Francisco, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning for pitcher Cole Hamels, smashed a line-drive, three-run home run to give the Phillies 3-0 lead. They would hold on to take Game 3 of the NLDS over the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2.

For Francisco, it was just his second career hit in 19 postseason at-bats.

It wasn’t the cleanest of outings for Hamels. In each inning, he allowed at least one baserunner, but came out of each unscathed. His final line: six innings, five hits, three walks, eight strikeouts, and a zero where it mattered most.

Francisco got the opportunity after Shane Victorino’s lead-off single – he then moved up a base on a passed ball. With two outs, Carlos Ruiz was intentionally walked and Tony LaRussa kept Garcia in to face Francisco who changed the game with one swing.

Continue reading Francisco’s Blast Sends Phillies to 2-1 Series Lead

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Halladay, Howard Beat Up on Cardinals in Game 1 Victory

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, October 01, 2011 09:25 PM Comments: 46

Richie Ashburn Award: Ryan Howard

Howard's 3-run shot put the Phillies on top for good. PHOTO AP

—From Citizens Bank Park

When Ryan Howard is at his best and Roy Halladay is on top of his game, the Phillies normally succeed.

That trend continued in Game 1 of the National League Division Series as Howard’s three-run homer, and Halladay’s eight strong innings led the Philadelphia Phillies to an 11-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

For five-plus innings, Cardinals starting pitcher Kyle Lohse gave the Phillies fits, retiring 10 in a row to start the game that stepped to the plate. Lohse made the Phillies look silly on numerous occasions. But the wheels fell off in a five-run sixth inning.

With the Phillies trailing 3-1, Howard teed off with one on and two outs, delivering a homer to right field on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. After a Shane Victorino single, Raul Ibanez would follow suit, launching a two-run home run to right field, giving the Phillies a 6-3 lead.

Howard’s home run was the eighth of his career in the playoffs. It was also his 31st RBI in postseason play, moving him into first place in franchise history.

“Lohse came out and he was throwing very well, mixing it up,” said Howard. “We just knew it was just a matter of time.”

At this time last year, Roy Halladay was completely unhittable. In the opener of the 2010 NLDS, Halladay tossed the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history against the visiting Cincinnati Reds. This year, the results were different, but only for one inning.

During the final month of the regular season, the Cardinals were the hottest team in the National League. That hot streak carried over into the first inning. Rafael Furcal, who played despite injuring his hamstring on Monday, led off the game with  single and was joined on the bases by Albert Pujols after a walk. One batter later, Berkman, who rejuvenated his career with 31 home runs during the regular season, hit the first pitch from Halladay off the facing of the second deck in right field to give the Cardinals an early 3-0 lead.

Continue reading Halladay, Howard Beat Up on Cardinals in Game 1 Victory

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Phillies Chop Braves From Playoffs with 102nd Win

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, September 28, 2011 11:51 PM Comments: 38

Richie Ashburn Award: Chase Utley

This might be, without exaggeration, the single most dramatic day of regular-season baseball I’ve ever seen. I’d just like to put that out there and express how glad I was that the Phillies took part in the drama.

The Phillies get a franchise-record 102nd win. Charlie Manuel becomes the Phillies’ all-time winningest manager. Justin De Fratus gets his first major league win, and David Herndon grabs his first major league save. But most importantly, Atlanta completes a collapse so improbable it could propel the spaceship Heart of Gold. The Phillies sent the Braves to a 4-3 loss in 13 innings that, combined with the Cardinals’ win in Houston, will end the season for a certain collection of foam rubber tomahawk enthusiasts from Georgia. Continue reading Phillies Chop Braves From Playoffs with 102nd Win

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Oswalt Continues Tomahawk Choke

Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, September 27, 2011 09:52 PM Comments: 20

Richie Ashburn Award: Roy Oswalt

So there’s no need to be worried about Roy Oswalt anymore. The righty, who has either been injured or spotty all season, turned in six stellar innings, allowing no runs and only four baserunners in six innings of work as the Phillies piled on the Braves, who dropped to 9-17 in September with the Cardinals (now even with the Braves after a 13-6 win in Houston half a game back and tied with Houston as I post this UPDATE: St. Louis has taken the lead, coming from down 5-0 to up 9-6 in the 7th) staggering at a slightly faster clip toward the finish line.

The 7-1 win featured a little something for everyone: apart from Oswalt, the Phillies got perfect innings of relief from Joe Savery and (more importantly) the heretofore unraveling Antonio Bastardo. Not only did Oswalt seem to have his velocity, command, and good off-speed stuff back, but Bastardo, who had been enduring about as bad a month as you could have asked for, looked rather like the classic Tony No-Dad in his inning of work. Kyle Kendrick allowed a towering home run to Martin Prado to lead off the ninth and break up the shutout, but I guess you can’t have everything. Continue reading Oswalt Continues Tomahawk Choke

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Phillies Hit 100 Wins and Hurt Braves Playoff Chances

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, September 26, 2011 10:49 PM Comments: 24

PHOTO AP

As Charlie Manuel said last week (and I’m paraphrasing, but if you read it in Charlie’s voice it makes it funnier) “It’s only one more win, but 100 wins looks a lot better than 99.” Charlie was right.

The Phillies got to triple digits on Monday night with a 4-2 victory over the Braves in the opener of the final three game series. It’s just the third time in franchise history they’ve reached the 100 win plateau, joining the 1976 and 1977 teams. Those teams were extremely talented, but failed in the postseason. This club will not settle for anything less than a title.

For Atlanta, it was a wasted opportunity to stave off the Cardinals who continue to make a late move in the NL Wild Card standings.

Cliff Lee started and went six innings, just as Roy Halladay had done on Sunday. It’s a way to keep both aces on track for Games 1 and 2 on an extra day of rest while not overusing them. Lee tossed 92 pitches, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out six. The runs came on a solo homer by Chipper Jones in the first inning, his 18th of the year, and on an RBI double by Alex Gonzalez in the second inning. Overall, a fine final tuneup for the Game 2 starter in the NLDS.

Continue reading Phillies Hit 100 Wins and Hurt Braves Playoff Chances

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Losing Streak Ends as Phillies Avenge Eagles

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sun, September 25, 2011 05:28 PM Comments: 7

Richie Ashburn Award: Hunter Pence

Photo Credit: Associated Press

The Phillies, fresh off an eight-game losing streak, won comfortably in the last game of their three-game series with the Mets, jumping all over Met starter Mike Pelfrey to salvage a split with today’s installment of the Philadelphia/New York rivalry.

Roy Halladay, pitching for the last time this regular season, was typically surgical in six innings of work, allowing no runs, four hits, and a walk while striking out three. Halladay threw only 77 pitches and faced one over the minimum through five, before pitching himself into and out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.

Meanwhile, the Phillies scored in each of their first four innings, chasing Pelfrey after three innings and five runs before adding four more off D.J. Carrasco. Every Phillies starter, including Halladay, had at least one base hit, led by Hunter Pence, who went 3-for-5 with a triple, a home run, two runs scored, and three RBI. Jimmy Rollins had three singles and a stolen base, and scored twice, and John Mayberry, who pinch-ran for Ryan Howard in the fourth and stayed in to play first, reached base all three times he batted. Carlos Ruiz also had a great day, reaching base on all five plate appearances and driving in two runs. Continue reading Losing Streak Ends as Phillies Avenge Eagles

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Ugh

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sat, September 24, 2011 10:06 PM Comments: 27

For the first time since Terry Francona was manager, the Phillies are sitting on an eight-game losing streak as a doubleheader against the Mets that played more like a pair of split-squad spring training games went south, by a score of 2-1 this afternoon and 6-3 in the nightcap.

Game one of the doubleheader bore an eerie similarity to this game, where R.A. Dickey outdeuled Cole Hamels to the tune of a one-hit complete game shutout, with that one hit coming off Hamels’ bat. In this afternoon’s game, Dickey was perfect through five and hitless through six, but in the top of the seventh, Shane Victorino (batting right-handed against the knuckleballer) doubled with one out and was singled home by Ryan Howard on the next pitch.

But Hamels, who was himself excellent through six innings, allowed a game-tying home run to something called Valentino Pascucci in the bottom of the seventh, and in the next inning, Ruben Tejada and David Wright combined for a single, a double, and two stolen bases off of Brad Lidge, and while the Phillies made some noise off Mets reliever Manny Acosta in the top of the ninth, Acosta retired Carols Ruiz to end the game with the tying run on second and the winning run on first. Continue reading Ugh

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Sixth Straight Loss Ends Phillies Regular Season at Home

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, September 22, 2011 10:39 PM Comments: 12

PHOTO AP

“We’ll be alright,” said Charlie Manuel with a laugh. If only the entire fan base believed that wholeheartedly, there would be a lot less concern.

For those hoping the Phillies would wrap up their home schedule with a bang instead were sent home with barely with a whimper. Fan Appreciation Night turned to Fan Depreciation Night after another halfhearted effort sent the Phillies 6-1 loss to the Washington Nationals. For the first time since June 2009, the Phillies have lost six consecutive games.

Roy Oswalt was solid for seven innings, but unraveled in the eighth, giving up four runs with two outs. In 7 2/3 innings, Oswalt gave up seven hits while walking two and striking out four. With a popping fastball and a slick array of off-speed pitches, Oswalt looked like the man of old; the guy the Phillies got before the back injury this season sapped his velocity and caused him to miss extended time. Early on, Oswalt’s fastball was full of life, topping out at 94. In his final inning, the gun still read 94, even hitting 95 on the stadium radar. “Probably the best I felt all year,” said the Phillies fourth ace.

He lost control in the eighth, allowing a single, double, and walk, before serving up a three-run gopher ball to Michael Morse to put Washington up 6-0.

Continue reading Sixth Straight Loss Ends Phillies Regular Season at Home

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Phillies Score Runs, Still Lose to Nationals

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 21, 2011 10:54 PM Comments: 15

Now, that’s what you call an offensive explosion! Kidding, but seriously the Phillies scored five runs tonight, which should help quell rumors of the team’s demise. The only issue was the pitching on Wednesday night as the Phillies fell to the Washington Nationals, 7-5. Yes, three straight losses to the Nationals equal five in a row overall. It’s the Phillies first five game losing streak since May 22-27, 2010.

PHOTO AP

If you knew nothing about baseball and watched the Phillies play as of late, you’d think they were a Double-A team. The frustration has set in, and it’s somewhat understandable. But as I’ve said (and many others as well) these games mean zero. When the calendar flips to October, it’ll be time to judge.

After three runs through three innings, the Phillies didn’t strike again until the eighth inning. Down 7-3, John Mayberry Jr. stated his case for a starting job in the playoffs and next season with a titanic home run deep to right field to cut the Nationals lead to 7-5. That’s as close as the Phils would get.

It was a fantastic night for Mayberry and the bottom of the order. Big John finished up 3-for-4 with a home run, three runs scores, and two RBI. Batters 5-through-7 in the order (Mayberry, Ibanez, Francisco) went a combined 8-for-12 with four RBI. The top four hitters of the Phillies lineup (Rollins, Victorino, Polanco, Utley) finished 0-for-16.

Continue reading Phillies Score Runs, Still Lose to Nationals

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