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September 10 2006

August Wilson famously wrote, "There are always and only two trains running."  One of them plowed through the Phillies this afternoon.  I didn't catch the license plate, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't life.

Dontrelle Willis stymied the Phils today, throwing a three-hit shutout while striking out 12.  The D-Train was awesome, but the Phillies batters have been pretty sytmiable of late.  The Phillies offense just can't get it going and the Phils are fading in the chase for the Wild Card.  Despite the heroics of Ryan Howard the Phillies have now scored three or fewer runs in six of their last seven.

The Phillies lost to the Florida Marlins today, falling 3-0 to drop to 72-71 on the year.  The four-game set with the Fish that looked so critical ends in a split after the Phillies took the first two games. 

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and had a rough day.  He went just four innings, allowing two runs on six hits and five walks.  Just one of the hits went for extra-bases, a double.

Hamels walked the leadoff man Hanley Ramirez after getting ahead of him 0-2.  Dan Uggla followed with a single, sending Ramirez to second.  Miguel Cabrera was next and he singled, scoring Ramirez to put the Fish up 1-0 as Uggla went to second.  Hamels walked Willingham to load the bases with nobody out.  Wes Helms was next and he hit a fly ball into center that was deep enough to score Uggla from third and make it 2-0 Florida.  Hamels struck out Cody Ross for the second out and got out of the inning when Alfredo Amezaga popped to right to end the inning.

Matt Treanor singled to lead off the second.  Willis tried to bunt him to second, but the Phillies got Treanor at second with Willis safe at first.  Ramirez singled, sending Willis to second.  A wild pitch charged to Hamels moved the runners up a base, to second and third with one down.  Hamels struck out Uggla for the second out of the inning, and walked Cabrera intentionally to load the bases.  Willingham grounded to first to end the inning.

Wes Helms led off the third with a single, but Hamels got Ross to ground into a double-play and Amezaga to ground to second to end the inning.

Hamels got Treanor to pop out to short to start the fourth before walking Willis.  Ramirez followed with a double to left that sent Willis to third with one down.  Uggla hit a ground ball back to Hamels and Cole made a nice play, throwing Willis out at home for the second out.  Hamels struck out Willingham to end the inning.

Ryan Madson came in for the fifth down 2-0 and threw a 1-2-3 inning.

Madson returned for the sixth and Treanor led off with a double.  Willis bunted him to third.  Ramirez was next and hit a looping fly ball into shallow right field.  Conine did a great job to get to the ball and lay out to make a diving catch.  Treanor stayed at third and was left stranded when Uggla grounded to Rollins to end the inning.

Cabrera led off the seventh with a single and went to third on a double by Willingham.  Helms hit a sac fly to left, scoring Cabrera from third and putting the Marlins up 3-0.  Madson hit Cody Ross, putting runners on first and second with one out.  With the switch-hitter Amezaga at the plate, Manuel called on Fultz, who was pitching in his first game since absolutely hammered in his last three appearances at the end of August.  Amezaga hit a shot to second -- Utley made a little hop and snagged it, doubling Willingham off of second to end the inning.

Fultz winds up with a nice looking line for the game -- two outs without allowing a baserunner.  He did not inspire a lot of confidence, however.

Rick White started the eighth and retired the first two men he faced.  Ramirez was next and he singled and stole second base.  Uggla flew out to Conine to end the inning.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Dontrelle Willis went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Conine (6) Burrell (7) Coste (8) Nunez.  Nunez is back in there against a lefty, which is a bad decision unless Hernandez is hurt.  Burrell is struggling terribly, 1-for-his-last-17 coming into the the game, but he's just a better hitter than Conine against lefties and should be hitting fifth.

The Phillies went 1-2-3 in the first.

Ryan Howard led off the second with a single and Conine followed with a walk.  After a miserable night last night, Burrell struck out for the first out of the inning after chasing a pitch that was way out of the strike zone on a 3-1 pitch.  Coste was next and he struck out as well.  Nunez flew out to right to end the inning.

Victorino was hit by a pitch with two outs in the third, but Utley struck out to end the inning.

In the top of the fourth, Howard led off and singled on a ground ball to short against the Marlins shift.  Conine followed and grounded into a double-play.  Burrell struck out to end the inning.

Still down 2-0 in the fifth, Nunez singled with one out but Sandoval pinch-hit for Hamels and grounded into a double-play.

The single in the fifth was the last baserunner the Phillies would manage.  Willis set them down 1-2-3 in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth.

Rollins 0-for-4.  Victorino 0-for-3 and hit by a pitch.  Utley was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Howard was 2-for-3 with two singles.

Conine 0-for-2 with a walk.  Burrell 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. 

Coste 0-for-3 and struck out three times.  Nunez was 1-for-3 with a single.

No game tomorrow.  Randy Wolf against Kyle Davies on Tuesday in Atlanta.

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