The Phillies needed to come up big against the Brewers to get themselves back in the thick of the playoff hunt and they did exactly that, sweeping Milwaukee in a four-game set to pull even in the chase for the wild card with 12 games left on their schedule.
With the sweep they trail the Mets by one in the NL East.
Brett Myers was last night’s hero, throwing a complete game on three days rest while holding the Brewers to two hits. In the day game of the day-night double-header, Joe Blanton finally went deep into a contest. Blanton gave the Phils seven strong innings, going seven for the first time in his last seven starts, and the Phils pulled away with four runs in the bottom of the eighth.
The Phils won two of the games in the series using starting pitchers who were throwing on three days rest. Moyer went 5 2/3 innings in game one and allowed three runs.
The offense is suddenly alive. The Phils scored at least six runs in each of the four games and got big and much-needed contributions from Burrell, Victorino and Rollins, especially in the last two games of the set. Burrell was 2-for-7 with a home run and two RBI in the last two games and put the Phils on top to stay with a late single in the first game yesterday. Victorino blew that game open with a three-run homer in the eighth and followed that up by going 4-for-4 in the night game. Rollins went 2-for-2 in the night game last night, walking three times and driving in a pair of runs.
The Phillies beat the Milwaukee Brewers last night, winning 6-1 to improve to 83-67 on the season. Sixteen games over .500 is their best mark of the season. They have won four in a row.
Brett Myers got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game two-hitter. He allowed two hits, a single and a solo homer, and walked one. He struck out four and threw just 95 pitches.
Myers has thrown to a 1.80 ERA with a 1.00 ratio in his 11 starts since the All-Star break.
Myers got the first six men he faced without getting a strikeout. He started the third up 4-0 and walked Craig Counsell to leadoff the inning. Jason Kendall hit into a double-play behind Counsell. The pitcher Jeff Suppan grounded to short for the third out.
Ray Durham singled with two outs in the fourth. Lefty Prince Fielder was next and Myers struck him out swinging 2-2 for the third out. It was the first strikeout of the game for Myers.
He got two popups and a ground out in a 1-2-3 fifth.
He threw a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phils up 6-0.
He got the first two in the seventh before Fielder lined a 3-2 pitch out to right to get Milwaukee on the board at 6-1. Braun grounded to short for the third out.
He threw a 1-2-3 eighth and a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Phils didn’t need to use the pen, so I guess it didn’t matter much who they used in the two previous games with four and five run leads. Manuel musta known Myers was going to throw a complete game two-hitter on three days rest.
The Phillies lineup against righty Jeff Suppan went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth again hits second against the righty with Victorino sixth. Feliz plays third against the righty after Dobbs started the day game against a righty. Coste catches after Ruiz caught the first game.
Rollins led off the first with a double and went to third when Werth followed with a single. Utley hit into a double-play that scored Rollins to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard struck out for the third out.
Burrell led off the second with a walk and moved to second when Victorino followed with an infield single to third. Feliz was next and hit into a double-play with Burrell moving to third with two down. Coste was walked intentionally to pitch to Myers, but Myers singled into right and Burrell scored to make it 2-0 with men on first and second. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Rollins lined a single into center. Both runners scored, with Myers just sliding in ahead of the tag on a close play at the plate to put the Phils up 4-0. Rollins was caught stealing to end the inning.
Huge hit for Myers after it looked like the double-play by Feliz had killed the inning.
Utley singled with one out in the third, but Howard hit into a double-play behind him.
Burrell led off the fourth with a long home run down the left field line. 5-0. Victorino followed with a double and moved to third when Feliz followed and flew to center. Coste was hit by a pitch and Myers bunted Coste to second for the second out. With two men out, Suppan walked Rollins intentionally to load the bases and pitch to Werth. Werth was walked unintentionally, forcing in Victorino and making it 6-0. Utley popped to third to leave the bases loaded.
Rollins already had two big hits against Suppan in the game, but walking him intentionally there doesn’t make a lot of sense and cost the Brewers a run.
Victorino singled with two outs in the fifth. Feliz grounded to short for the third out.
Rollins walked with two outs in the sixth, but Werth grounded to short behind him.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.
Victorino led off the eighth with a single with the Phils up 6-1. Feliz struck out before Coste moved Victorino to second with a single. Myers hit for himself and bunted back to the pitcher, Todd Coffey, who threw to second to force Coste for the second out. With two down and men on first and third, Rollins walked to load the bases. Werth popped to first for the third out.
Rollins was 2-for-2 with a double and three walks in the game. 7-for-13 with two doubles, a home run and four walks in the series. He’s hitting 279/347/443 for the year.
Werth was 1-for-4 with an RBI. 4-for-14 with a triple in the series. He’s hitting 276/373/508 for the year but just 234/333/362 in September.
Utley was 1-for-4 and left four men on base. 5-for-14 with two doubles in the series. He’s hitting 290/378/535 for the season.
Howard was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 5-for-13 in the series with a
Burrell was 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk. 3-for-14 with two walks in the series. 253/370/511 for the year.
Victorino was 4-for-4 with a double in the game. 7-for-14 with a double and a home run in the set, which were his first extra-base hits since August 26. 282/345/427.
Feliz 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 4-for-12 with a double in the series. 254/301/407. Dobbs was 1-for-5 in the series and is hitting 292/324/467 for the year.
Coste was 1-for-2 with a walk in the game and in the series. 269/328/436 for the year. Ruiz was 1-for-9 with a double in the series. 226/321/301 for the year.
The Phillies won the first game of the double-header, 7-3, to improve to 82-67 on the season.
Joe Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and two home runs. He struck out four.
Blanton got ahead of Hart 0-2 before Hart tripled to start the first. Hardy popped to second for the first out, but Durham was next and hit a 2-2 pitch out to right to put the Brewers up 2-0. Blanton got the next two.
He hit Cameron to start the second, but Counsell hit into a double-play behind him. Kendall popped to short for the third out.
Blanton threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth.
He started the fifth down 2-1. Cameron led off and hit the first pitch of the inning way out to left to put Milwaukee up 3-1. Craig Counsell followed with a double and Kendall walked behind him. It put men on first and second with nobody out, but Blanton got pitcher Dave Bush to pop up a bunt for the first out and Hart hit into a double-play to end the frame.
Fielder singled with two outs in the sixth, but Blanton got Braun swinging for the third out.
He walked Counsell with one out in the seventh, but got Kendall to fly to center for the second out and pinch-hitter Tony Gwynn Jr to fly to left.
Madson started the eighth with the game tied at 3-3. He got the two men he faced and Eyre came in to pitch the switch-hitter Durham. Eyre struck Durham out swinging on a foul tip — it looked like Ruiz may not have caught the ball, but the Phillies got the call.
The two outs that Madson got both came on ground balls to third, where they were fielded by Dobbs. Odd to see Dobbs in the game at third in the eighth inning of a tie game — not sure if that means Manuel is more confident in Dobbs these days or less in Feliz. Maybe a little of both.
Up 7-3 in the ninth, Eyre returned and got Fielder to start the inning. Lidge came in and got the next two to end the game.
Phils are off today, but Manuel uses Lidge for the second-straight day in a non-save situation.
Great game for the pen. Madson, Eyre and Lidge all got two outs without allowing a hit or a walk. Madson threw 11 pitches, which was the high for the group.
The Phillies’ lineup against righty Dave Bush went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Werth hits second against the righty. Victorino sixth. Dobbs plays third against the righty with Ruiz catching.
Down 2-0, the Phils went 1-2-3 in the first.
Burrell singled with one out in the second and a walk by Victorino moved him to second. Dobbs popped to third and Ruiz flew to center to leave them stranded.
1-2-3 in the third.
Utley started the fourth with a double to right and moved to third when Howard followed with a single. Burrell hit into a double-play that scored Utley and got the Phils on the board at 2-1. Victorino flew to right for the third out.
Dobbs started the fifth with a single. Ruiz was next and blooped a ball into right. Dobbs had to watch and was thrown out at second for the first out. Blanton bunted Ruiz to second for the second out. Rollins walked to put men on first and second, but Werth flew to right to end the inning.
Utley was hit by a pitch to start the sixth. Howard was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch just out to left for his 44th homer of the year, tying the game at 3-3. Burrell, Victorino and Dobbs went in order behind him.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Stairs hit for Blanton with one out and righty Guillermo Mota on the mound and flew to center.
The game was still tied at 3-3 when the Phils hit in the eighth. Werth led off with a single to left off of Mota and the lefty Brian Shouse came in to pitch to Utley and Howard. Utley bunted against the lefty-killer Shouse, moving Werth to second with one down. Howard was walked intentionally with first base open, setting up the double-play. Shouse stayed in to pitch to Burrell and Burrell delivered a single into left. Braun’s throw home was strong but a little up the first base line — Werth slid in just safe on a close play to put the Phils up 4-3. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but it was an amazing slide by Werth. As Kendall fielded the ball up the first base line, Werth slid in with his right (outside) leg and just got in. Had he slid in leading with his inside leg, I think he would have been out. Victorino was next and pumped a 1-0 pitch out to left for a three-run homer that broke the game open at 7-3. With Shouse still in, Feliz hit for Dobbs and singled. Eric Gagne got Ruiz to hit into a double-play to end the inning.
Nice to see Burrell get a big hit and Victorino an even bigger one. Crazy decision to leave Shouse in to pitch to Burrell. Pretty surprising to see Utley bunt against anyone in any situation.
Rollins 0-for-3 with a walk.
Howard 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two RBI.
Burrell 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer.
Ruiz 0-for-4 and left four men on base.
No game today.