The Phillies and Marlins both came into their series in Florida hot, but, thanks to their bullpen, only the Phillies came out of it that way. The Phils took two of three against the Fish, delivering a crippling blow to the already slim playoffs hopes of the Marlins while inching ever closer to the playoffs themselves.
Each of the last two games of the set were tight and twice the Phils came out on top. In both of them, Manuel called on the core guys of his pen and they got him through. The Phils won the critical second game of the series 3-2. Yesterday a two-run homer from Feliz in the eighth put the Phils up to stay at 5-2.
Condrey got one big out yesterday. Otherwise it was the group of Madson, Durbin, Romero and Lidge that the Phillies used and are going to need the rest of the way that got it done for the Phils. Including the out that Condrey got in yesterday’s game, the Phils bullpen has allowed a run in seven innings over the past two games.
Yesterday the Phillies beat the Marlins 5-2 to improve to 88-68 on the season. They have won nine of ten and lead the NL East by 1 1/2 games. The Mets lead the Brewers by 1 1/2 games in the hunt for the Wild Card. The Phillies are 20 games above .500 for the first time since 1993.
Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing a run on six hits and a walk. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, all doubles. He struck out four and dropped his ERA on the year to 3.78.
Moyer kept the Marlins off the board through five innings. Dan Uggla singled in the second and went to second when Cody Ross was hit by a pitch, but Moyer got Alfredo Amezaga to hit into a double-play to get out of the inning.
He gave up a leadoff double to the pitcher Chris Volstad in the third but left him stranded. Moyer got the next two before he walked Jorge Cantu. Mike Jacobs grounded back to the mound for the third out.
With runners on second and third, thanks in part to yet another error by Howard, and two outs in the fifth, Moyer again got Jacobs to ground back to the mound to end the inning.
He started the sixth up 3-0. Josh Willingham doubled with one out and came around to score on a two-out single by Amezaga. 3-1.
Durbin pitched the seventh, pitching for his second straight day. John Baker doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by Cantu. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty Jacobs and got him to pop to short for the second out. Romero stayed in to pitch to the righty Uggla and walked him. It brought up the righty Willingham with the bases loaded and Romero stayed in to pitch to him, too. Willingham hit a ball down the third base line that Dobbs made a diving play on to stop, but Willingham had a single that moved everyone up a base and cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-2. Dobbs left the game with a strained right calf and Condrey came in to pitch to the righty Cody Ross and got Ross to ground to Feliz at third to end the inning.
Miserable inning for Manuel who lets Romero stay in to pitch to the righty Uggla and then the righty Willingham and then brings Condrey in anyway. Dobbs didn’t make a spectacular play on the ball hit by Willingham, but if he hadn’t kept it in the infield the game would have been tied. Second straight day that Dobbs came up with a big defensive play late in the game at third.
Madson threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phils up 5-2.
Lidge gave up a leadoff single to Baker to start the ninth. He got Cantu to ground to third and struck out Jacobs before he walked Uggla. Lefty Dallas McPherson hit for righty Josh Willingham and came to the plate as the tying run. Lidge got ahead of him 0-2 and struck him out swinging 3-2.
Durbin, Romero, Madson and Lidge were all throwing for the second straight day (and would be throwing for the third straight day if they appeared tonight). As a group the pen went three innings, allowing a run on four hits and two walks while striking out two. Lidge threw 29 pitches a day after throwing 26, which probably makes him the most questionable of the group for tonight’s game. Romero threw 14 and everyone else was under ten.
Tough spot for the pen tonight.
The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Volstad went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs plays third against the righty. Ruiz behind the plate.
Burrell struck out to end the top of the first, leaving Rollins at third and Howard at first.
Rollins started the third with a double. Utley was next and hit a 1-0 pitch just over the glove of Maybin and out to right-center to put the Phillies up 2-0.
Ruiz singled with two outs in the fourth. Moyer was next and hit a popup behind second base that Ross charged from right but didn’t catch. The ball went off of Ross’s glove for an error and Ruiz took third. Rollins reached on an infield single to second and Ruiz scored to put the Phils up 3-0. Utley was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Werth, but Werth grounded to third to set the Phillies down.
Ruiz walked to start the sixth and Moyer bunted him to second. Rollins and Utley went down to leave him stranded.
Victorino led off the eighth with a single to right with the Phillies up 3-2. Feliz, who had just entered the game in the top of the inning, was next. Feliz showed bunt on the first pitch of his at-bat, but then swung away and hit a 1-0 pitch out to left to put the Phils up 5-2.
Rollins was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI in the game. 5-for-14 with a double in the series. 280/348/440 for the year. 342/422/481 in September.
Utley was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the game. 3-for-10 with a home run and two walks in the series. 287/377/529 for the year.
Werth was 0-for-5 and struck out twice. 1-for-14 with eight strikeouts in the series. 275/370/505 for the year.
Howard 1-for-4 with a walk in the game. 2-for-11 with a home run in the series. 247/336/533.
Burrell 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the game. 0-for-11 with four strikeouts in the series. 247/363/499 for the year. He’s hitting .167 in September.
Victorino was 1-for-4. 4-for-13 with two home runs in the series. 289/350/442 for the year.
Dobbs was 0-for-3 in the game and 4-for-9 with two doubles and a home run in the series. 299/332/489 for the year. Feliz was 1-for-1 with a home run in the game and 1-for-3 in the series. He’s hitting 251/302/406 for the year.
Ruiz 1-for-2 with two walks. 1-for-4 with three walks in the series. 230/330/315 for the year. Coste 1-for-3 in the series. 269/329/433 for the year. 3-for-22 (.136) in September.
Saturday the Phils won 3-2 to improve to 87-68 on the season.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out nine, which is his high for the season.
He struck out the side in the first and one more in a scoreless second.
He started the third up 1-0. Alfredo Amezaga singled and the pitcher Anibal Sanchez tried to bunt but struck out before a singly by Cameron Maybin moved Amezaga to second. John Baker ripped a double into right and both runners scored to put Florida up 2-1.
He kept the Marlins off the board in the fourth and the fifth. He allowed a walk in a hit in the fifth, but got Jorge Cantu to fly to center and leave runners stranded at first and second.
The Phils hit for Blanton up 3-2 with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. It left four innings for the pen to throw and the pen kept the Marlins off the board to get the Phillies the win.
Durbin walked Josh Willingham with two outs in the sixth, but picked him off to end the inning.
Durbin came back for the seventh. Amezaga singled with one out and lefty Jeremy Hermida hit for the pitcher. Romero came on to pitcher to Hermida and Lo Duca hit for Hermida and drew a walk. It put men on first and second with one down, but Romero struck out Maybin and Baker to end the inning.
Huge outs for Romero in the seventh. Most of the talk about the game is about Madson and the eighth, but Romero bailed the Phils out in the seventh.
Madson gave up a single to Cantu and a double to Mike Jacobs to start the eighth. Uggla was next and hit chopped a ball high to Dobbs at third — Dobbs threw home and Ruiz tagged out Cantu for the first out of the inning with Robert Andino, who ran for Jacobs at third, holding second. With men on first and second and one out, Josh Willingham grounded to second for the second out with the runners moving to second and third. Madson struck out Cody Ross to leave both runners stranded.
Nice to see Dobbs at third in the eighth inning of a one-run game. Even nicer to see him make the play. Andino not going to third on the chopper to Dobbs changed the game.
Lidge started the ninth up a run and walked Amezaga to start the inning. Amezaga stole second as Lidge struck out Dallas McPherson for the first out, but Lidge struck out Maybin and Baker both to leave Amezaga stranded at second.
Four scoreless innings from the pen. They allow three hits and four walks while striking out seven. Sixteen strikeouts in the game for the Phils. Key strikeouts for Romero, Madson and Lidge all late in the game. Lidge threw 26 pitches, Madson 25 and Romero 17.
The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Ruiz. Dobbs at third against the righty. Ruiz catches.
Ruiz reached on an error by Cantu to start the third. Blanton bunted and the pitcher Sanchez threw the ball away, putting men on first and third with nobody out. The Phils only got one, though. Rollins struck out, Utley singled and drove in Ruiz to make it 1-0, but Werth and Howard both went down to leave the runners stranded.
Victorino homered with one out in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2.
In the sixth, with two outs and men on first to second (thanks to a pair of walks) Dobbs blooped a single into left and Howard stormed around to score from second and put the Phils up 3-2. A walk to Ruiz loaded the bases and Jenkins hit for Blanton with righty Logan Kensing pitching. Lefty Mark Hendrickson came on and Iguchi hit for Jenkins and flew to right for the third out.
The Phils didn’t have another hit till Dobbs started the ninth with a double. Ruiz bunted him to third, but Stairs hit for Madson and struck out for the second out. Rollins tried to bunt for a hit, but was nipped at first by Uggla to end the frame.
Don’t mind Rollins bunting any time he wants to. Big strikeout for Stairs, hitting against righty Joe Nelson.
Rollins was 0-for-5 and struck out three times.
Utley 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Werth 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Howard 0-for-3 with a walk.
Burrell 0-for-3 with a walk.
Victorino 2-for-4 with a home for the second straight day.
Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double.
Ruiz 0-for-2 with a walk.
On Friday night, the Fish blew the Phils out in the opener of the series. The Phillies lost 14-8 to drop to 86-68 on the season and end their seven-game winning streak.
Myers got the start for the Phils and got hit hard. He went four innings, allowing ten runs on nine hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out three.
He started the bottom of the first up 2-0, but gave up five runs in the frame. Each of the five batters he faced reached base. Uggla and Jacobs delivered the big blows, a two-run double by Jacobs that was followed by a two-run homer by Cantu.
Myers settled down after that and the Phils had retaken the lead at 6-5 when he started the fifth. Again the first five hitters Myers faced reached base and Seanez came on to pitch before Myers had recorded an out. The Phils would allow six runs in the frame, three of which scored on a three-run homer Seanez served up to Amezaga. The Marlins ended the inning up 11-6.
Walrond allowed two hits and a walk in the sixth as the Marlins extended their lead to 13-6.
Cantu hit a solo shot off of Kendrick in the eighth, putting the Marlins up 14-8. It was the first career relief appear for Kendrick.
Overall the pen went four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and a walk. Seanez, Walrond and Kendrick all pitched badly.
The Phillies lineup against righty Josh Johnson went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Dobbs at third against the righty with Coste catching.
The Phils jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first with the help of a Jacobs error and a wild pitch from Johnson.
Myers gave up five in the bottom of the first, but the Phils got two more in the top of the second. Dobbs hit a solo home run and they got singles from Coste and Rollins before Utley brought Rollins in with a sac fly.
Dobbs led off the fourth with a double, but the Phils couldn’t bring him home. They ended the frame down 5-4.
Howard hit a two-run homer in the fifth to put them up 6-5.
A sac fly from Howard in the seventh brought in Rollins. Rollins had walked, gone to second on a walk to Utley and stolen third. The Phils were down 13-7.
Victorino led off the eight with a solo shot. 13-8. Utley popped to short with two men on to end the frame.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk.
Utley 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.
Werth 1-for-5 and struck out four times.
Howard 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI.
Burrell 0-for-4 with a walk.
Victorino 1-for-5 with his 13th home run, which was a new career-high.
Dobbs 2-for-2 with a double and a home run.
JA Happ (1-0, 4.24) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.72) tonight.