Archive for September, 2008

Phils unveil a whole new dimension to their problems at third base

A lot of things are going to have to go wrong a lot of days in a row to keep the Phillies out of the playoffs. That probably won’t happen, but Phillies fans would sure feel a lot better if a lot of things hadn’t gone wrong last night. With a loss to the Braves and wins by the Mets and Brewers, the Phils hold on a playoff spot is suddenly a little less secure than it was a day ago.

But much in the same way that the Phillies haven’t won anything yet, they certainly haven’t lost anything yet either. They have four games to play and lead their division by a game and a half. Despite a tough game and some mistakes last night, they’re playing fantastic baseball. They’ve won ten of their last 12.

Last night they made two big mistakes and didn’t hit well enough to overcome them. Both of the mistakes came at third base. In the third inning, Kelly Johnson left too early trying to steal third. Hamels would have had him easily, but threw the ball away and Johnson came in to score on the error. Burrell made a big base-running mistake in the sixth that probably cost the Phils a run. With the Phils down 3-2 and Burrell on second, Victorino hit a ground ball to short. Burrell took off for third with the ball in front of him and was tagged out after a short rundown.

Not to be lost in last night’s frustrations is that the Phillies pitched very well. Hamels was good and the bullpen was fantastic. The 24-year-old Hamels has now thrown 227 1/3 innings on the season and the one thing I can assure you of is that the Phillies are going to pay that bill sooner or later. Not last night, though. He was good, just like he’s been just about all of the second half. Chad Durbin, who is also critical to the Phils, also got four outs without allowing a base-runner.

The Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves last night, losing 3-2 to drop to 89-69 on the season. They are in first place in the NL East and lead the Mets by 1 1/2 games. The Mets lead the Brewers by one game for the Wild Card. The Phillies have four games left to play, the Mets and Brewers each have five.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Only two of the runs were earned. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out seven.

Opponents are now hitting .274 against him in September, which is somewhat alarming in the context of his numbers over his career (it’s higher, you see). Hamels has thrown to a 2.84 ERA in his five starts this month.

Martin Prado doubled with one out in the first. Kelly Johnson was next and blooped a 2-2 pitch into center for a single. Prado scored without a throw to put the Braves up 1-0. Johnson stole second before Hamels walked Brian McCann to put men on first and second. Omar Infante popped to first for the second out. Hamels struck out Jeff Francoeur to end the frame.

Casey Kotchman started the second with a single with the game tied at 1-1. Brent Lillibridge struck out for the first out before the pitcher Mike Hampton bunted Kotchman to second. Josh Anderson was next and dribbled a ball out in front of the plate for an infield single that sent Kotchman to third, but Hamels got Prado to fly to right for the third out.

Johnson started the third with an infield single that took a bad hop on Howard. McCann flew to center for the first out before Infante singled to center, moving Johnson to second. Kotchman was next and Hamels had Johnson when Johnson took off for third too early, but threw the ball away. Johnson scored to make it 2-1 and Infante went to third. Hamels struck out Kotchman to leave Infante stranded.

Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.

With two outs in the sixth, Kotchman pounded the first pitch of his at-bat out to right to put the Braves up 3-1. Lillibridge popped to second for the third out.

Ruben Gotay hit for Hampton to start the seventh and singled, but Hamels got the next three in order to leave him stranded. Rollins made a nice play for the first out of the inning — Anderson broke his bat and blooped a ball behind the mound, but Rollins made a nice play to get him at first and changed the inning.

Eyre started the eighth with the Phils down 3-2 and got McCann to ground to second for the first out. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Infante and got him on a ground ball to third. Francoeur popped to short for the third out.

Durbin returned for the ninth and got the first two before switch-hitter Greg Norton hit for the pitcher Jeff Bennett. Romero came in to pitch to Norton and struck him out swinging to end the frame.

Two perfect innings for the pen. It was especially nice to see Durbin pitch well. He dropped his ERA for the month to 7.94 with a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. Durbin threw 12 pitches in the game, Eyre and Romero were both under five. The pen needed just 20 pitches to throw two perfect innings.

With the day off tomorrow, Manuel may have everyone in his pen available for tonight’s game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Mike Hampton went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz at third against the lefty. Ruiz catches.

Utley singled with one out in the first and the Phils down 1-0. Werth hit into a double-play behind him.

Howard started the second with a single and Burrell walked behind him. Victorino was next and he hit into a double-play with Howard moving to third with two down. Feliz was next and lined a 1-0 pitch into right to score Howard and tie the game at 1-1. Ruiz grounded to second for the third out.

Utley doubled with two outs in the third. Werth was next and hit a ball to second that Johnson didn’t handle for an error that moved Utley to third. Howard walked to load the bases, but Burrell popped to third to leave the bases loaded.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the fourth. Hamels struck out to end the inning.

1-2-3 in the fifth.

Down 3-1 in the sixth, Howard led off and tripled into the right field corner. Burrell was next and blasted a double off the wall in center. Howard scored and it was 3-2. Victorino was next and hit a ground ball to short. Miserable base-running by Burrell got him caught as he took off for third and tagged out for the second out. Victorino was caught stealing for the second out before Feliz grounded to third to end the inning.

Yuck. The Phils gave away two outs on the bases in the inning.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Coste hit for Hamels and flew to right for the second out.

Howard walked with two outs in the eighth. Burrell grounded to third to end the inning.

Feliz walked with one out in the ninth. Golson ran for him at first. With the lefty Mike Gonzalez on the mound, Ruiz hit for himself and hit into a double-play to end the game.

It’s tough to watch Ruiz hit in that situation. Righties on the bench for the Phils were Bruntlett, Cevernak, Iguchi, Taguchi and Marson. My initial reaction was that the Phils should have hit Iguchi and let Marson catch the tenth if it happened. I would have done it, just because I think Iguchi is a good hitter and Ruiz is a bad hitter, but the numbers don’t really support that. Iguchi is hitting a miserable 169/256/221 against lefties this season. Ruiz 215/354/338.

It does illustrate a flaw in the Phillies roster — they need to have a better right-handed hitter available to them late in the game. Especially in games when Coste starts behind the plate.

Rollins was 0-for-4.

Utley 2-for-4 with a double. He’s 4-for-his-last-10 with two doubles and a homer.

Werth 0-for-4 with a strikeout. 2-for-his-last-22 with two singles. The Phillies are going to have to do something about Werth, but probably not tonight with a lefty on the mound.

Howard was 2-for-2 with a triple and two walks.

Burrell 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and four men left on base. Big mistake on the bases.

Victorino 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a caught stealing.

Feliz 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Big two-out hit in the second.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk.

Brett Myers (10-12, 4.46) faces lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (3-11, 5.74) tonight. Over his last two starts, Reyes has gone 5 1/3 innings and allowed nine runs on 12 hits (including four homers) and two walks. He has a 9.00 ERA since the All-Star break. Righties are hitting .315 against him for the season. Myers got bombed on Friday against the Marlins, allowing ten run in four innings in just about his only bad start in an otherwise excellent second half of the season. He has a 2.77 ERA with a 1.09 ratio in 13 starts at home this season. In his 16 starts away from Citizens Bank Park he’s thrown to a 6.21 ERA with a 1.61 ratio.

Big game tonight for the Phils. A loss would make things interesting in a way you’re not really looking for.


JA leads the wa

It wasn’t the ’27 Yankees. Actually, with Chipper Jones and Brian McCann on the bench to start the game, it wasn’t even the ’08 Braves, either. But JA Happ did it again last night. For the second time in two starts, the 25-year-old pitched well enough to help the Phils get a big win in the heat of a tight race for a division title.

Happ kept the game close and the Phils broke open a 2-2 tie with four runs in the eighth. After Greg Golson helped the Phillies create a run with his speed, Pat Burrell hit a ball out to left for a three-run homer that broke the game open.

The list of Phillies playing well these days is pretty long — long enough for some of the stars of September to be overlooked. Pitching for the third straight day, Ryan Madson made his eleventh appearance of the month last night. He hasn’t been charged with a run since August 28. With three more hits last night, Shane Victorino is 18-for-his-last-33.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 6-2 to improve to 89-68 on the season. They have won three in a row and are 21 games above .500 for the first time since 1993. They lead the Mets in the NL East by 2 1/2 games. The Mets are a game ahead of the Brewers for the Wild Card.

Happ got the start for the Phillies and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a two-run homer. He struck out five.

Happ threw a 1-2-3 first.

He started the second up 1-0. Omar Infante led off with a single and went to second on a passed ball. Jeff Francoeur was next and grounded to short with Infante going to third with one down. Casey Kotchman lined to short for the second out. Clint Sammons was swinging 3-0 and popped up to Howard in foul territory to end the frame.

Up 2-0, he set the Braves down in order in the third.

He struck out two in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Sammons walked with two outs in the fifth. Brent Lillibridge was next and moved Hammonds to second with a single. The pitcher Jair Jurrjens popped to Howard to set the Braves down.

Martin Prado singled with one out in the sixth. Kelly Johnson was next and the lefty hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, tying the game at 2-2. Happ struck out Infante before Francoeur singled into center, but Kotchman flew to Werth in right for the third out.

Happ started the seventh having thrown 84 pitches. He got Sammons to pop to Howard for the first out, but Lillibridge hit the first pitch of his at-bat into left for a single. Jurrjens hit for himself and bunted Lillibridge to second for the second out. Righty Yunel Escobar hit for the righty Josh Anderson and Manuel called on Seanez to pitch to Escobar. Greg Norton hit for Escobar and the Phillies put him on. With men on first and second and two down, Seanez got Prado to ground to third to set the Braves down.

Seanez returned for the eighth. Johnson led off and lined a ball into right-center. Werth made a nice effort, diving for the ball but having it go off his glove. Victorino was backing up nicely, but kicked the ball, then threw to Utley and Utley dropped the relay. Johnson wound up on third and Victorino was charged with an error. Infante lined to first for the first out. Francoeur was next, and with the infield in, hit a high chop to short with Johnson running on contact. Rollins jumped up to field it, landed and threw a strike to the plate where Ruiz tagged out the sliding Johnson for the second out. Great play by Rollins and by Ruiz — Ruiz did a fantastic job of blocking the plate and denying Johnson a part of the plate to slid into. Johnson was going to have to run Ruiz over and that’s gotta be a tough sell when you’re 19 games out of first place. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Kotchman and got him to fly to center for the third out.

Madson started the ninth with a 6-2 lead. Lidge wasn’t going to pitch, Madson was up when the Phils went up 3-2. Switch-hitter Ruben Gotay hit for the righty Sammons and flew to right for the first out. Switchy Chipper Jones hit for righty Brent Lillibridge and singled to left. Lefty Brian McCann hit for the pitcher Julian Tavarez and drove a ball the opposite way down the left field line. The ball hit off the line at the top of the wall and over. McCann was given, correctly, a double. With one out and men on second and third, Gregor Blanco flew to left for the second out. Prado was next and hit the ball hard but right at Utley. Utley took it and threw to first to end the game.

Great job by Manuel not to use Lidge for the third straight day given how many pitches he has thrown. Seanez, Eyre and Madson combined to go 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk. Seanez threw 22 pitches, Eyre three and Madson 13. Madson is the only guy of that group that rest should be a factor for. Madson was pitching for his third straight day, although he has thrown less than 15 pitches in each of the last two days after throwing 25 on Saturday.

The massive contribution of Madson this month has somehow escaped the attention it deserves. Madson has made 11 appearances this month and thrown 12 1/3 innings without being charged with a run. Nine hits and one walk while striking out 15.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jair Jurrjens went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz plays third against the righty after the big home run on Sunday. Ruiz catches. Slumpers Burrell and Werth stay in the lineup.

Rollins led off the first with a double. Utley was next and he hit an 0-1 pitch into the right field corner for another double. Rollins scored and the Phils led 1-0. Utley was left stranded at second, though. Werth grounded to short, Howard flew to left and Burrell flew to left.

Victorino led off the second with a single and went to second when Feliz followed with a ground ball to short. He went to third on a wild pitch and the Braves brought the infield in with Ruiz at the plate. With Victorino running on contact, Ruiz hit a ground ball to short and Johnson had to take the out at first as Victorino scored to put the Phils up 2-0. Happ grounded to second for the third out.

Utley walked with one out in the third, but Werth and Howard went down behind him.

Victorino singled with one out in the fourth. Feliz hit into a double-play behind him.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the fifth.

The game was tied at 2-2 when they hit in the sixth. Werth singled to center with one out and stole second as Howard struck out for the second out. Burrell flew to center for the third out.

They went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

Dobbs hit for Eyre to start the eighth and singled into center. Golson ran for Dobbs at first. Jeff Bennett tried to pick Golson off of first, but threw the ball away and Golson went all the way to third. Rollins grounded to second for the first out and Utley was walked intentionally. Werth hit a ground ball to third and Golson took off on contact. Prado made a strong throw home, but Golson slid in safely. Sammons didn’t do nearly as good a job of blocking the plate as Ruiz had done in the top of the inning, but Prado’s throw wasn’t as perfect as Rollins had been. Howard flew to center for the second out before Burrell got ahead 3-0 and then hit a 3-1 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 6-2. Victorino was next and lined a triple into right-center. Feliz flew to left for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double. He played a better game than that, though, getting the Phillies started in the first and making a big defensive play to throw Johnson out in the eighth.

Utley 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and an RBI. He has at least one hit in 14 of his last 15 games.

Werth 1-for-4 with an RBI. 2-for-his-last-18 with two singles.

Howard 0-for-4 and left five men on base.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a three-run homer. The home run was his 33rd on the year. He hit 37 in 2002, which was his career high.

Victorino 3-for-4 with a triple. He’s hitting 351/390/532 this month, but without the impact you would expect. He’s hitting behind the slumping Burrell and, often, ahead of Feliz.

Feliz 0-for-4 and left three men on base. 2-for-his-last-21.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with an RBI. Fantastic job to block the plate in the eighth.

Cole Hamels (14-9, 3.10) faces lefty Mike Hampton (2-3, 5.05) or, less likely, lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (3-11, 5.74) tonight. The Braves and Phillies web sites both list Reyes as the starting pitcher, but he started on Friday against the Mets. Hampton faced the Phils on Thursday and allowed four runs over seven innings. Only two of the runs were earned. Over his last two starts, Reyes has gone 5 1/3 innings and allowed nine runs on 12 hits (including four homers) and two walks. He has a 9.00 ERA since the All-Star break. Righties are hitting .315 against him for the season. Hamels started Thursday’s game against the Braves in Atlanta and allowed two runs over six innings. Opponents are hitting .271 against him in September — that’s higher than any month of his career with the exception of June, 2006, when they hit .295 against him.


Who’s hot and who’s not

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.

Coste 1-for-3.

JA Happ (1-0, 4.24) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (13-10, 3.72) tonight.


Better make that 32 good swings a year

I think the notion that Pat Burrell is only good for thirty good swings a year is absurd. Whether you agree or not, it’s hard to deny that he came up with a big swing last night. Every day seems to bring a new hero for the Phils, and last night it was the slumping Burrell’s turn. With one out and a man on first in the sixth inning of a 2-2 game, Burrell lined a 3-2 pitch from Mike Hampton out to left to put the Phils on top to stay.

Cole Hamels gave the Phils another solid start. The 24-year-old has now thrown an NL-leading 220 1/3 innings on the season. He’s allowed two runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts (in his start before that he allowed three runs, two of which were unearned).

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 4-3 to improve to 86-67 on the season. They sweep the three-game series and have won seven games in a row for the first time this year. They are 19 games above .500 for the first time since June 25, 1995 — they were 37-18 at the time and went 32-57 the rest of the way to end the season at 69-75 (the season was shortened due to the strike in ’94).

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out five.

He started the first with a 2-0 lead. He got the first two before Chipper Jones drew a walk. Brian McCann was next and the lefty blasted a 3-2 pitch off the wall in right for a double that scored Jones and cut the lead to 2-1. Omar Infante grounded back to Hamels to end the inning.

Casey Kotchman led off the first and again a lefty hurt Hamels. Kotchman drove a 1-1 pitch out to right-center to tie the game at 2-2. Hamels got the next three.

Martin Prado started the third with a single and Kelly Johnson bunted him to second. Chipper grounded to short before McCann walked to put men on first and second. Infante again grounded back to the pitcher to set Atlanta down.

Jeff Francoeur singled with one out in the fourth. Hamels struck out Josh Anderson and the pitcher Mike Hampton behind him.

Chipper doubled with two outs in the fifth. McCann grounded to third to leave him stranded.

Hamels started the sixth up 4-2. Infante led off with a single and went to second on a ground out by Kotchman and third on another by Francoeur. Anderson struck out swinging to leave him at third.

With two outs in the seventh, Johnson hit a ball to Howard that Howard flubbed for what should have been an error, but Johnson was given a hit. Pretty routine play for Howard, who had to come off the bag but should have made the play. Just an absurd call that allows Johnson to keep up a hit streak. Hamels walked Jones to put men on first and second before McCann hit a ground ball to short that Rollins didn’t handle for an error. This one allowed Jones to score and cut the lead to 4-3. Brent Lillibridge ran for McCann at first at the tying run and went to second on a wild pitch. Infante popped to Feliz to end the inning.

Romero pitched the eighth up a run. He got the first two before Anderson beat out an infield single to third. Yunel Escobar hit for the pitcher Julian Tavarez and popped to Utley in foul territory for the third out.

Lidge started the ninth and struck out Prado on three pitches for the first out. Johnson was next and got ahead 3-0 before he grounded a 3-2 pitch to Howard for the second out. Chipper was next and Lidge struck him out with a 1-2 slider to end the game.

Three innings for the pen in which they allow two hits and a walk and looked real solid. Madson allows a run that is unearned, but almost completely the fault of faulty defense behind him. Nice to see Romero throw a whole inning — the Phils are going to need him before it’s over for sure. Lidge looked much, much better. Madson threw 18 pitches, Lidge 13 and Romero 11.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Mike Hampton went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Feliz at third against the lefty. Ruiz catches.

Utley singled with one out in the first. Werth was next and doubled to center, going to third on an error by Anderson as Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Howard hit a sac fly to left that scored Werth and made it 2-0. Burrell grounded to first for the third out.

Ruiz doubled with two outs in the second, but Hamels grounded to first behind him.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the third.

Victorino walked with two outs in the fourth. Feliz was next and dumped a single into center that moved Victorino to third. Ruiz grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins was hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth, but Utley hit into a double-play behind him.

Werth started the sixth with a ground ball to third, but Chipper’s throw to first was bad and Werth was safe on the error. Howard was next and grounded to second with Werth forced at second for the first out. Burrell got ahead 2-0 before he lined a 3-2 pitch out to left for a two-run homer, putting the Phils up 4-2. Victorino followed with a double and Feliz was walked intentionally. Ruiz lined to third for the second out and Jones threw to first to double-off Feliz to end the frame.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh. Tad Iguchi hit for Hamels to start the inning, getting his first at-bat of the year as a Phillie, and Hampton got him to fly to center.

Howard walked with one out in the eighth. A single by Burrell moved him to second. Bruntlett ran for Burrell at first, but Victorino struck out and Feliz grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.

Rollins walked with two outs in the ninth. Utley grounded out behind him.

Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. 3-for-13 with a double in the series. 278/347/440 for the year. He’s hitting 338/427/492 in September.

Utley was 1-for-5 in the game. 2-for-13 with a double in the series. 287/376/528 for the year. 237/324/322 for the month.

Werth was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the game. 6-for-12 with two doubles, a homer and two walks in the series. He seems to be doing just fine playing every day. 283/379/521 for the year.

Howard 0-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. 5-for-10 with a triple, a home run, three walks and five RBI in the series. 248/337/534.

Werth and Howard, the new hear of the Phillies order, combine to go 11-for-22 with five walks in the series.

Burrell 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. 3-for-13 in the series. 252/367/510 for the year.

Victorino 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. 7-for-12 with two doubles in the series but just one RBI, which is in large part due to Burrell’s struggles. Victorino is red hot, 11-for-his-last-16, and not driving in runs because of where’s he’s hitting in the lineup. 289/351/434 for the year.

Feliz 1-for-3 with a walk in the game. 1-for-10 with three walks in the series. 250/302/400 for the year. Dobbs drew a walk in his only plate appearance of the series. He’s hitting 292/327/467 for the year. The walk was his only one in his last 42 at-bats.

Ruiz 1-for-4 in the game and left four men on base. 3-for-9 with a double, a home run and two walks in the series. 229/326/313 for the year. 294/368/500 for the year. Coste was 0-for-1 in the series and is hitting 268/326/434 for the year.

Brett Myers (10-11, 4.06) faces righty Josh Johnson (5-1, 3.30) tonight. Johnson has faced the Phils twice this season, holding them to a pair of runs over 12 2/3 innings. Moyer has a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 ratio in his 11 starts since the All-Star break.


JA saves the da

Sooner or later, and probably sooner, JA Happ is going to struggle. Opposing hitters are going to adjust and hit him hard, really hard, and his numbers will explode. Sometime in the next two or three years someone is sure to say that he just doesn’t have the mental makeup to succeed at this level. But if you watched last night, that’s going to be a tough one to swallow. In last night’s game in Atlanta, with 11 games left to play in the season and the Phils clinging to the slimmest of leads in the NL East, Happ tossed six shutout innings to beat the Braves and earn the first win of his career.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 6-1 to improve to 85-67 on the season. They are 18 games over .500 for the first time this year and have won six games in a row for the first time this year. They remain a half game ahead of the Mets in the NL East.

JA Happ got the start for the Phillies and went six shutout innings, allowing three hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, and he struck out three.

Casey Kotchman’s double against Happ in the fifth last night is the only extra-base hit that Phillies pitchers have allowed in the first two games of the series.

He started the first up 4-0. Chipper Jones singled with two outs. Brian McCann flew to right for the third out.

Jeff Francoeur singled with two outs in the second. Happ struck out Josh Anderson for the third out.

Happ set the Braves down in order in the third and again in the fourth.

Casey Kotchman started the fifth with a double. Francoeur was next and he hit a high foul ball behind third that Burrell made a nice play on after a long run, backhanding the ball and fighting off a fan. Anderson flew to center for the second out and Yunel Escobar hit for the pitcher Jair Jurrjens and drew a walk. Happ got Martin Prado to ground to short to leave both runners stranded.

He threw a 1-2-3 sixth.

Durbin pitched the seventh with the Phils up 4-0. He allowed a one-out single to Kotchman, but struck out Francoeur for the second out and got Anderson to ground out to first for the third.

He came back for the eighth with the Phils up 5-0. He got the first two before Kelly Johnson singled to center. Chipper was next and Durbin walked him. Romero came in to pitch to the lefty McCann and got McCann to pop to the mound to end the inning.

I don’t think I would have brought Durbin back for a second inning with a five-run lead. Romero has turned into a one-out guy — he hasn’t gotten more than one out in any of his last four appearances.

Condrey started the ninth with the Phils up 6-0. Francoeur singled with two outs and took second on defensive indifference. Greg Norton hit for the pitcher Blaine Boyer and singled into center. Francoeur scored and it was 6-1. Blanco flew to left for the third out.

The pen went three innings, allowing a run on four hits and a walk. Durbin pitched for the second straight day and threw 34 pitches. That seems unnecessary. Condrey threw 16 pitches, Romero two.

The Phillies lineup against righty Jair Jurrjens went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Big surprise to me to see Burrell in the lineup against the righty with the Phils expecting to see Hampton (it looks now like they will see another lefty, Jo-Jo Reyes) today. Werth third again with Victorino sixth. Feliz plays third and Ruiz catches.

Rollins grounded to first to start the game, but Utley and Werth followed with back-to-back walks before Howard laced a single into right. Utley scored to put the Phils up 1-0 with Werth holding at second. With Burrell at the plate, Werth stole third and McCann’s throw hit him and went into left field, allowing Werth to score and put the Phils up 2-0. Howard moved to second on the play and held second as Burrell flew to right for the second out. Victorino singled, moving Howard to third, and then stole second without a throw. Ruiz got behind 0-2 but hit a 2-2 pitch back through the middle for a two-run single. 4-0. Happ struck out for the third out.

Big two-out hit for Ruiz.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the second.

Howard walked to start the third. Burrell was next and lined a ball to second that Johnson caught. Johnson threw to second and doubled Howard off. Victorino flew to left for the third out.

Ruiz walked with one out in the fourth and Happ bunted him to second. Rollins reached on an infield single that moved Ruiz to third and stole second, but Utley struck out swinging to leave the runners stranded at second and third.

Werth started the fifth with a single, but Howard hit into a double-play behind him. Burrell flew to right for the third out.

Victorino started the sixth with an infield single. Feliz lined to short for the first out and Ruiz hit into a double-play to end the frame.

Utley walked with two outs in the seventh, but Werth struck out to leave him stranded.

Burrell singled with one out in the eighth and Bruntlett ran for him at first. Victorino followed with a single that moved Bruntlett to third. Feliz was next and he hit a double-play ball to second, but Johnson thought there were two outs and threw to first. Bruntlett scored from third to put the Phillies up 5-0. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Stairs hit for Romero with righty Blaine Boyer on the mound and hit a 1-0 pitch out to right to put the Phils up 6-0. Werth doubled after Rollins and Utley went down and Howard was walked intentionally. With two outs and men on first and second, Bruntlett struck out to end the frame.

Rollins was 1-for-5 with his 43rd stolen base.

Utley 0-for-3 with two walks.

Werth 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. 5-for-8 with two walks in the first two games of the set.

Howard 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. Also 5-for-8 with two walks in the first two games of the set.

Burrell 1-for-4.

Victorino 3-for-4. He’s 10-for-his-last-13. Really he is.

Feliz 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-his-last-11, but surely in the lineup tonight against the lefty Reyes.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. He has more RBI in the last two games than he did in all of July and August combined.

Cole Hamels (13-9, 3.11) faces lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (3-11, 5.50) tonight. Righties are hitting 307/387/498 against Reyes. He has an 8.48 ERA and a 2.13 ratio since the All-Star break. In 16 2/3 innings against the Phils this season he’s thrown to a 7.56 ERA and a 1.68 ratio. Coste is 2-for-2 with a homer against him, Burrell 4-for-8 with two doubles and a home run. Hamels pitched on Saturday and held the Brewers to two runs in 6 1/3 innings, both of which scored on a fly ball that Burrell misplayed into a double.


Papa don’t preach, but try to get Howard up late with somebody on base

On June 16, 1986, Jamie Moyer made his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs. Pitching against the Phillies and Steve Carlton, Moyer was hit hard but got the win. He allowed five runs over 6 1/3, taking a 7-2 lead into the seventh before the Phils scored three times in the inning to make the game close. James Parr was four months old.

Twenty-two years later Moyer is still on the mound and Parr has learned to walk. They pitched against each other last night. Neither of them pitched well, but Moyer had an advantage that Parr didn’t: All of the sudden his team refuses to lose.

The Phils went into the seventh in Atlanta down 7-4 and cut the lead to 7-6 with a pair of runs. In the eighth a two-run blast by Howard put them on top to stay.

Not without some drama, though. After Madson cruised through the bottom of the eighth, Lidge took the mound in the bottom of the ninth clinging to a one-run lead. If Lidge doesn’t get another out this season he’s already done more than enough for the Phils, but he brought to this game a look in his eye that we haven’t seen a whole lot of this season. I’m pretty sure it was holy-crap-how-am-I-gonna-get-anybody-out-with-this-slop. Lidge tried throwing a whole bunch of sliders out of the strike zone for a while and it didn’t work real well. He walked the bases loaded before striking out Gregor Blanco to end the game.

Despite the fantastic outcome for the Phils, it’s hard to ignore Burrell’s night. 0-for-5 with five strikeouts. Seemed worse than that somehow, though. It was a little tough not to notice with Burrell hitting fifth and Werth and Howard in the three and four spots combining to go 7-for-9 with a walk, a triple, two home runs and five RBI.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves last night, winning 8-7 to improve to 84-67 on the season. Seventeen games above .500 is the best mark of the season for the Phils. They have won five in a row. They lead the NL East by a half game.

Moyer got the start for the Phillies and went 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits and four walks. All of the hits were singles and he struck out six.

Moyer walked Chipper Jones with two outs in the first, but Brian McCann grounded out to Rollins on the right side of second base with the big shift to end the inning.

Omar Infante started the second with a single. Casey Kotchman was next and grounded to second with Infante forced at second for the first out. Jeff Francoeur flew to center for the second out before Moyer got Brent Lillibridge swinging for the third out.

He started the third up 3-0. He struck out the pitcher Parr to start the inning, but hit Josh Anderson. With Martin Prado at the plate, Anderson took off for second on a pitch in the dirt. Ruiz threw to second and they may have had Anderson, but Rollins dropped the ball. Moyer walked Prado and Chipper singled into left, loading the bases. McCann was next and he singled into center and everyone moved up a base. Anderson scored to cut the lead to 3-1. Moyer struck out Infante for the second out. With the bases still loaded, Kotchman laced the first pitch of his at-bat into center for a single. Prado and Jones both scored, with Chipper sliding in just safe ahead of the tag from Ruiz, to tie the game at 3-3. Francoeur flew to right to leave the runners stranded at first and third.

Moyer threw a 1-2-3 fourth with the Phils up 4-3.

With two outs in the fifth, McCann bunted for a single against the big shift. Moyer struck out Infante again to end the inning.

Francoeur singled with one out in the sixth. Moyer then walked Lillibridge and pinch-hitter Greg Norton, who was pinch-hitting for the pitcher Buddy Carlyle. Anderson was next and got ahead 3-1 and hit a ball hard to first, but Howard took it and went to first for the second out as Francoeur scored to tie the game at 4-4. Nice play by Howard. Durbin came in to pitch to Prado and lefty Kelly Johnson hit for Prado with two outs and men on second and third. Johnson hit an 0-1 pitch back through the middle just out of the reach of Rollins for a two-run single. 6-4. Johnson went to second as the throw came home, but it hit the mound and there was no play at the plate. Durbin walked Chipper intentionally. Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty McCann and McCann singled into center. Johnson scored without a throw to make it 7-4. Infante grounded to short for the third out.

Miserable inning for all three Phillies pitchers. Moyer lost his control and Durbin and Eyre both gave up big hits. The Braves scored four runs in the frame without an extra-base hit (they didn’t have one in the game).

Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh. He came back to throw a 1-2-3 eighth with the Phillies down 7-6.

Lidge entered in the ninth to protect an 8-7 lead and walked Chipper on four pitches to start the inning. McCann was next and popped a 3-2 pitch up to Utley for the first out. With Jones on the move, Infante smashed a ball to third but right at Feliz. Feliz threw to first for the second out with Jones going to second. Kotchman walked on five pitches to put men on first and second. Francoeur was next and worked the count full, then fouled off four pitches in a row before drawing a walk that loaded the bases and brought up Gregor Blanco. Lidge quickly got ahead of Blanco 0-2 before delivering a pitch in the dirt. Blanco tried to hold up and the third base ump ruled he checked his swing (looked like he went around to me). Lidge delivered another ball to make it 2-2 before Blanco went down swinging to end the game.

Lidge labored badly, needing 33 pitches to get through the inning. He seemed to use his slider almost exclusively at the start of the inning. He tried to throw fastballs past Francoeur and just couldn’t do it as Francoeur fouled off four straight before drawing the walk. McCann just missed the pitch he popped up to Utley and Infante smashed the ball to third but right at Feliz.

Great to see him get through the inning and it’s a big win for the Phils. But there’s a lot of reason for concern when it comes to the pen. Durbin and Eyre were both ineffective again. Madson pitched great, giving the Phils a 1-2-3 seventh down three runs and a 1-2-3 eighth up by one. Madson hasn’t been charged with a run over his last eight appearances.

Overall the pen went 3 1/3 innings and was charged with a run on two hits and four walks. Durbin allowed a two-run single to Johnson in the sixth and the runs were charged to Moyer. Lidge threw 33 pitches, Madson 22, Durbin and Eyre six each. Phils should try to let someone besides Lidge close tonight.

Romero didn’t appear in the game. Manuel may have thought the sixth was too early to bring him in to pitch to McCann. Romero has pitched just two innings in September — I’d be surprised if the reason for that is that he’s feeling fine and Manuel doesn’t want to use him.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty James Parr went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth drops to third in the lineup with Utley up to second. Feliz at third with Dobbs on the bench. Ruiz catches.

Rollins led off the first with a single, but the Phillies went in order behind him.

Victorino singled to right with one out in the second, but Feliz and Ruiz both flew out behind him.

Rollins and Utley doubled back-to-back with one out in the third. Rollins scored to put the Phils up 1-0. Werth was next and hit a 3-2 pitch out to left, scoring Utley to put the Phils up 3-0. Howard followed with a single before Burrell struck out for the second out. Victorino followed with a double to right, but Howard was thrown out at the plate (by a lot) to end the frame.

Ruiz hit a 2-1 pitch out to left with one out in the fourth, putting the Phillies up 4-3. Moyer and Rollins went down behind him.

Werth and Howard singled back-to-back with one out in the fifth. It put men on first and second for Burrell, who struck out for his third time in three at-bats. Victorino grounded to first for the third out.

Ruiz walked with one out in the sixth and Moyer bunted him to second. Rollins struck out swinging to leave him stranded with the Phils up 4-3.

The Phils started the seventh down 7-4. Werth singled with one out and scored when Howard followed and drove a ball to left that Infante played badly, turning it into a triple. 7-5. Burrell struck out again for the second out, but Victorino picked him up with a single into right. Howard scored and it was 7-6. Feliz followed with a ground ball to short. Lillibridge fielded but mis-flipped to second and everyone was safe. Dobbs hit for Ruiz with righty Jeff Bennett on the mound and walked to load the bases. Stairs hit for Eyre and ripped a ball down the left field line but just foul before he grounded to first to end the frame.

Awful, awful game for the struggling Burrell. But that was the worst of it, striking out with a man on third in the seventh with one out. Huge hit for Victorino. Howard overshadowed himself with the home run in the eighth, but the RBI-triple in the seventh and the defensive play he made on Anderson in the sixth were also both critical in the game.

Still down a run, Werth walked with two outs in the eighth. Lefty Mike Gonzalez came in to pitch to Howard and Howard hit a 3-2 pitch out to left to put the Phils up 8-7. Burrell struck out for the third out.

Feliz walked with one out in the ninth. Coste struck out for the second out before Jenkins hit for Madson and struck out to leave Feliz stranded.

Rollins 2-for-5 with a double.

Utley 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI. He’s hitting 255/328/353 in September.

Werth had a huge game that nobody will remember cause of Howard and Lidge. 3-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer.

Howard 4-for-5 with a triple, his 45th home run and three RBI. Two big hits late in the game and a nice play at first in the sixth.

Burrell 0-for-5 and struck out five times. Slumping terribly, but had shown some signs of breaking out of it against the Brewers.

Victorino 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Picked up Burrell with a huge hit in the seventh.

Feliz 0-for-4. 2-for-his-last-13. After slugging .290 in August, Feliz is slugging .290 in September. He has two extra-base hits since July 19 (75 at-bats).

Ruiz 1-for-2 with his fourth home run of the year and a walk.

JA Happ (0-0, 5.71) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (13-9, 3.62) tonight. Jurrjens has thrown to a 4.68 ERA with a 1.47 ratio in his 11 starts since the All-Star break. He has allowed just 11 home runs in 176 1/3 innings on the season. Feliz is 3-for-3 with a home run against him this season. Happ gets the nod over Kendrick for the Phils. He’ll be making his third start of the season. Among the 53 NL players who have thrown at least 140 innings this season, Kendrick’s 5.44 ERA is 51st (doesn’t count last night’s games). Since the end of July, Kendrick has made seven starts and allowed 29 earned runs in 29 innings (9.00 ERA). He hasn’t gone five innings in either of his last two starts and hasn’t gone six innings in any of his last six.


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