The Phils won half of the games they played yesterday, which was good enough to cut Atlanta’s lead in the division in half to a half game. After getting hammered 7-1 in the day game of a day-night double-header, the Phils came back strong in the night game and rolled to a 7-4 win.
Oswalt didn’t pitch especially well last night, he allowed three home runs for the first time this season, but he did manage to go seven innings. With Werth getting the game off, the Phils went to an odd lineup that worked out very nicely as Victorino, Polanco and Utley combined to go 7-for-13 with five RBI out of the top three spots in the order.
Madson and Lidge combined to deliver two more shutout innings for the Phils in game. Since the start of August, the pair has now combined to make 39 appearances in which they’ve allowed three earned runs, throwing to an 0.70 ERA and the same 0.70 ratio. Opponents have hit .154 against the pair in those outings and they’ve struck out 48 in 38 1/3 innings.
The Phillies are 79-60 on the season after beating the Florida Marlins 7-4 last night and are just a half game behind the Braves in the NL East. They are a game and a half ahead of the Giants for the Wild Card.
Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and three home runs. He struck out seven. It was the first time he had allowed three home runs in a game since 4/22/09 against the Dodgers.
Logan Morrison singled to right with one out in the first. Oswalt got Hanley Ramirez on a fly ball to center field for the second out before Dan Uggla popped to Utley at second to leave Morrison stranded.
Oswalt got the first two in the second before Mike Stanton blasted a 3-2 pitch way out to left, putting Florida up 1-0. Mike Rivera struck out looking for the third out.
Oswalt started the third up 5-1 and got the first two batters before walking Morrison on a 3-2 pitch. Ramirez was next and hit an 0-1 pitch out to left, cutting the lead to 5-3. Oswalt struck Uggla out swinging for the third out.
He threw a 1-2-3 fourth.
Maybin hit a 1-1 pitch out to left with two outs in the fifth, cutting the lead to 5-4. Oswalt struck Morrison out behind him for the third out.
Uggla singled with one out in the sixth and the Phils up 7-4, but Oswalt got the next two hitters behind him.
Oswalt allowed a double to pinch-hitter Scott Cousins with two outs in the seventh. Cameron Maybin popped to Utley for the third out.
Romero started the eighth and walked the lefty Morrison. Madson took over for Romero and set Ramirez, Uggla and Tracy down in order.
After a nifty run in which he didn’t allow a walk over eight appearances, Romero has walked two of the last four batters he has faced.
Madson hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last nine appearances. Over his last 23 appearances he has thrown 23 innings with an 0.78 ERA and opponents have hit 169/216/193 against him. He has struck out 32 in 23 innings.
Lidge pitched the ninth with a three-run lead. He allowed a two-out single to pinch-hitter Emilio Bonifacio, but struck Cousins out to end the game.
Over his last 17 games, Lidge has thrown to an 0.55 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. Opponents have hit 123/183/143 against him and he has struck out 18.
Lidge threw 21 pitches in the game. Romero and Madson were both under ten. None of the group has pitched more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against righty Anibal Sanchez went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Rollins (6) Ibanez (7) Brown (8) Ruiz. Werth on the bench with the lefty Brown in right — Werth started the day 2-for-19 with 13 strikeouts against Sanchez for his career. Victorino hits leadoff with Rollins dropped to fifth in the order. Ruiz behind the plate after Schneider caught the day game.
Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the first. Ryan Howard struck out swinging for the third out.
In the day game of the double-header, Mike Zagurski drilled Hanley Ramirez with a pitch in the back in the ninth inning.
The Phils were down 1-0 when they hit in the second. Rollins and Ibanez got things started with back-to-back singles that put runners on first and second with nobody out. Brown drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch that was probably a strike. Ruiz followed Brown and he walked on four pitches, forcing Rollins in to tie the game at 1-1. Oswalt flew to right for the first out with the runners holding. Victorino hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a single. Ibanez scored and Brown tried to score from second but was thrown out at the plate for the second out. It brought Polanco to the plate with two outs and men on first and third and the Phils up 2-1. Victorino stole second before Polanco ripped a ball down the left field line. A fan reached out and touched the ball, so Polanco had a ground-rule double with both runners scoring to put the Phils up 4-1. Utley followed that with a single into left, scoring Polanco. 5-1. Howard flew to center for the third out.
Stanton made a very nice, strong throw to get Brown at the plate for the second out, but it would have been a lot better not to get the runner thrown out trying to score from second. Before the Utley single it looked like the stolen base by Victorino got the Phils an extra-run on the Polanco ground-rule double, but Victorino would have scored anyway even without the stolen base on the single by Utley.
Up 5-3, the Phils went in order in the third. Brown hammered a ball to center, but Maybin took it on the warning track for the third out.
They went in order again in the fourth.
Their lead was cut to 5-4 when they hit in the fifth. Polanco led off and hit a ball high off the wall in left center. It rolled away from Maybin towards right field and Polanco had a triple. Utley followed with a single that scored Polanco to make it 6-4. Utley took second on a wild pitch before Howard walked. Rollins popped out before Ibanez doubled to center, scoring Utley (7-4) and sending Howard to third. Brown was walked intentionally to load the bases, but Ruiz flew to center with Howard holding third for the second out. Oswalt swung out swinging to leave the bases loaded.
Six men left on base for Oswalt through five innings. No RBI for Ruiz with one out and a man on third.
Victorino led off the sixth with a single and took second on a wild pitch by Jorge Sosa with two outs. Howard struck out swinging to leave him there.
The Phils went in order in the seventh.
Victorino singled with two outs in the eighth and Polanco walked behind him. Utley grounded to first to leave both men stranded.
Victorino was 3-for-5 with an RBI in the game. He’s 3-for-his-last-10 with three walks.
Polanco was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. He’s hitting 259/318/310 over his last 130 plate appearances.
Utley 2-for-4 with two RBI. 387/444/581 over his last 36 plate appearances.
Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He’s 11-for-65 (.169) with 24 strikeouts since returning from the DL.
Rollins was 1-for-4. 172/232/281 over his last 69 plate appearances. He’s on-basing .303 over his last 1,093 plate appearances.
Ibanez 2-for-4 with an RBI. 159/178/205 over his last 45 plate appearances.
Brown was 0-for-2 with two walks in a game for the first time in his career. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He’s 4-for-his-last-11 with two walks.
Vance Worley made his first career start in the first game of the double-header and the Phillies got pounded, losing 7-1. The 22-year-old righty Worley went 10-7 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.30 ratio in 28 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley this season. He pitched pretty well, holding the Fish to a pair of runs on six hits and a walk over five innings. The bigger problem was that the Phils couldn’t hit 28-year-old righty Adalberto Mendez. Mendez was making his Major League debut and held the Phils to a single and two walks over six shutout innings.
Worley allowed a run in the first on a walk, a wild pitch and a single. Chad Tracy homered off of him in the second to extend the lead to 2-0. Mike Stanton hit a two-run homer off of Durbin in the eighth and Mike Zagurski got knocked around in the ninth as he gave up three runs and Florida extended the lead to 7-0. A single by Werth in the bottom of the ninth, just the third hit of the day for the Phils, knocked Howard in for the team’s only run.
Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.25) faces righty Chris Volstad (9-9, 4.82) tonight. Blanton gave up three home runs in 4 1/3 innings as he was charged with six runs against the Rockies. Prior to that start he had been pitching very well. He was 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA and a 1.29 ratio over his last nine starts. Volstad was ejected from his last start after Nyjer Morgan charged the mound after Volstad threw behind him. He has a 5.79 ERA and a 1.58 ratio in his 12 starts away from home this season.
You may have noticed we’ve been afflicted by many a technical problem lately. I’d say that we’re back for good now, but, well, we both know that’s not the case.