It’s been quite a month for the Phillies. After winning seven in a row they are 15-3 in September and have outscored their opponents by an average of two runs a game — in their 18 games this month they have scored 109 runs (6.06 per game) and allowed 73 (4.06 per game).
Yesterday the Phils put four runs on the board in a flash in the bottom of the ninth. Down 6-3 to start the inning, Polanco singled and Utley doubled before Howard brought them both home with a two-run single. Werth smashed a long home run to center to give the Phils the walkoff win.
If they had gotten to Ibanez you would have to have liked his chances as well. Ibanez was 7-for-11 with a walk in the series and hitting 375/437/609 so far this month. The middle of the order was a wrecking crew against the Nats this weekend. All four of Utley, Howard, Werth and Ibanez hit over .330 in the series. The four combined to go 20-for-44 (.455) with five home runs.
The Phillies are 89-61 on the season after beating the Washington Nationals 7-6 yesterday afternoon. With the win the Phils complete the three-game sweep in which they outscored Washington 21-9. Atlanta swept the Mets this weekend and the Phils are three games ahead of the Braves in the NL East. Atlanta leads the Padres by 2 1/2 games for the Wild Card.
Blanton got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both home runs. He struck out eight and has allowed 15 runs in 22 2/3 innings over his last four starts.
He got two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 first and another in a 1-2-3 second.
Willie Harris led off the third and homered to right, putting the Nats up 1-0. Ivan Rodriguez followed that with a single and the pitcher Yunesky Maya struck out trying to bunt him to second for the first out. Blanton struck Danny Espinoza out swinging for the second out and got Ian Desmond to ground to Utley for the third.
Adam Dunn singled with one out in the fourth. Blanton struck Roger Bernadina out swinging for the second out as Dunn was thrown out trying to steal second to end the frame.
The Phils were up 2-1 when Blanton started the fifth. Michael Morse led off with a single to right. Blanton struck Harris out behind him for the first out before Rodriguez moved Morse to second with a single to right. Maya bunted the ball hard to first. Howard fielded and threw to third to get Morse for the second out and Blanton struck Espinosa out swinging to leave the runners at first and second.
Great no-throw-the-ball-into-the-stands by Howard. Second time in the game that Maya couldn’t bunt the runners over.
Blanton started the sixth with a 3-1 lead. Ian Desmond led off with a single and Ryan Zimmerman flew to left behind him for the first out. Desmond stole second before Dunn drew a walk on a close 3-2 pitch. Bernadina popped to short for the second out and it brought Morse to the plate with two down and men on first and second. Blanton got ahead 1-2, but then threw two straight balls and Morse hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for a three-run homer that put Washington on top 4-3. Harris grounded to first for the third out.
Baez pitched the seventh and got the first two hitters before Espinosa homered to left, extending the lead to 5-3. Desmond flew to Werth, who had taken over for Victorino after Victorino was ejected, for the third out.
For Baez it was the first time he has been charged with a run in his last five appearances.
Romero started the eighth. He got the first two hitters before Bernadina doubled to left. Romero walked the righty Morse intentionally to put men on first and second for Harris. Harris lined a single to left, scoring Bernadina (6-3) and Morse took second. Contreras came in to pitch to the righty Rodriguez and got him on a fly ball to right for the third out.
For Romero it was the first time he was charged with a run in his last ten games.
Worley pitched the ninth. He allowed a two-out single to Desmond, but struck Zimmerman out to leave Desmond stranded.
The Phillies lineup against righty Yunesky Maya went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Schneider catches the day game with Valdez at short and Victorino hitting leadoff.
Utley singled with two outs and Howard was walked intentionally behind him. Werth grounded to short to leave both runners stranded.
Ibanez started the second with a walk and was balked to second. Schneider reached on an infield single and Ibanez took third. Valdez popped to short for the first out. Blanton tried to bunt and struck out for the second. Victorino flew to right to leave both runners stranded.
Nothing for the Phils with men on first and third and nobody out. Valdez comes up empty with nobody out and a man on third.
Down 1-0, the Phils went in order in the third.
Werth and Ibanez singled back-to-back to start the fourth. It put men on first and third for Schneider and he cleared the bases with a double to center, putting the Phils up 2-1. Valdez fouled out to first, Blanton flew to center and Victorino popped to short to leave Schneider at second.
Again 8-9-1 in the order don’t have any luck moving the runner along.
Polanco started the fifth and was hit by a pitch. Utley flew to right for the first out and Polanco stole second as Howard struck out for the second. Werth lined a two-out single into left and Polanco scored to put the Phils up 3-1. Ibanez moved Werth to second with a single and the Phils pulled off a double steal that put runners on second and third for Schneider with two down. Schneider struck out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.
Down 4-3, the Phils went in order in the sixth. Dobbs hit for Blanton and popped to second for the second out. Victorino struck out for the third out, slammed his helmet and was ejected from the game. Francisco went in to play right with Werth moving to center.
Polanco and Utley singled back-to-back to start the seventh with the Phils down 5-3. It put men on first and second, but Howard and Werth both struck out and Ibanez lined to second.
The Phils were down 6-3 when Schneider started the eighth with a single. Valdez popped to first for the first out, Francisco popped to second for the second. Gload hit for Contreras and struck out to leave Schneider at first.
Polanco singled to start the ninth and went to third on a double by Utley. Howard singled into center and the lead was cut to 6-5. Werth hit a 3-2 pitch out to center to give the Phils a 7-6 win.
Victorino 0-for-4 in the game. 3-for-11 with three walks and an RBI in the series. 266/332/440 for the year. 389/459/537 over his last 61 plate appearances.
Polanco 2-for-4 yesterday and 3-for-14 in the series. 226/291/290 over his last 21 games. 298/337/392 for the year.
Utley 3-for-5 with a double. 4-for-11 with a double and two walks in the series. 277/390/454 for the year.
Howard 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBI. 3-for-9 with a home run and four walks in the series. He has walked 11 times in his last 28 plate appearances and is hitting 280/353/517 for the year.
Werth 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. 6-for-13 with three home runs and six RBI in the series. He has homered three days in a row. 292/381/521 for the year.
Ibanez 2-for-3 with a walk. 7-for-11 with a home run and a walk in the series. 467/529/800 over his last 51 plate appearances. 274/354/444 on the season.
Schneider 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI yesterday in his only action in the series. 7-for-his-last-14 with three walks, a double, a home run and five RBI. 241/338/397 on the year.
Valdez 0-for-4 and left four men left on base. 4-for-12 with two doubles in the set. 256/293/360 on the year.
Cole Hamels (11-10, 3.01) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (7-6, 4.64) tonight. Hamels has allowed one run over 28 2/3 innings in his last four starts. He threw a season-high 127 pitches in his last outing. Jurrjens hasn’t fared well in either of his last two starts, allowing 11 earned runs over 8 2/3 innings. Lefties are hitting 294/371/503 against him and righties 250/301/423. He has a 3.51 ERA in his ten starts at home and a 5.81 ERA in his ten starts on the road.
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