The Phils clinched the NL East this weekend with a 9-2 win over the Cardinals on Saturday. Just about everything went right for the Phillies in that game — Oswalt looked great throwing seven shutout innings and Ibanez hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth as the Phils scored six times to blow the game open.
The rest of the series hasn’t gone quite as well, with the Cards taking the other two games. The most worrisome developments of the two losses were continued struggles by Bastardo and more home runs allowed by Cole Hamels. Yadier Molina homered off of Bastardo in the eighth inning of game one of the set, breaking a 1-1 tie. In last night’s game, Hamels went seven innings and allowed four runs, all four of which scored on a pair of two-run homers.
After his appearance on September 5, Bastardo was looking unstoppable. He had thrown to a 1.35 ERA for the year and struck out 66 in 53 1/3 innings while opponents had hit .110 against him for the season. Since then he has faced 15 batters over five appearances and nine of them have reached base on four hits and five walks.
Through the end of July, Hamels had allowed eight home runs in 152 innings over 22 starts (0.47 home runs per nine innings). In his last nine starts he has allowed nine home runs over 54 innings(1.47 home runs per nine).
On Friday, the Phils lost the opener of the series 4-2 in 11 innings. Worley started for the Phils and walked three in the top of the second, with a walk to Rafael Furcal with the bases loaded forcing in David Freese to put St Louis up 1-0. The Phils tied it up in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by Polanco and Mayberry. It stayed tied until the eighth, when Yadier Molina homered off of Bastardo with one out to put the Cards up 2-1. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Howard delivered a pinch-hit double and came in to score when Corey Patterson dropped Ruiz’s fly ball in the right field corner after a long run, tying the game at 2-2. Schwimer started the ninth for the Phils and allowed a leadoff double to Furcal. Furcal would come in to score on a single by Adron Chambers and Tyler Greene followed that with an RBI-double that put St Louis on top to stay at 4-2.
Saturday the Phils won 9-2 with the help of a strong outing from Oswalt and a grand slam from Ibanez to clinch the NL East. Oswalt threw seven shutout innings and Stutes took over in the top of the eighth with a 3-0 lead. Stutes got just two outs but was charged with two runs on four hits before Lidge come on to get Allen Craig to set the Cards down with men on first and second. With their lead cut to a single run, the Phils scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth, getting RBI-singles from Victorino and Pence and a slam from Ibanez, extending their lead to 9-2. Madson allowed a two-out single in the ninth, but got Furcal to ground to second and end the game.
The Phillies lost 5-0 last night.
The Phillies are 98-53 on the year losing 5-0 to the St Louis Cardinals last night. St Louis has won two of the first three games in the four-game set.
Hamels got the start for the Phillies last night and went seven innings, allowing four runs on seven hits. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two two-run home runs. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter.
Ryan Theriot was the first batter of the game and he lined to center for the first out. Allen Craig was next and he doubled to left, putting a man on second for Albert Pujols. Pujols hit the first pitch he saw from Hamels out to left, putting St Louis on top 2-0. David Freese and Lance Berkman both struck out swinging to set St Louis down.
Yadier Molina led off the second and grounded out to Utley. Rafael Furcal followed with a bunt single and Furcal stole second as Hamels struck Jon Jay out swinging for the second out. Chris Carpenter struck out swinging to leave Furcal at second.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 third.
In the fourth, Berkman singled with one out. Hamels got Molina to ground into a double-play behind him.
Hamels struck out Furcal and Jay as he set St Louis down in order in the fifth.
Theriot doubled to start the sixth and Allen Craig hit an 0-2 pitch out to left-center behind him. 4-0. Hamels got the next three hitters in order.
Jay singled to right with two outs in the seventh, but Hamels got Carpenter on a fly ball to right for the third out.
Blanton started the eighth and got Theriot on a ground ball before Craig homered again, hitting a 1-2 pitch out to center to make it 5-0. Blanton struck out Pujols and Freese behind Craig.
Second outing for Blanton since his return — he’s allowed a run over two innings and struck out three.
Righty Justin De Fratus made his debut for the Phillies in the ninth. He got Berkman on a fly ball to center for the first out and Molina on a pop to short for the second. He walked Furcal on five pitches, but got Jay to ground to third to end the frame.
Blanton threw 19 pitches in the game and De Fratus 13.
The Phillies lineup against righty Chris Carpenter went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Pence (5) Ibanez (6) Polanco (7) Gload (8) Schneider. Howard and Ruiz rest to start the game, with lefties Gload and Schneider starting against the righty Carpenter.
The Phils were down 2-0 when they hit in the bottom of the first. Victorino and Utley singled back-to-back with one out, putting runners on first and second for Pence. Pence grounded into a double-play to end the inning.
Polanco singled with one out in the second, but Gload grounded into a double-play behind him.
Schneider and Hamels both struck out to start the third before Rollins singled to left. Victorino grounded to first to end the inning.
Utley and Pence singled back-to-back to start the fourth, putting men on first and second with nobody out. Ibanez hit into a double-play and Polanco grounded to third, leaving Utley at third.
Hamels singled to right with two outs in the fifth, but Rollins flew to center to leave him stranded.
Victorino and Utley went down to start the sixth with the Phils down 4-0. Pence hit a ball to short that Furcal fielded, but his throw to first was bad for an error. Ibanez grounded to second to leave Pence stranded.
Polanco walked to start the seventh, but Gload and Schneider went down behind him. With two outs, Polanco still on first and Carpenter still pitching for the Cardinals, Bowker hit for Hamels and struck out swinging for the third out.
Bowker 0-for-8 with six strikeouts since joining the Phillies.
Down 5-0, Utley singled with two outs in the eighth. Pence struck out swinging to leave him at first.
Gload walked with two outs in the eighth, but Schneider struck out swinging behind him.
The Phillies didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game.
Rollins was 1-for-4 in the game. 5-for-14 in the first three games of the four-game set.
Victorino 1-for-4 in the game. 3-for-10 with a homer so far in the series.
Utley 3-for-4 in the game. 3-for-13 so far in the series. 5-for-his-last-29 coming into last night’s game.
Pence 1-for-4. 3-for-12 with two walks and a double in the series so far.
Ibanez 0-for-4 and left three men on base. 1-for-10 with a grand slam in the series.
Polanco 1-for-3 with a walk. 4-for-11 with a double and three walks in the series. 306/389/387 so far in September.
Gload 0-for-3 with a walk. 5-for-17 in September with five singles.
Schneider 0-for-4 and struck out three times. He’s hitting .171 for the year and on-basing .234.
Halladay (18-5, 2.34) faces righty Kyle Lohse (13-8, 3.82) tonight.
Ryan Howard will have a cortisone shot in his left ankle.