It would take a miracle to get the Phillies into the post-season at this point. If the miracle is coming, it sure is slow-moving. The Phillies dropped two of three against the Braves this weekend and are 4-4 over their last eight.
The Phils came out strong against Atlanta, homering four times in the opener as they took game one 6-2. Halladay was miserable on Saturday, though, allowing seven runs over 1 2/3 innings as the Braves evened the series with an 8-2 win.
Yesterday Cliff Lee pitched very well again, but the Phils managed just two hits in the game, both singles, and fell 2-1.
The Phillies are 77-76 on the year after losing to the Atlanta Braves 2-1 yesterday afternoon. Atlanta takes the series two games to one. The Phils remain in third place in the NL East, 15 1/2 games out of first. They are five back for the Wild Card.
Lee got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing two runs on nine hits. Only one of the runs was earned. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and a home run. He struck out 11 and didn’t walk a batter.
Lee has thrown to a 1.56 ERA over his last eight starts.
Reed Johnson was the first batter of the game and singled softly to center. Lee struck Martin Prado out for the first out before Jason Heyward grounded to Utley with Johnson forced at second for the second. Freddie Freeman moved Heyward to third with a single, but Lee struck Dan Uggla out to leave the runners at the corners.
Jeff Baker grounded to second for the first out of the second before David Ross hit a 2-1 pitch out to center, putting Atlanta up 1-0. Andrelton Simmons grounded to short for the second out and Lee got the pitcher Tim Hudson on a fly ball to right for the third.
Johnson and Prado singled back-to-back to start the third, putting runners on first and second for Heyward. Heyward hit a ball that Lee didn’t handle cleanly for an error, which loaded the bases. Lee struck Freeman out for the first out before Uggla flew to center for the second, deep enough for everyone to move up a base. Johnson scored and Atlanta led 2-0. Baker grounded to Utley to leave the runners at second and third.
Shaky defense for the Phils in the inning. Lee can’t handle the ball hit by Heyward for an error. Brown misread the ball hit by Prado, which he wound up deflecting for a single.
Hudson doubled to center with two outs in the fourth, moving up to third when Mayberry mishandled the ball for another error. Lee struck Johnson out swinging to leave Hudson at third.
Prado doubled to center to start the fifth, but Lee got Heyward on a ground ball to third for the first out and struck out Freeman and Uggla both swinging to leave Prado stranded.
Lee struck out Baker and Ross to start the sixth. Simmons was next and singled to left on a ball deflected by Frandsen. Hudson fouled out to Howard to leave Simmons at first.
The lead was cut to 2-1 when Lee set the Braves down on three ground balls in the seventh.
Freeman singled to center to start the eighth. Lee got Uggla on a fly ball to right for the first out and struck out Baker and Ross.
Papelbon struck out Simmons and Johnson in 1-2-3 ninth. Lefty Lyle Overbay hit for the pitcher Eric O’Flaherty and lined to short for the second out.
Papelbon has allowed two hits and three walks over nine scoreless innings over his last nine appearances. He has an 0.65 ERA and an 0.76 ratio in 27 2/3 innings over his last 28 appearances.
He threw 13 pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against righty Tim Hudson went (1) Rollins (2) Pierre (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Ruiz (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Frandsen. Pierre in left against the righty. Brown hits ahead of Mayberry.
The Phillies went in order in the bottom of the first.
Down 1-0 they went in order in the second.
The Phillies were down 2-0 when Mayberry led off the third with a single. Frandsen bunted, but the ball hit him out of the box for the first out. Lee bunted Mayberry to second with the second. Rollins grounded to first to end the inning.
Utley was hit by a pitch with one out in the fourth. Howard and Mayberry went down behind him.
Frandsen singled with two outs in the fifth. Lee grounded to second to leave him stranded.
Rollins walked to start the sixth, took second on a bad pickoff attempt by Hudson and was bunted to third by Pierre. Utley flew to right for the second out on a diving play by Heyward. Rollins tagged and scored, cutting the lead to 2-1. Howard grounded to Simmons to end the inning.
The Phillies went in order in the seventh.
With one out in the eighth, Nix hit for Lee. Lefty Eric O’Flaherty came in to pitch to Nix and Wigginton hit for Nix. Wigginton grounded to short for the second out and Rollins fouled out to Freeman for the third.
Righty Craig Kimbrel set the Phillies down in order in the ninth.
Rollins was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game. 0-for-10 with two walks in the series. 250/314/429 on the year.
Pierre 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-9 with a triple in the set. 313/356/379 for the year. He’s hitting .408 in September.
Utley 0-for-2 with an RBI. 1-for-9 with a walk and a home run in the series. 261/375/451 on the year. 370/500/500 over his last 64 plate appearances.
Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 2-for-12 with two home runs and six strikeouts in the series. 225/297/438 for the year. 181/239/390 over his last 117 plate appearances.
Ruiz 0-for-3 yesterday and 3-for-10 with a walk and a home run in the series. 328/396/542 for the year.
Brown 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 0-for-8 with a walk in the series. 241/330/386 for the season.
Mayberry 1-for-3 with one of two hits for the Phils. 1-for-10 with five strikeouts in the series. 255/309/412 for the year. He’s 5-for-his-last-27 with five singles and nine strikeouts.
Frandsen 1-for-3 with the other single. 3-for-9 with a triple and a home run in the series. His slugging percentage for the year jumps from .388 to .416 for the season in the set. 329/383/416 for the year.
The Phillies don’t play today. Nats tomorrow.