The Phillies got fantastic pitching last night, which apparently is what they’re going to need to have a chance. Hamels took a shutout into the eighth. Romero, Durbin and Lidge finished it off to help get the Phils a 4-0 win.
After scoring 115 runs in 29 games in August, about 3.97 runs per game, the Phils have scored four runs in each of their first two games in September. In August they were tied for tenth in the National League in runs scored
The Phillies beat the Washington Nationals last night, winning 4-0 to improve to 76-63 on the season. They are two games behind the Mets in the NL East.
Cole Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing five hits and three walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a triple. He struck out six.
Ryan Zimmerman doubled with two outs in the first, but Lastings Milledge grounded back to Hamels to leave him stranded.
Ronnie Belliard started the second with a soft ground ball to short that went for a single. Elijah Dukes followed with a ground-rule double to left-center. Jesus Flores was next and hit a line drive into center. Victorino made a nice sliding catch and threw to second where Dukes was doubled-off. Belliard held third. Alberto Gonzalez grounded to second for the third out.
Willie Harris walked with two outs in the third. Zimmerman flew to center for the third out.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 fourth.
Wil Nieves led off the fifth with a single. Hamels struck Gonzalez out for the first out before the pitcher John Lannan bunted Nieves to second. Anderson Hernandez lined back to the pitcher for the third out.
Hamels threw a 1-2-3 sixth.
He walked Dukes on four pitches with one out in the seventh, but Nieves hit into a double-play behind him.
Hamels struck out Gonzalez to start the eighth. Pinch-hitter Aaron Boone followed with a walk and Hernandez moved Pete Orr, who ran for Boone, to second with a single. Romero entered the game to pitch to Harris and struck him out for the second out. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Zimmerman and got him on a ground ball to short to end the inning.
Lidge started the ninth with a 4-0 lead. Milledge led off with a triple, but was left stranded as Belliard grounded back to the pitcher, Dukes struck out swinging and Nieves grounded to second.
The pen went 1 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing a one hit, the triple by Milledge. Durbin and Romero each faced one batter and got him out. Lidge threw 18 pitches, Romero and Durbin were both under ten.
The Phillies’ lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Werth (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Victorino (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth hits third against the lefty with the slumping Burrell fifth. Victorino dropped to sixth. Ruiz catches.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first and second.
Feliz led off the third with a single. Ruiz hit a ground ball to short and Feliz was forced at second for the first out. Hamels bunted Feliz to second for the second out. Rollins singled into left and Ruiz scored on a what would have been a close play at the plate if Flores had caught the ball. Rollins going to second with the Phils up 1-0. Utley followed with a single to left and Rollins scored to make it 2-0. A single by Werth moved Utley to third. With Howard at the plate, Lannan threw to first and Utley stormed home. He collided into Flores, who somehow held the ball for the third out. Flores was injured on the play and had to be carted off the field.
Howard started the fourth with a double. Burrell grounded to short for the first out and Howard took third. Victorino grounded to short and Feliz popped to second.
Victorino can’t bring the runner in with one out and a man on third.
Rollins walked with two outs in the fifth, but Utley flew to right behind him.
Werth started the sixth with a walk. Howard lined to third and Burrell struck out before Werth stole second. Victorino grounded softly back to the pitcher for the third out.
Feliz and Ruiz started the seventh with back-to-back singles. Hamels hit for himself with a 2-0 lead, grounding to third and moving the runners to second and third. Rollins was next and he singled into right. Feliz scored to make it 3-0 and Ruiz went to third. Utley hit a ground ball to second and Hernandez threw to first for the second out. Rollins was caught up between first and second, but Ruiz scored before he was tagged out, putting the Phils up 4-0.
The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth and 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Rollins was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI.
Utley 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Werth 1-for-3 with a walk.
Howard 1-for-4 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit in the game for the Phils.
Burrell 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-14 with seven strikeouts.
Victorino 0-for-4. 3-for-his-last-20. No extra-base hits in his last 28 at-bats. One walk in his last 39 at-bats.
Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.69) faces lefty Odalis Perez (6-10, 4.14) tonight. Righties have hit .308 against Perez this season, lefties .207. He has a 5.00 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star break. Blanton is 1-0 with a 3.92 ERA in eight starts with the Phillies. He hasn’t gotten an out in the seventh inning in any of his last four starts. He faced the Nats on August 19 in Philadelphia and allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings.