Afer losing the final game of the series with the Washington Nationals, the Phillies did what they needed to do, having beaten the Florida Marlins in the 1st two games of their series; on Friday by a 14-2 score and on Saturday by a 4-3 score.
And doing so, the season for the Phillies came down to Saturday’s West Coast Games. But both Los Angeles and San Diego won their games giving them 87-74 marks with Sunday’s games to be played. The best the Phillies can finish is 86-76. So, as Dandy Don would say, “The party’s over.” One cannot help but to think back to blown home run call by both the umpires and the Phillies bench on Utley’s right field drive down the foul-line against the Washington Nationals and wonder, what if…
ON FRIDAY, lefthander Jamie Moyer (11-14) pitched another fine ballgame beating the Marlins for the 3rd time in the month of September. Moyer was relieved after 5 innings due to the Phillies big lead. The bullpen held the Marlins to but 1 8th inning run as the Phillies breezed in this one.
The Marlins scored 1st in the 1st inning as 3rd baseman Miguel Cabrera (25 HRs, 113 RBIs, .340 BA), possessor of the NLs 2nd leading batting average drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Phils tied the game in the 2nd inning as 3rd baseman Abraham Nunez (2 HRs, 32 RBIs) got an RBI on a ground out to the pitcher.
In the 3rd, 4th and 5th innings, the Phillies scored their runs in waves.
In the 3rd inning, leftfielder Pat Burrell (29 HRs, 95 RBIs) hit the 1st of his 2 homers for game, a 3 run shot to left field off of losing Florida starter Brian Moehler (7-11) and the Phils were up 4-1. In the 4th inning, the Phils jumped all over Moehler and relief pitcher Matt Herges (1-3) for 6 runs, 3 runs against each as shortstop Jimmy Rollins (25 HRs, 83 RBIs, .280 BA) doubled in a run and both centerfielder Shane Victorino 6 HRs, 46 RBIs, .289 BA) and 2nd baseman Chase Utley (32 HRs, 102 RBIs, .310 BA) singled in runs. With the bases loaded, Herges plunked rightfielder David Dellucci (13 HRs, 39 RBIs, .292 BA) with a pitch forcing in another run. Catcher Chris Coste (7 HRs, 32 RBI, .328 BA) capped the inning’s scoring with a ringing 2 run double to left. In the 5th inning, reliever Yusmeiro Petit (1-1) replaced Herges and Victorino tagged Petit with a run-scoring triple. 1st baseman Ryan Howard (58 HRs, 148 RBIs, .313 BA), still looking for homer #59 and not getting much to hit, drove in a run with a ground out to 1st base. Burrell followed with his 2nd homer of the game off of Petit, also to leftfield. 13-1 Phillies.
Victorino capped the Phillies scoring for the game in the 6th inning with a run-scoring double, the 4th Phillies run off of Petit in 2 inning of pitching. Victorino had an outstanding game going 5 for 6 and driving 3 runs. Burrell went 3 for 3 with the 2 homers and driving 4 runs.
In the meantime, the Phillies bullpen took over from Moyer and shut down the Marlins the rest of the way with the exception of pinch hitter Jeremy Hermida’s bases loaded ground out scoring Florida’s 2nd run in the 8th innng.
ON SATURDAY, Phils starter Randy Wolf (4-0) lasted 1 2/3 innings as Florida scored 2 runs in the first inning on back-to-back homers by Cabrera and by leftfielder Josh Willingham (25 HRs, 74 RBIs, .277 BA) and 1 run in the 2nd on starting pitcher lefthander Scott Olsen’s (12-10) RBI single. In the Phillies 2nd inning, catcher Mike Lieberthal (9 HRs, 36 RBIs, .273 BA) singled in a run and 3rd baseman Abraham Nunez singled in 2 runs. After 2 innings, the game was tied at 3-3.
The Phillies scored the winning run in the 3rd as 1st baseman Ryan Howard singled in a run with a bloop single into shallow right field.
Neither team would score any further. Ryan Madison (11-9) relieved Wolf in the 2nd as manager Manuel took no chances of falling far behind with the NL wild card possibly on the line. Madison pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and was awarded the victory. 4 other Phils relievers shut down the Marlins the rest of the way with closer Tom Gordon (3-4, 3.34 ERA, S34) nailing down the save. Olsen lasted 6 innings and was the losing pitcher. The Marlins bullpen closed down the Phils the rest of the way.
The Phillies hope to end their exciting late-season charge on an optimistic winning note as starter Brett Myers (12-7, 3.94 ERA) goes for his 13th win. The Marlins counter with lefthander Dontrelle Willis (12-12, 3.89) who had somewhat an off-year following his standout 22-10 season in 2005.
And so, the 2006 regular season is nearly history. This blog will continue with coverage of the the MLB post-season as well as with continuing All Time Baseball Highlights.
NOTE: Sunday being Erev Yom Kippur, this blog will be inactive until either Monday night or Tuesday and will then continue with pertinent regular season last day commentary as well post season coverage and All-Time post season highlights.
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