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Archive for July, 2008

Mets Top Phillies on Reyes’ Homer, Wagner’s Save

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

After Brett Myers’ wildness contributed to 3 Met runs and after centerfielder Shane Victorino and rightfielder Geoff Jenkins hit back-to-back second inning solo shots and, with the game tied 3-3 in the sixth inning, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes belted a 1 out, 3 run homer off of reliever  Ryan Madson to put the Mets in the lead.  John Maine pitched 7 fine innings, 2 Met relievers held off the Phillies in the eighth and closer Billy Wagner sealed the 6-3 win in the ninth.

The loss dropped the Phils into a tie for 1st place in the NL East with the Mets.  The Florida Marlins remained 1 game off the pace by losing to the 4th place Atlanta Braves who are 6 games back.

It appeared that Myers picked up where he left off before being sent down, i.e. wildness, lack of pitch command.  After retiring Reyes on an infield grounder to open the game, he walked the next 4 hitters as the Mets scored their 1st run.  Then leftfielder Marlon Anderson grounded out driving in the 2nd run.  Myers got 2nd baseman Damon Easley to ground out to retire the side.

After the Phils knotted the score in the second inning against Maine on Victorino’s and Jenkins’ back-to-back homers, Myers got the next 3 Mets’ hitters on grounders, having gotten the 1st 6 outs of the game on infield groundballs. 

Myers opened the third inning by getting rightfielder Endy Chavez on yet another grounder as Phils 2nd baseman Chase Utley got a lot of defensive exercise during the 1st three innings.  After getting the 1st out, Myers ran into trouble again.  A walk, a hit batsman and a single loaded the bases.  Myers struck out Anderson, but Easley followed with an infield single between 2nd and 3rd which shortstop Jimmy Rollins got to but had no play, driving in the Mets’ 3rd run and giving them the lead.

Myers retired 6 of the next 7 Mets he faced, the last 5 in a row, in the fourth and fifth innings before Charley Manuel made a pitching change to start the sixth inning.  The righthander threw 95 pitches, 61 were fastballs, however, only 27 were strikes.  He gave up 3 runs on 3 hits while walking 5 and striking out 2.

Meanwhile, the Phils tied the score at 3-3 in the fifth inning as catcher  Carlos Ruiz opened with a single to right and advanced to 2nd base as Myers’ laied down a sacrifice bunt to 1st base.  Rollins followed with a line double in the gap in right centerfield scoring Ruiz.  But then Maine got Utley to pop out to 3rd and struck out leftfielder Pat Burrell leaving Rollins stranded on 2nd.

Myers complained upon being pulled after 5 innings.  MLB.com’s Keven Horan noted;

The right-hander pointed to his retiring the Mets in order in the fifth inning as evidence that he should stay on the mound.

But Manuel brought out reliever Ryan Madson who gave up consecutive singles to open the sixth inning before striking out Maine for 1st out.  Then Reyes pounded a Madson change-up way out to rightfield and the Mets took a 6-3 lead and were never touched thereafter.  Madson was charged with the loss.

Winning pitcher Maine left after seven innings having tossed 104 pitches giving 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and stiking out 5.  Two relievers got the Phils out in the eighth as only 1 Phil reached on a walk.  Closer Billy Wagner, his left shoulder strapped and with his spasms apparently subsided, clsoed the door on the Phils on to ground outs and a fly to center.  For Wagner, it was his 25th save of the season.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Wednesday’s games, click here.

Thursday’s final is slated as a battle of lefties as 45 year old veteran  Jamie Moyer is opposed by 27 year old Oliver Perez.

The Phillies then have a brief 3 game series at home against Atlanta  before hitting the road again.

Kyle Kendrick opens the Braves series on Friday for the Phils opposing Jair Jurrjens who lost in his only other start against the Phils this season.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Thursday’s games, click here.

6 Run Ninth Inning Pushes Phillies Past Mets

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

      So Taguchi   Shane Victorino   Jimmy Rollins

Mets lefthander Johan Santana held the Phillies in check over eight innings, giving up just 2 runs while retiring 15 of 16 batters at one point, but closer Billy Wagner was unavailable due to a muscle spasm around the joint in his left shoulder.  As a result, the Phils pummelled 4 relievers for 6 runs in the ninth inning to overcome the Mets by an 8-6 score.

With the win, the Phils took over sole possession of 1st place, leaving the Mets and the Florida Marlins, who shut out Atlanta, tied for 2nd place 1 game back.  Atlanta fell to 7 games back in 4th place.

The ninth inning comeback was the kind that Phillies fans had come to love before the team’s mid-June tailspin.  AP sportswriter Howie Rumberg describes the Phillies ninth inning for Yahoo sports;

After Johan Santana pitched eight dominant innings, the Mets had to make do without closer Billy Wagner, who had an MRI on his shoulder earlier Tuesday.

Dauner Sanchez gave up three straight hits to start the ninth. Joe Smith (1-2) relieved and Carlos Ruiz drove in a run with a high bouncer that shortstop Jose Reyes fielded but he missed stepping on second base.

Pedro Feliciano came on and [So] Taguchi, a pinch-hitter, stroked a two-run double to tie it. [Jimmy] Rollins followed with a double that made it 7-5. After an intentional walk to  Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard hit a ball back to Feliciano but he had trouble fielding it and could only get one out allowing another run to score.

Chad Durbin (3-2) pitched a perfect eighth, and Brad Lidge gave up a run in the ninth but finished for his 22nd save in as many chances.

The Phillies got off to a first inning lead as first baseman Howard and leftfielder Burrell touched Santana for 2 out singles.  Rightfielder Jayson Werth then singled to centerfield driving in a run and leaving runners at 1st and 2nd.  But then Santana struck out 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz to end the inning.  Catcher Ruiz’s second inning centerfield single and starting pitcher  Joe Blanton’s fifth inning single to rightfield represented the only other Phillies to reach on Santana until centerfielder Shane Victorino’s 2 out seventh inning solo homer followed by another single by Ruiz.

Meanwhile, the newly-acquired Blanton, obtained from the Oakland A’s for 3 minor league prospects, got through the first two innings unscathed.  Blanton had experience against the Mets having thrown 15 shutout innings against them in two previous starts.

But he walked shortstop Jose Reyes to open the third inning and rigfhtfelder Endy Chavez followed with an infield single.  3rd baseman  David Wright followed with a single to leftfield scoring Reyes.  But Chavez, trying to score from 1st base on the play, was gunned down at homeplate on a fine relay started by left fielder Burrell.  With 2 out, 1st baseman  Carlos Delgado solved Blanton for a 2 run rightfield homer to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

The Mets added to their lead against Blanton in the sixth on catcher 
Ramon Castro’s 2 on, 2 out leftfield homer.

The Phillies might have dug themselves a deeper hole to climb out of had the defense not come up with two big plays in the seventh innning.
AP’s Rumberg describes;

Right fielder Jayson Werth threw out Endy Chavez at home on a hit by David Wright, and second baseman Chase Utley made a diving grab of pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis’ liner with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Blanton left after six innings having thrown 109 pitches and having given up 5 runs on 8 hits while walking 3, stiking out 1 and giving up the 2 homers.

The Mets managed to load the bases with 1 out in the seventh against reliever Rudy Seanez, but lefthander J.C. Romero came on to get out of the inning unscathed with the defense making the two big plays.

Santana completed eight full innings for the Mets throwing 105 pitches and allowing 2 runs on 8 hits while striking out 4 and giving up Victorino’s solo shot.

Reliever Chad Durbin was credited with his 3rd win after pitching a clean eighth inning.  Reliever Joe Smith, who gave up what turned out to be the lead run in the ninth, was charged with the loss.

Clsoer Brad Lidge, who got into some ninth inning hot water giving up a 2 out run, was credited with his 22 save of the season.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Tuesday’s games, click here.

In Wednesday’s game 2, Brett Myers, recalled after a stint in the minors, opposes John Maine who lasted 4 2/3 innings in his last start against  Cincinnati.  Thursday’s final is slated as a battle of lefties as 45 year old veteran Jamie Moyer is opposed by 27 year old Oliver Perez.

After the mets, the Phillies stop at home for a brief 3 game series against the Atlanta Braves before hitting the road again.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Wednesday’s games, click here.

Phillies Lose, Mets Win; NL East Tied

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Florida 1st baseman Jorge Cantu pounded a long eleventh inning bases loaded, none out single off of reliever Clay Condrey which hit off of the scoreboard in left centerfield as the Marlins edged the Phillies 3-2 while the Mets beat Cincinnati by 7-5 in tenth inning forcing an NL East first place tie.

As the Phils and Mets fell into an NL 1st place tie ahead of the 3 game showdown between the teams beginning Tuesday at Citizen’s Bank Park, the Marlins stand a mere 1/2 game behind both clubs.

1st baseman Ryan Howard drove in both of the Phillies runs off of lefthander Josh Johnson; a 2 out RBI single to right centerfield in the first inning and a 2 out RBI double to leftfield in the third. 

Meanwhile, ace lefthander Cole Hamels retired 9 of the first 10 Marlins he faced before rightfielder Jeremy Hermida led off the fourth by solving Hamels to rightfield to narrow the Phils lead to 2-1.

Both teams then went scoreless until outfielder Cody Ross led off the eighth inning against Hamels by tying the game with a homer to rightfield.

Aside from Howard’s RBIs, the Phillies could muster no offense whatsoever against Johnson or the Marlins bullpen the rest of the way.  The closest the Phils came was in the eleventh inning when they managed to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs.  But pinch hitter Chris Coste struck out to end the threat.

Johnson, who replaced lefthander Andrew Miller as scheduled starter, went 6 2/3 innings in his second start since his return from reconstructive elbow surgery. He threw 92 pitches allowing seven hits and two runs while walking 3 and striking out 4.

Hamels was excellent through eight innings with the 2 runs against him coming on homers.  The offense, however, failed dismally in support.  It was Hamels’ 9th straight start lasting at least seven innings.  He threw 96 pitches, allowed 4 hits including the 2 homers while walking 2 and striking out 7.

AP Sports Writer Steven Wine describes the eleventh inning for Yahoo sports;

Alfredo Amezaga led off the 11th with a single against [losing pitcher] Clay Condrey (2-2), and Hanley Ramirez walked on a 3-2 pitch. Jeremy Hermida bunted to Condrey, who looked to third base before throwing late to first, and the infield single loaded the bases.

Cantu singled on a 1-1 pitch and was mobbed by his teammates.

Florida’s [winning pitcher] Doug Waechter (2-2) struck out pinch hitter Chris Coste with runners at second and third to end the top of the 11th.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Sunday’s games, click here.

The Phils have another day off on Monday before headed to the Big Apple on Tuesday for a 3 game early MUST WIN confrontation against the Mets with the NL East lead on the line, followed by a brief 3 games at home against 4th place  Atlanta.  In Tuesday’s opener against the Mets, new acquisition Joe Blanton (acquired from the Oakland A’s for 3 minor league prospects) is opposed by Pedro Martinez who has been pounded around through the league this season.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Monday and Tuesday’s games, click here and here.

Marlins Best Phillies on Baker’s Homer, 4 RBIs

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Marlins rookie catcher John Baker, playing in his 5th Major League game, homered, had 2 hits and drove in 4 runs to lead Florida in chasing Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick in the 5th inning enroute to Florida’s 9-5 win on Saturday.

Despite losing, the Phillies maintained their 1 game lead over the Mets who have seen their 10 game winning streak turn sour in Cincinnati. The Mets have now lost 2 in a row.  The Marlins, by winning have pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the front-running Phillies.  The Atlanta Braves were pounded by the Washington Nationals and remain 6 1/2 back in 4th place.

The Phillies opened the scoring with one run in the second inning as Marlins’ 3rd baseman Jorge Cantu was charged with 2 errors on the same play on 3rd baseman Pedro Feliz’s grounder.  The Phils could have had more but had 2 runners nailed at home.

The Marlins came right back to take the lead in their half of the second on Baker’s 3 run homer which followed a hit batsman and a single.   3-1 Marlins

The Phillies tied the game off of lefthander Scott Olsen in fourth as Feliz tripled to right centerfield with one out and catcher Chris Coste drove him home with a double to right.  One out later, shortstop Jimmy Rollins drove home Coste with a single to centerfield.   

The Phils tied the game again in the fifth as rightfielder Pat Burrell solved Olsen for his 24th homer, a solo shot to leftfield.  Burrell would hit a 2nd homer, his 25th of the season, to leftfield in the eighth inning off of reliever Doug Waechter for the Phillies final run.  By then, the Marlins led 9-4.

In the fifth, rightfielder Jeremy Hermida led off with a solo homer to deep right.  With one out and a runner on 2nd baseman Dan Uggla belted a 2 run shot off of Kendrick to leftfield.  Kendrick was chased after walking Mike Jacobs.   Reliever Clay Condrey was greeted with a double and issued a walk.  But Condrey then got pinch hitter Luis Gonzalez to ground into a doubleplay to end the inning.

Cantu’s 2 out, 2 run seventh inning single off of reliever Rudy Seanez capped the Marlin’s scoring.

The Phillies made things interesting in the ninth inning by loading the bases with 1 out on Marlins’ closer Kevin Gregg.   But Gregg struck out 1st baseman Ryan Howard on 3 pitches and got Burrell, who had homered twice, to ground into a game-ending fielders’ choice.

Kendrick, who lost his 4th game of the season, was bombed for 7 runs on 10 hits, including 3 homers, in 4 1/3 innings.   Olsoen, who won his 6th game vs 4 losses, gave up 4 runs on 8 hits through five innings.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Saturday’s games, click here.

Sunday’s series final is a battle of lefties as ace Cole Hamels faces Andrew Miller who carries a 5.63 ERA and was hammered for 7 runs in 1 2/3 innings in his last start before the All Star Break.

The Phils have another day off on Monday before coming home on Tuesday for a 3 game early MUST WIN confrontation against the Mets with the NL East lead on the line, followed by 3 games against 4th place  Atlanta.

In the Phillies opener with the Mets, newly acquired Joe Blanton (acquired from the Oakland A’s for 3 minor league prospects) is opposed by Pedro Martinez who has been pounded around the league this season.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Sunday’s games, click here.

Moyer Pitches; Howard, Jenkins Homer Phillies Past Marlins

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

         Ryan Howard     Jamie Moyer     Geoff Jenkins

Veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer pitched six innings of 4 hit ball, only giving up 2 runs in the fourth inning, as 1st baseman Ryan Howard hit his league-leading 29th homer and rightfielder Geoff Jenkins homered and drove in 2 runs off of Rick Nolasco as the Phillies got off on the right foot to begin the season’s 2nd half with just enough offense in a 4-2 win Friday over the  Florida Marlins.

The win, coupled with the Mets’ loss to Cincinnati leaves the Phillies alone again atop the NL East by 1 game.  Florida, by losing drops to 2 1/2 games behind the Phils.  Atlanta won, picked up a game on the Phillies at 6 1/2 back.

Ryan Howard led off the second inning with a solo shot to rightfield off of Nolasco. Leftfielder Pat Burrell followed with a double to left and Jenkins followed with a single to centerfield to drive in the 2nd run.

The Phils then got single runs in the third and fourth innings.  2nd Baseman Chase Utley drove in the 3rd run on a single to rightfield in the third and Jenkins led off the fourth inning with his solo blast to put hte Phils up 4-0.

Moyer, who sailed through the first 9 Marlin hitters, ran into trouble in the Florida fourth inning.   After Moyer issued his only walk — to shortstop  Hanley Ramirez leading off, rightfielder Jeremy Hermida singled Ramirex to 3rd base.  3rd baseman Jorge Cantu singled to center driving in Ramirez.  1st baseman Mike Jacobs singled loading the bases.  The 2nd Florida run scored as 2nd baseman Dan Uggla hit into a short-to-2nd-to-1st doubleplay.  Moyer then got a foul out to 1st base to end the inning.

Moyer then retired the next 5 hitters before Cantu’s 2 out single in the sixth.  Jacobs fouled out to end the inning. 

Moyer, who recorded his 9th win vs 6 losses, left for a seventh inning pinch hitter after throwing 100 pitches through six innings and giving up 2 runs on 4 hits in another masterful performance.  Losing pitcher Nolasco was replaced to open the eighth inning.  Both bullpens closed the door on the opposition only allowing 1 hit each.  Closer Brad Lidge notched his 21st save of the season with a 3 up, 3 down ninth to end the game.

Moyer, it seems has had the Marlins’ number for quite a while.  AP Sports Writer Steven Wine notes for Yahoo sports;

The 45-year-old left-hander beat Florida for the 10th time in as many career starts…

All of Moyer’s games against the Marlins have come in the past three years. He defeated them for the third time since June 1, and his ERA in five lifetime starts in Miami is 1.34.

There were no long balls against Moyer, who became the first pitcher to sweep his first 10 starts against a team since  Pedro Martinez won his first 12 against Seattle from 1998 to 2004.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Friday’s games, click here.

On Saturday, Kyle Kendrick opposes lefthander Scott Olsen with a battle of lefties due for Sunday’s final as ace Cole Hamels faces Andrew Miller who carries a 5.63 ERA and was hammered for 7 runs in 1 2/3 innings in his last start before the All Star Break.

The Phils have another day off on Monday before coming home on Tuesday for a 3 game early MUST WIN confrontation against the Mets with the NL East lead on the line, followed by 3 games against 4th place  Atlanta.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Saturday’s and Sunday’s games, click here, here.

Mets Rally From Behind to Beat Cincinnati, Tie Phillies

Friday, July 18th, 2008

The Mets rallied from 5-2 and 8-6 deficits scoring 4 runs in the ninth inning as 3rd baseman David Wright struck the game-tying 2 run homer and had 4 RBIs for the game. 1st baseman Carlos Delgado had a homer and 3 RBIs, including the game winner, as did a red-hot outfielder Fernando Tatis, who added an insurance run as the Mets won their 10th sraight beating the Cincinnati Reds by a 10-8 score.

With the win, the Mets climbed into a flat-footed tie with the Phillies who open their 2nd half on Friday against the Florida Marlins.

The originally scheduled Thursday starting pitchers, John Maine and  Bronson Arroyo, gave way to veteran lefthander Johan Santana vs 22 year old rookie Johnny Cueto.  Maine and Arroyo will oppose each other on Friday.

The Mets grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning as Delgado pounded a 2 on, 2 out homer to rigfhtfield off of rookie starter Cueto.   But Cincinnati roared back in its fourth inning pounding Santana for 5 runs, including back-to-back 1 out solo homers by leftfielder Adam Dunn and 3rd baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Wright then got the Mets close at 5-4 with a 2 run single to leftfield in the fifth and Tatis put the Mets back in the lead at 6-5 with a 2 run homer to right centerfield in the sixth with Delgado aboard.  All 6 runs were charged to starter Cueto who was chased by Tatis’ shot.

The Reds grabbed the lead again at 8-6, as pinch hitter Javier Valentin cleared the loaded bases with a ringing 2 out double to left centerfield off of reliever Aaron Heilman.

This brings us to the Met’s ninth inning against Reds’ closer Francisco Cordero.  AP Sports Writer Joe Kay describes the Mets ninth for Yahoo sports;

Down to their last two outs, the Mets rallied against Francisco Cordero (4-2), who blew a save for the fifth time in 24 chances, getting six straight hits against the closer.

[Pinch hitter] Argenis Reyes singled, and Wright—an All-Star designated hitter at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night—hit a tying homer to right field that barely eluded the glove of leaping Ken Griffey Jr.

That was the spark they needed.

“My slider maybe wasn’t good enough,” Cordero said. “It was one of those nights. Whatever I threw to home plate was going to get hit.”

Carlos Delgado had a tiebreaking single off Cordero, smacking his hands and pumping his firsts as he rounded first base. Fernando Tatis doubled home another run to complete the comeback.

Those three accounted for all the Mets’ runs.

It was the first time this season the Mets overcame a three-run deficit and won. It was also the first time they rallied for two runs in the ninth to pull one out.

“Winning nine in a row helps,” Wright said of the comeback. “The biggest thing is you win nine in a row and you get that confidence, that ideal that you’re never out of a game. That’s what happened today.”

Pitching has been the foundation for the Mets’ winning streak—four shutouts in the six previous games—but Johan Santana and the bullpen repeatedly failed in this one.

“It was one of those days where whatever you do doesn’t go the way you want,” Santana said.

Mets lefthanded closer Billy Wagner went 3 up, 3 down on 8 pitches to seal the win.  It was Wagner’s 23rd save of the season.  Reliever Duaner Sanchez who pitched the eighth inning for the Mets was credited for the win while Cordero took the loss.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Thursday’s games,  click here.

With the 2008 All Star game now history, Phillies plunge back into the season on Friday after a four day All Star hiatus by playing 3 games in  Florida against the 3rd place Marlins.  The Phils have another day off on Monday before coming home on Tuesday for a 3 game early MUST WIN confrontation against the Mets with the NL East lead on the line, followed by 3 games against 4th place Atlanta.

On Friday, the Phils open with veteran lefthander Jamie Moyer opposing  Rick Nolasco.  On Saturday, Kyle Kendrick opposes lefthander Scott Olsen with a battle of lefties due in Sunday’s finale as ace Cole Hamels faces  Andrew Miller who carries a 5.63 ERA and was hammered for 7 runs in 1 2/3 innings in his last start before the All Star Break.

For all of the scores, boxscores and recaps on Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s games, click here, here and here.