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Archive for June, 2011

Ibanez, Worley Star as Phillies Edge Red Sox

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Raul Ibanez           Vance Worley
Phillies leftfielder Raul Ibanez, who came into the game 5 for 44 and with a homer-less streak of 90 at-bats since May 30th, was a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate including a second inning RBI single and a seventh inning leadoff homer providing the winning margin.    Young Vance Worley showed the poise of a veteran in winning his 3rd game by outpitching John Lackey through seven innings.  Young Phillies’ relievers Michael Stutes and  Antonio Bastardo finished up going clean on Boston in the eighth and ninth innings with Bastardo notching his 3rd save as Ibanez and Worley starred as the Phillies edged the Red Sox by 2-1 in game 2 of their 3 game series.

Although they won, the Phils’ NL East lead remained at 4 1/2 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who also won.  The 3rd place Mets kept pace with the Phils at 9 1/2 games back by again pounding Detroit while the 4th place Washington Nationals dropped to 11 games back after being shut out by the L.A. Angels.

The AP game recap provides Wednesday’s highlights:

Worley (3-1) allowed one run, five hits and struck out five. The rookie right-hander has filled in nicely for injured starters Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton.

Worley dusted [Dustin] Pedroia with a high-and-tight fastball inside in the first inning and left an impression with his solid performance.

“He had great mound presence, and we were all very impressed,” Pedroia said. “It’s really good for a kid that young to have a presence like that on the mound. He’s going to be a good one.”

In a series billed as a World Series preview, the major league-leading Phillies (51-30) have taken two straight and go for a sweep Thursday.

Ibanez was 3 for 3 with two RBIs, falling a triple short of the cycle. He came in 5 for 44.

John Lackey (5-7) gave up two runs and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings in one of his best starts this season. He lowered his ERA from 7.36 to 6.81.

Desperate to wake up a slumping offense, Boston manager Terry Francona gave Adrian GonzalezDavid Ortiz could play first base. Ortiz hadn’t started the previous four games because there is no designated hitter in NL parks. his second career start in right field so

It didn’t work. Big Papi was 0 for 4.

“Did that guy just come up or something? Man, because he looked pretty good to me,” Ortiz said of Worley. “He had decent stuff, and it really looks like he’s been around for a long time.

“They’ve got four big starters here, right? Well, he looked like one of them out there tonight. He really looked comfortable. It’s obvious that he’s listening to those big starters over there. It’s rubbing off on him.”

Gonzalez didn’t have any putouts in his first game in right since 2005. He went back to the wall and leaped for a ball hit by Chase Utley in the eighth, but it bounced high off the railing and went for a triple.

Ibanez gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in the second with an RBI single.  Shane Victorino led off the inning with a double down the left-field line. He scored when Ibanez hit a hard liner to left-center.

The Red Sox tied it at 1 in the fifth on Lackey’s fourth career hit.   Josh Reddick singled with one out and scored on Lackey’s two-out double. Lackey was 3 for 36 with one double and one RBI in his career before hitting a 3-2 pitch to deep left-center.

Ibanez put the Phillies up 2-1 when he led off the bottom of the seventh with a drive to the seats in right.

“He works hard and he stays at everything,” Manuel said.

Michael Stutes pitched a perfect eighth and Antonio Bastardo finished for his third save and first filling in for Ryan Madson.

For all of Wednesday’s scores and recaps, click here.

The Phils hope for a series sweep with Thursday’s series final, but it won’t be easy.   Two fine lefthanders duel as Cole Hamels and Jon Lester each go for their 10th win.

The Phils next head for Toronto for a 3 game series with the Blue Jays beginning on Friday.   Then they head to Florida for a 3 game series beginning on Monday July 4th.

For all Thursday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here.

Brown, Victorino Homer as Phillies’ Lee Shuts Out Red Sox

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Domonic Brown      Cliff Lee       Shane Victorino
The Phillies made economic use of their 6 hits as rightfielder Domonic Brown pounded a 2 out, 2 run second inning homer off of Boston’s Josh Beckett and centerfielder Shane Victorino followed suit with a  2 out, 2 run blast to rightfield in the sixth staking lefthander Cliff Lee to a 5-0 lead.  Lee sacrificed in the 3rd run in the fifth while retiring 15 of the first 16 Red Sox he faced enroute to a 2 hit masterpiece for his 3rd consecutive shutout extending his scoreless streak to 32 innings and winning his 9th game of the season.  Losing pitcher Beckett completed six innings giving up all 5 runs as Brown and Victorino homered and the Phillies’ Lee shut out  the Red Sox 5-0 in their series opener.

Although they won, the Phils’ NL East lead remained at 5 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who also won.  The 3rd place Mets kept pace with the Phils at 9 games back by pounding Detroit while the 4th place  Washington Nationals dropped to 10 1/2 games back after a drubbing by the L.A. Angels.

After 1st baseman Ryan Howard singled to leftfield to lead off the second inning, was rubbed out at 2nd on Victorino’s fielder’s choice grounder, and after leftfielder Raul Ibanez went down on strikes on 3 pitches, rookie rightfielder Brown worked Beckett to a 2-2 count before ripping a 2 run right centerfield homer to give the Phils and Lee an early 2-0 lead,   Brown, who had been 4 for 34 in his previous 10 games and chastised by both manager Charlie Manuel and the fans for not running hard on a couple of plays in the Oakland series, got back on everyone’s good side by nailing his 5th homer.

But Brown wasn’t finished.  He led off the fifth inning by doubling to leftfield and took 3rd base on catcher  Carlos Ruiz’s fly out to rightfield.   Lee then plated Brown with a sacrifice fly to leftfield and the lead was at 3-0.

The “Flyin’ Hawaiian’ added some icing in the sixth after 3rd baseman Placido Polanco opened the inning with a single.  2nd baseman Chase Utley bunted Polanco to 2nd base and Howard followed by flying out for the 2nd out.   Victorino worked the count to 3-1 before slamming a 2 run shot to rightfield to cap the Phils’ scoring.

Meanwhile, Cliff Lee was again nothing short of masterful.   The AP game recap for Yahoo sports notes:

Lee didn’t allow a hit until Marco Scutaro led off the sixth with a line-drive single to left-center. He ran his career-best scoreless streak to 32 innings with his ninth career shutout and fourth this year.

“It’s been a good run, no doubt about it,” Lee said. “I’ve had a few in my career, but I don’t look back and compare them. I want to throw a shutout every time out there. I never want to give up a run.”

Beckett (6-3) gave up five runs and five hits in six innings, his worst outing of the season. Beckett entered with a major league-best 1.86 ERA and left at 2.20. He hadn’t pitched because of the flu since tossing a one-hitter against Tampa Bay on June 15.

Darnell McDonald led off the eighth with a double to left, putting Lee’s shutout bid in jeopardy. But shortstop Jimmy Rollins made an outstanding play on Jason Varitek’s hard one-hopper up the middle for the first out. Lee then fanned Mike Cameron looking at a slow curve and retired Scutaro on a grounder to third.

Lee finished with five strikeouts and two walks. He has been sensational since a slow start. The lefty was 4-5 with a 3.94 ERA through May. Since then, he’s 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA in five starts this month.

Lee threw a two-hitter against Florida on June 16 and blanked St. Louis on six hits   He needed 112 pitches to get through this one.

“He’s one of the best pitchers in the game, and he’s riding a hot streak. That is a bad combination for any team to face,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I haven’t seen all of his starts, but from what I have seen, he’s been quite impressive. He’s working counts, and he’s throwing strikes when he has to. He’s really got it going right now.”

The most popular player on the Phillies, Lee received several ovations from the 180th straight sellout, including postseason play, at Citizens Bank Park.

Following up on an earlier report regarding reliever Ryan Madson, AP reports for Yahoo sports:

The Philadelphia Phillies have placed closer Ryan Madson on the 15-day disabled list with a right hand contusion.

Madson is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA and has 15 saves in 16 chances.

For all of Monday’s and Tuesday’s scores and recaps, click here and here.

In Wednesday’s game 2, young Vance Worley goes for his 3rd win vs veteran John Lackey for the BoSox.

For all Wednesday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here.

Halladay Makes Small Lead Stick as Phillies Beat Athletics

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Jimmy Rollins    Roy Halladay    Placido Polanco
The Phillies staked their ace Roy Halladay to a first inning 2-0 lead on Sunday as centerfielder Shane Victorino followed a leadoff single by shortstop Jimmy Rollins and 3rd baseman Placido Polanco’s double by touching young lefthanded Oakland starter Josh Outman for an RBI single to leftfield.   Although 1st baseman Ryan Howard grounded into a doubleplay, the 2nd run scored.   The 2 runs were all Halladay really needed.   The Ace of aces was touched for a fourth inning run on a 2 out RBI single to centerfield by rightfielder Ryan Sweeney, but otherwise Halladay spread out 8 hits in completing his 5th game of the season and winning his 10th to tie for the MLB lead.  “The Doc” even helped out with the stick with a 2 out second inning single, but ended up stranded.  Rollins was a perfect 4 for 4 in the game while scoring 2 runs and Polanco was 2 for 4 scoring a run.   Rightfielder Ben Francisco singled in an insurance 3rd run in the fifth as Halladay made the small lead stick as Phillies beat the Athletics by 3-1 to take 2 of their 3 game series.With the win, the Phils’ upped their NL East lead to 5 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who lost their game.  The 3rd place Washington Nationals and the 4th place Mets both won and remain 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 games off the pace.

The AP game recap for Yahoo sports provides some interesting data:

Halladay (10-3) improved to 30-3 in a Philadelphia uniform in the 35 starts in which the Phillies have given him the lead.

“Obviously pitching with the lead is always beneficial for a pitcher,” Halladay said.

For Halladay, though, it’s almost a guaranteed victory.

“He’s pretty steady,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “If we can score three or four runs, our starting pitchers have a good chance to win the game. We scratched out three runs and he did a tremendous job. It might not sound like a lot of runs but it gives him room to work.”

Halladay gave up eight hits and walked none in tying for the major league high in victories. He struck out four and raised his total to 123, which led the NL until Clayton Kershaw of the  Dodgers fanned 11 later in the day to pass him.

The Phillies have won each of Halladay’s last eight starts and the right-hander is 5-0 with a 2.64 ERA during the stretch.

But, obviously, he’s not fun to hit against. Even on a day when the A’s managed eight hits, Halladay kept Oakland to just one run.

The Phillies also got a boost from Rollins, who entered 0 for 8 before two solid singles, an infield single and a double on Sunday.

“Jimmy’s had some good games,” Manuel said. “His consistency at times hasn’t been real good. He’s due to get in a good streak. Usually he’ll hit a period where he’s very consistent and hopefully today might help him get into one. His swing has been real good at times. Today he was very good against the lefty.”

Rollins scored twice, Placido Polanco had two hits and Halladay added a single for Philadelphia.

Conor Jackson had three hits for the A’s, who have lost four of five.

Josh Outman (3-2), a former Phillies minor leaguer, allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings. He was picked by the Phillies in the 10th round of the 2005 draft and traded to Oakland in 2008 as part of the deal for Joe Blanton.

The A’s threatened in the seventh when Jackson led off with a single and, after an out, went to third on [Scott] Sizemore’s double down the right-field line. Jackson may have scored on the hit, but he appeared to hesitate rounding second. Oakland couldn’t get the run home as Landon Powell popped out and pinch-hitter David DeJesus struck out looking.  DeJesus has three hits in his last 38 at-bats (.079).

“When he [Halladay] needs to make that big pitch, he does,” Sizemore said. “He’s pretty tough to beat.”

With his complete game, Halladay provided a respid for the weary Phils bullpen which misses Ryan Madson who is inactive with swelling on the back of his pitching hand and Jose Contreras who is on the DL with a strained right forearm.   Regular closer Brad Lidge has seen no action in 2011 and is on the DL with a strained right posterior rotator cuff.

For all of Sunday’s scores and recaps, click here.

The Phils have the day off on Monday before entertaining the Boston Red Sox for 3 games next Tuesday through Thursday.   In Tuesday’s opener, lefthander Cliff Lee goes for his 9th win and tries to extend his scoreless inning string in dueling with Josh Beckett for the BoSox.

For all Monday’s and Tuesday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here and here.

Phillies Offense Snoozes in Split With Oakland Athletics

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

The Phillies offense came up flat again on both Friday and Saturday, and for the 3rd straight game having scored but 4 runs in their past 22 innings.    Luckily, on Friday, pinch hitter Ben Francisco’s ninth inning walkoff RBI single was the game winner as Vance Worley dueled with Oakland starter Guillermo Moscoso for six innings giving up but 1 hit while walking 4 and striking out 4.  3 relievers held the A’s to 2 base runners over the final three innings and Francisco’s walkoff made a winner of reliever Michael Stutes who went clean on the A’s in the ninth striking out 2.   The Phils were held to 4 hits on Friday.   On Saturday, 23 year old Trevor Cahill outdueled lefthander Cole Hamels into the eighth inning as Oakland held a 2-1 lead on single runs in the third and fourth innings after the Phils took an early lead on catcher Carlos Ruiz’s RBI single.  The A’s scored 2 insurance runs in the ninth off of Stutes, only the 4th and 5th runs scored on the rookie reliever in 24 3/3 innings.  Cahill and the A’s bullpen held the Phils to 4 hits as the Phillies offense snoozed in their split with the Oakland Athletics winning 1-0 on Friday and losing 4-1 on Saturday.

Despite the loss, the Phils’ NL East lead remained 4 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who also split their games.  The 3rd place Washington Nationals and the 4th place Mets both split their games to remain 8 1/2 and 9 1/2 games off the pace.

These were both terrible offensive games for the Phils as the Phillies Nation blog notes here:

Worley took a no hitter into the sixth inning before Hideki Matsui doubled with two outs.  He finished the inning and was finished for the game.  The… righty had thrown 105 pitches after six innings, allowed only one hit while walking and striking out four hitters.

Unfortunately for him, Oakland starter Guillermo Moscoso would not be out done.  Moscoso also took a no hitter into the sixth inning tonight before giving up a single to the hit machine Placido Polanco with one out.  Just as Oakland couldn’t capitalize with a runner on the Phillies, too, stranded Polanco after Chase Utley flew out and Ryan Howard grounded out to second base.

Aside from some nice fielding by Howard this game was remarkably unexciting.  Shane VictorinoBrian Fuentes, who took the loss.  After Raul Ibanez flew out to left, Domonic Brown singled up the middle.  Brown reached base all four times he came to the plate.  He walked twice and had two singles. led off the ninth inning with a walk against Oakland relief pitcher

A groundout to the left side from Brian Schneider moved the runners over and an RBI single from Ben Francisco scored Victorino for the walk off win.

The game in general was boring, but a win is a win.

And here:

The offense seemed in a daze for the majority of the night tonight mustering only three hits off Oakland starter Trevor Cahill.  Cahill does have a lot of movement on all his pitches and did a good job keeping the Phillies hitters off balance.

Charlie Manuel will have lots to discuss in the locker room after tonight’s game.  Shane Victorino took his time and gingerly threw a ball into the infield with Coco Crisp tagging up from second base.  Crisp would score on Sizemore’s single later in the inning.  Crisp would probably have scored anyways, but for Victorino to have a brain fart like that is very uncommon.

Domonic Brown will most likely get an earful as well.  Brown failed to run out a ground ball that would have been closer had he been running straight out the box.  Manuel, who has benched  Jimmy Rollins in the past for lack of hustle, kept Brown in the game.  Brown would ground into a game ending double play as the Phillies lost at home for the first time in the last nine games 4-1.

As Phillies fans, we know how notorious this team is at getting streaky hot and streaky cold.  After the 1-0 walk off win last night you could sense a cooling off of a team who had won 14 of their last 22 games.  They still have the best record in the majors at 48-30 but the Braves are slowly creeping up the standings.

A’s reliever and Former Voorhees, NJ resident and Phillies fan Andrew Bailey notched his 5th save of the season after working out of 1 out 1st and 2nd base trouble in the ninth.   Click here and here for Friday’s and Saturday’s AP game recaps for Yahoo.
For all of Friday’s and Saturday’s scores and recaps, click here and here.

The Phils hope to generate some offense on Sunday to support ace Roy Halladay as he goes for his 10th win.  ” The Doc” is opposed by young lefthander Josh Outman for Oakland.   Meanwhile, Roy Oswalt goes onto the DL with a “a mild bulging disc” and pain travelling “lower and lower down toward the knee.”   He’s not expected to return before August according to AP reporter Dan Gelston.  Also, Gelston notes regarding reliever Ryan Madson:

…Madson has swelling on the back of his pitching hand. He took a liner off his hand May 20 against Texas, but kept pitching and has 15 saves.  He had a cortisone shot Friday and won’t throw again until Monday or Tuesday.

Regarding Madson, the Phillies nation blog adds this scary report:

Charlie Manuel said he expects Ryan Madson to be unavailable for the next few games due to numbness in his throwing hand. Jayson Stark of says it may link back to an infield single on May 20 from the bat of Rangers OF David Murphy, when the ball struck Madson.

The Phils have the day off on Monday before entertaining the Boston Red Sox for 3 games next Tuesday through Thursday.

For all of Sunday’s and Monday’s scheduled games throughout MLB,  click here and here.

Phillies Split Final 2 Games With Cardinals

Friday, June 24th, 2011

After pounding St. Louis for 9 runs in the eighth inning to take the series opener, the Phillies and Cardinals traded wins in games 2 and 3.    On Wednesday, lefthander Cliff Lee tossed another masterful complete game shutout, his 2nd consecutive blanking as shortstop Jimmy Rollins and 1st baseman Ryan Howard slammed fourth inning homers off of starter Kyle Lohse to stake Lee to a 3-0 lead.    Lee gave up 6 hits and walked 1 while striking out 3 in his 4th straight magnificent effort and his 8th win of the season.  He’s given up but 1 run in his last 33 innings.   2nd baseman Chase Utley added some icing in the ninth inning driving in the Phils’ 4 run on a sacrifice fly to leftfield.  On Thursday, the Cards extracted a measure of consolation for Tuesday’s opener by reaching Roy Oswalt for outfielder Jon Jay’s first inning solo shot and 3 more second inning runs as Oswalt showered early complaining again of lower back tightness.  Kyle Kendrick went four innings of long relief giving up 2 runs before the Cards broke the game open with 6 eighth inning runs, including a 3 run capping homer by 1st baseman Lance Berkman, all off of reliever Danys Baez.  The Phils managed a single sixth inning run off of Cards starter Chris Carpenter on Ryan Howard’s 2 out RBI single to rightfield.  Catcher Carlos Ruiz belted a meaningless ninth inning 2 out solo homer off of  reliever Jason Motte as the Phillies split the final 2 games with the Cardinals winning 4-0 and losing 12-2.

With the loss, the Phils’ NL East lead dropped to 4 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves.  The 3rd place  Washington Nationals won their game to go a game over .500 while trailing the Phils by 8 1/2 games.  The 4th place Mets won their game and are 9 1/2 games off the pace.

The AP recap of Wednesday’s game for Yahoo sports notes:

Lee scattered six hits and the Philadelphia Phillies got homers from Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard in the fourth inning of a 4-0 victory Wednesday night.

Kyle Lohse (7-4) worked eight innings to match his season best, allowing three runs and seven hits with no walks or strikeouts. He struggled only in the fourth when Rollins led off with his seventh homer and Howard hit a two-run shot and his 16th overall with one out following a single by Chase Utley.

Lohse said he had to alter his game plan because strikes on the inside corner weren’t getting called. He thought he had Rollins struck out a few pitches before giving up the homer.

“I kind of fell behind Howard and he was looking away and I left the ball up,” Lohse said. “Other than that, I felt like I was in control. It was just an unfortunate night to be going against Lee.”

Utley added an eighth-inning sacrifice fly for the NL East-leading Phillies, who have won 10 of 12…

Lee (8-5) has won all four of his starts this month… lowering his ERA from 3.94 to 2.87.  The 2008 AL Cy Young winner followed a two-hitter over Florida with his eighth career shutout and has a 23-inning scoreless streak.

Leaning on his cutter, Lee retired 11 straight between the third and seventh inning and threw a career-high 126 pitches. Only Lohse reached third base after hitting a leadoff double off a curveball in the third for his first extra-base hit of the season.

“He threw the ball well all night as advertised,” said Cardinals leadoff man Ryan Theriot, who had a single and walk. “You know what you’re going to get. I thought we had a few little chances there, but Cliff’s a great pitcher and that’s what he does.”

The AP recap of Thursday’s game describes the Cardinal’s consolation win:

The Cardinals starter who hadn’t won since May 10 threw seven strong innings and Jon Jay and Lance Berkman homered to lead St. Louis to a 12-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

Carpenter (2-7) allowed one run and five hits to end a string of seven successive starts without a win. Carpenter struck out seven and walked one.

St. Louis won for the first time since three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols fractured his left forearm on Sunday. The Cardinals managed just two runs and 11 hits during the first two games without Pujols, who is out 4 to 6 weeks.

Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt (4-6) left after two innings due to tightness in his lower back. He gave up four runs and five hits in his shortest start since a two-inning outing in a 9-7 loss to Atlanta on September 10, 2009.

“I was more heaving the ball than throwing the ball,” Oswalt said. “I’ll have an MRI on Monday, I think.”

Carpenter entered the game with the 11th-lowest run support among NL starters at 3.38 runs per game. His teammates scored three times in the second and once in the third to give him an early 5-0 cushion.

Carpenter has gone at least six innings in 14 of 16 starts this season. He allowed three runs or less in four of his last six starts but was unable to pick up a victory due to the lack of offensive support.

“I just feel like every time he’s taken the mound, he’s had hard luck,” said Berkman. “The guy just can’t catch a break.”

Carpenter retired 10 of the first 11 hitters. He gave up three successive singles in the sixth, including a run-scoring hit by Ryan Howard, with two outs.

“He was nasty the whole game,” Cardinals rookie catcher Tony Cruz said. “Whatever I called, he was there. He was just on.”

Jay hit his fifth homer of the season, a 422-foot shot to right off Oswalt to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. Berkman capped off a six-run outburst in the eighth with a three-run shot, his 18th of the season.

Colby Rasmus, Skip Schumaker and… Cruz opened the second with successive singles to push the lead to 2-0. Carpenter added a sacrifice bunt before Ryan Theriot ripped a two-run single to make it 4-0.

Cruz added a run-scoring single in the sixth. He finished 2 for 3 with the first two RBIs of his career.

Matt Holliday drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth off reliever Danys Baez, who gave up six runs in the inning.

For all of Thursday’s scores and recaps, click here.

The Phils now return after a 3-3 road trip for a 6 game interleague homestand, first facing the Oakland A’s for a 3 game weeked series.  Monday is an off-day before entertaining the Boston Red Sox for 3 games next Tuesday through Thursday.   In Friday’s series opener, Vance Worley opposes Guillermo Moscoso.  On Saturday, lefthander Cole Hamels again goes for his 10th win opposed by Trevor Cahill for Oakland.

For all of Friday’s and Saturday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here and here.

Phillies Crush Cardinals With 9 Run Eighth Inning

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Carlos Ruiz    Roy Halladay    Chase Utley
Phillies ace Roy Halladay wrapped up in a pitching duel with Cardinals’ starter Kyle McClellan for six innings with the Phils on the short end of a 1-0 score.  They tied the game in their seventh, before reliever Michael Stutes came on in the Cards seventh to issue a 1 out walk followed by a single.  The Cards then took a 2-1 lead in the seventh on a sacrifice fly.  Only one other Card would reach base, on a walk, the rest of the way against relievers Antonio Bastardo and David Herndon. The Cards went to their bullpen in the eighth with a 2-1 lead after McClellan tossed 90 pitches through seven innings.  14 batters. 2 hit batsmen, 4 walks, 5 hits and 5 relievers later, the Phils had rung up 9 runs in the eighth inning.   Stutes, who gave up the Cards’ 2nd run, the original lead run, notched his 2nd win of the season as the Phillies crushed the Cardinals with a 9 run eighth inning, winning 10-2 in the opener of their 2 game series.

Despite the win, the Phils remained 4 1/2 games up in the NL East as the 2nd place Atlanta Braves also won.  The Washington Nationals jumped into 3rd place, 9 1/2 games behind.  The Mets are in 4th place, 10 1/2 games back.

The AP game recap provides Halladay’s line in the no-decision and an account of the Phils’ eighth:

Halladay allowed a run and four hits in six innings, matching his season low in his first official appearance in St. Louis but on the mound where he started for the American League in the 2009 All-Star game. He has worked six or more innings in 62 consecutive road starts, the majors’ best such streak since Walter Johnson put up 82 in a row from 1911-15.

Halladay struck out five to take the major league lead at 119. He failed to reach 100 pitches for the first time in 16 starts this year when he was lifted ahead of pinch-hitter Ross Gload’s RBI single against Kyle McClellan that tied it at 1 in the seventh.

Carlos Ruiz had four hits and one of two bases-loaded walks in the eighth for NL East-leading Phillies, who have won Roy Halladay’s last seven starts but put it together too late for the right-hander to become the majors’ first 10-game winner.

The Phillies Nation blog has more to say about the Phils’ eighth inning:

Trailing 2-1 going into the top of the eighth, the Phillies were staring at another night of emptiness. That was until the Cardinals bullpen absolutely imploded.

With one out, the inning went like this for the Phils: 1B, BB, HBP, HBP, K, 1B, BB, BB, 1B, BB, 1B, 1B, F9. All told, 14 players stepped to the plate, nine runs scored, and five Cardinals pitchers were used by manager Tony LaRussa. The meltdown may have been triggered when LaRussa went to righty Jason Motte to face Ryan Howard with one out. Motte would bean Howard to load the bases, then hit Placido Polanco to score the first run of the inning for the Phillies. The hit by pitch would also end both Motte and Polanco’s evening as Polly was hit on the hand. X-Rays on Polanco’s hand were negative.

After Motte’s departure, things went from bad to worse to worser…

Phillies Nation continues:

Manuel pulled starter Roy Halladay after just 97 pitches, the first time he tossed under triple digits all season. He didn’t make it past the sixth because Manuel felt the top of the seventh would be the Phillies best chance at scoring runs. His move to the bench would get them on the board thanks to Ross Gload’s RBI single to left field, tying the game at one…barely.

On the single to left by Gload, Raul Ibanez made it to home plate just before Carlos Ruiz was picked off between second and third base. If Ruiz had been tagged a split-second earlier, the Cardinals would still have a lead and the outcome of the game could have been much, much different. Lucky break for the Phillies that they weren’t kept off the scoreboard because of a mistake by Chooch.

It was about as unlucky a night as Halladay could have, as he was blooped to death in the fifth inning. A bunch of singles and a bobbled, would-be-double-play ball by Placido Polanco were the reasons for a single run scoring, which was all the Doc would allow on the night.

Unfortunately for Halladay, his offense would fall short for him in his quest for win No. 10.

Both of the links above provide more details of the Phils’ eighth.  Why give yet another voluminous account here?

For all of Monday’s and Tuesday’s scores and recaps,  click here and here.

In Wednesday’s game 2, lefthander Cliff Lee is opposed by Kyle Lohse for the Cards.

For all of Wednesday’s scheduled games throughout MLB, click here.