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Phillies Sweep Braves in Thirteen Innings, End Braves’ Wild Card Hopes

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

The Phillies gave Joe Blanton, and pretty much the rest of their bullpen, as well as lefthander Cole Hamels, as workout in Wednesday’s regular season finale, a meaningless match-up with the Atlanta Braves.  The Phils and Braves traded single runs in the first inning as Blanton again started the game going two innings.  Hamels went three innings and gave up a 2 run homer to Braves 2nd baseman Dan Uggla who slammed a 2 out third inning homer to put the Braves up 3-1.   The Braves got 3 hits in the third, one of the singles wiped out on a steal attempt.  Hamels then settled down giving up a leadoff single in the fourth before retiring the last six hitters he faced in a row.   Meanwhile, Tim Hudson cruised through six innings with the Brave holding their 3-1 lead.

The Phils finally got to Hudson in the seventh and ninth innings as leftfielder Raul Ibanez slammed a 1 out seventh inning double and came around to score on shortstop Jack Wilson’s fielding miscue on catcher Carlos Ruiz’s grounder.    That chased Hudson and began a parade of seven Braves’ relievers over the next seven innings.   The Phils tied the game in the ninth against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel after loading the bases with1 out on a single and 2 walks.  2nd baseman Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly drove in the tying run as Kimbrel, going for his 47th save, was charged with his 8th blown save and wore goat’s ears.  7 Phil relievers followed Hamels into the game and young September call-up Justin De Fratus was credited with his 1st MLB win while David Herndon notched his 1st save in the Braves thirteenth after rightfielder Hunter Pence came up clutch with runners on 1st and 3rd base with 2 out in the thirteenth lining an RBI single to rightfield for the winning run as the Phillies swept the Braves in thirteen Innings by 4-3 to end the Braves’ wild card hopes.

For the Phils, the win was their 102 of the season, an all-time franchise record.  Charlie Manuel (646-488) passed Gene Mauch to become the Phils’ all-time winningest manager.

AP’s game recap for Yahoo sports provides notes on Wednesday’s game.

With the Atlanta Braves being swept by the Phils and folding after holding a huge NL Wild Card lead, coupled with St. Louis Cardinals’ shutout routing of Houston, the Cardinals are now the NL Wild Card team as the division playoffs begin with the Phils facing the Cards in a best of 5 game series for one of the berths to play for the NL pennant.

The Phillies, Cardinals NL divisional playoffs begin on Saturday as ace Roy Halladay is opposed by Kyle Lohse in the opener of a best of 5 series to decide one of the berths for the NLCS.

For all of Wednesday’s scores and recaps throughout Major League Baseball, click here.

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Howard, Kendrick Lead Phillies Shutout of Rockies

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Ryan Howard    Kyle Kendrick
Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick tossed easily his best game of the season on Tuesday — an eight inning, 117 pitch, 4 hit, 2 walk, 7 strikeout shutout.   Meanwhile, Phils’ bats reached Colorado Rockies starter Aaron Cook for 2 first inning runs and 2 more in the fourth with 1st baseman Ryan Howard and rightfielder  Hunter Pence providing offense.  Howard had his 2nd multi-homer game of the season pounding solo homers in the fourth inning off of Cook and in the eighth inning off of Rockies reliever Matt Lindstrom.   The Phils went off to a 5 run lead and Kendrick made it stick through eight innings.    Reliever David Herndon finished the game going clean on the Rockies in a 12 pitch ninth inning as Howard and Kendrick led the Phillies in a 5-0 shutout of Rockies in game 2 of their 3 game series.

With the win, the Phils’  NL East lead continues to build and is now at 8 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who again lost to last place Washington.  The Mets dropped another one to the Florida Marlins and the 2 teams are now tied for 3rd place 15 1/2 games out.

Kendrick, who knows that he’s returning to the bullpen with the reactivation of Roy Oswalt from the DL, tossed what appears to be a career game vs the Rockies.   His 7 strikeouts were a career high.   He cruised throughout spreading out the 4 hits and only allowing 2 men to reach in the same inning in the first on a single and a walk.    He didn’t allow a runner past 2nd base through his eight inning masterpiece as the Phillies won their fifth straight game.

AP’s game recap for Yahoo sports provides additional game highlights:

“It is what it is,” Kendrick said. “Everyone knows I can start. Oswalt coming back is going to make us better.”

Oswalt has been out since late June with a bad back and Kendrick has taken on the starting role in his absence. Tuesday’s win was just his third as a starter, and he did it with best performance since throwing a complete game against Pittsburgh on July 3, 2010.

“KK was very good,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “This would rank up there with his best outing.”

Kendrick agreed—to a point.

“Results-wise, yeah,” he said. “My changeup wasn’t very good tonight but my cutter and fastball were pretty good.”

The Phillies, meanwhile, got off to a fast start against Aaron Cook, who pitched four innings before leaving with muscle spasms in his neck.

Jimmy Rollins led off the game with a walk and moved to third on Shane Victorino’s single.   Chase Utley drove in Rollins with a groundout and Hunter Pence hit an RBI double with two outs.

Philadelphia tacked on two more in the fourth. Howard led off with a drive to the facing of the second deck in right-center. One out later, Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco hit consecutive singles and Brian Schneider had a sacrifice fly.

“It felt pretty good off the bat,” Howard said of his 432-foot homer. “It started middle in and it ran back over the plate.”

Cook (2-6) gave up five hits, struck out two and walked one.

“When you get the lead and add two more on that’s what really helps,” Manuel said. “Two runs in this yard doesn’t hold up a lot.”

Howard led off the eighth with a drive to left against Matt Lindstrom for his 23rd homer.

The Phils now stand at 70-39 in one of the best marks at August 2nd in their history.   One would have to go back for comparison to 1976 when they were  69-33 on this date on the way to a 101-61 regular season and  1993 when they were 68-39 on August 2 on the way to a 97-65 regular season finish.

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

The Phils hope for another series sweep in Wednesday’s final as ace Roy Halladay, gunning for his 14th win, is opposed by Jason Hammel for the Rockies.  The Phils then depart for San Francisco and a 4 game series with the Giants beginning on Thursday.

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

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Phillies Nip Reds in 19 Innings on Ibanez’s Sacrifice RBI

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Ben Francisco   John Mayberry Jr.  Wilson Valdez  Ryan Howard  Raul Ibanez
The Phillies ran out to a 3-0 lead on rightfielder Ben Francisco’s first inning 2 run homer and centerfielder John Mayberry Jr’s second inning RBI single — all off of Cincinnati’s young lefthanded starter Travis Wood.   In most games, a 3-0 lead with Halladay pitching means “take the win to the bank.”  However, in this marathon nineteen inning job, Cincinnati crept back against Halladay to tie the game on 1st baseman Joey Votto’s fifth inning RBI single and rightfielder Jay Bruce’s seventh inning game tying 2 run single.  The game went into extra innings knotted at 3-3, but Bruce and 1st baseman Ryan Howard traded tenth inning solo homers to keep the game knotted, now at 4-4.    Both teams ate through their entire bullpens such that Phils’ 2nd baseman Wilson Valdez, who played eighteen innings at 2nd base, came on to pitch the nineteenth inning and went clean on the Reds and was credited with his 1st MLB win.   Then Carlos Fisher, the 7th Reds pitcher, gave up a leadoff single to shortstop Jimmy Rollins and then walked the bases loaded with 1 out.    Leftfielder Raul Ibanez then faced Fisher taking a strike looking before lofting a sacrifice fly to centerfield to drive in the winning run.  The Phillies nipped the Reds by 5-4 in 19 innings on Ibanez’s sacrifice RBI to win the 3rd of the 4 game series.

With the win, the Phils remained 1 1/2 games up in the NL East on the 2nd place Florida Marlins who won their own twelve inning knot job over the San Francisco Giants.   3rd place Atlanta won their game and remained 3 games behind the front-running Phils.

After jumping out to that 3-0 lead after two innings and Halladay nursing the lead into the fifth, one would figure; game over!  But Halladay was giving up a lot of hits — 7 through 4 1/3 innings.   He gave up 11 hits and 3 runs in all through seven innings while throwing 123 pitches.

Opposing pitcher Wood gave up 3 runs on 6 hits through six innings while throwing 102 pitches.  With the 2 starters out of the picture, the parade of pitchers on both sides, and parade of innings and zeros began.

Still tied in the tenth inning, Bruce led off the inning with a dinger off of Antonio Bastardo, the Phils’ 4th pitcher — who followed Ryan Madson, and who got through 2/3rds of the inning.

Closer Francisco Cordero, Cincy’s 5 pitcher, entered in the Phils’ half of the tenth to try to finish off them off, but was greeted by Howard’s lead off game-tying shot.   From there, the game of zeros continued until the Phillies’ nineteenth.

The AP game recap for Yahoo sports describes the next nine innings and the parade of extra-inning zeros:

Phillies reliever Danys Baez threw 73 pitches and tossed one-hit ball over five scoreless innings.

“My arm feels good now,” Baez said. “I don’t know about tomorrow.”

Today is tomorrow.

“Well, in six hours.”

Fisher, the Reds’ seventh pitcher, worked 5 2-3 innings and gave up one run and four hits. The Phillies used 21 players overall, the Reds used 20.

Fisher finally wore down when Jimmy Rollins singled to open the 19th, Domonic Brown walked and Placido Polanco sacrificed. Thousands of fans derisively chanted “Fisher! Fisher!” before he intentionally Howard to load the bases. Ibanez was 1 for 8 during the night when he hit a fly to deep center to win it.

“The fans were great to get on him like that,” Howard said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

The Reds used seven pitchers and the Phillies nine. The Reds had 15 hits; Philadelphia 13.

Some of the boxscore numbers were rough. Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was 0 for 7 and Phillies infielder Placido Polanco was 1 for 8.

Valdez threw a hitless 19th inning in his first professional pitching appearance. Phillies fans stood and chanted “Let’s go, Wilson!” when the 33-year-old Valdez shifted from second to the mound.

The first batter he faced was Votto, and the reigning NL MVP flied out to deep center field.

He hit 90 mph on a fastball to… Votto. He shook off catcher Dane Sardinha. And he showed no fear.

“If he hits a home run, they’re not going to say anything to me,” said Valdez, laughing.

Not bad for a journeyman infielder making his first professional appearance on the mound.

…Ryan Howard put his mitt over his face to hide his smile when Valdez shook off his catcher.

“I was like, ‘What is he going to throw? What does he have?”’ Howard said. “It was funny, but he got it done.”

Some fans, young and old, already were asleep in the stands as the game played on. But plenty of the die-hards who stuck around made it a lively atmosphere, especially when Valdez took over as Philadelphia’s ninth pitcher.

Valdez threw one pitch to the backstop and hit Scott Rolen. But the Phillies’ newest right-hander then retired Jay Bruce on a fly ball and got down Reds reliever Carlos Fisher( (0-1) on a popup.

Valdez wound up as the winning pitcher early Thursday.

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

Meanwhile, there is no rest for the weary as Wednesday’s game ended at 1:19 a.m. after 6 hours, 11 minutes and Thursday’s get-away game begins at 1:05 PM with lefthander Cliff Lee being opposed by Homer Bailey.

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

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Phillies Off-Season: Jayson Werth — Gone, Cliff Lee Signs

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Jayson Werth    Jayson Werth
  <---Out—-> 

Cliff Lee  ——>Cliff Lee —–>Cliff Lee —–>Cliff Lee By now, all Phillies fans must know, unless they’re in reclusive hybernation, that Jayson Werth went free agency and signed for 7 years, $126 million with the Washington Nationals and that lefthanded Cy Young-winning starter Cliff Lee, spurning lucrative offers from both the Yankees and the Texas Rangers and leaving millions on the table, returned to the Phillies, the scene of his 2009 2nd half and 4 win post-season heroics, signing a 5-year, $120 million deal with a vesting option for an additional year.

Dealing with Werth’s signing with the Nationals first.  All due credit to the Nats’ front office for getting aggressive in signing the former Phils’ rightfielder.  But after losing Adam Dunn to the Chicago White Sox, a few major questions come up:  How will the Nats make up for the homer shortfall losing Dunn and his average 40 plus homers and 100 plus RBIs vs Werth’s average 29 homers and 80 plus RBIs over the last three seasons — the maturation of his career?   The strikeouts are basically a wash, although Dunn has struck out approximately 5.5% more than Werth over the past 2 seasons.  

Will Werth’s defensive prowess and durability as well as steadier offensive production compensate for the loss of Dunn’s power numbers?  Time will tell.   Is Jayson Werth at age 31, the same age as Dunn, really worth $3 million more than Dunn over the next 4 seasons and worth the risk of 61 million more over 3 additional seasons?   And how do the Nationals afford to spend an average $18 million on 1 player when they only averaged 22,500 per game attendance in 2010 in Nationals Park, a stadium which holds close to 42,000?  

Granted, the Nationals have phenom Stephen Strasburg, who it is hoped will be back full-force from Tommy John surgery for the 2012 season, and some other seeming upside potential starting pitchers, along with newly-acquired outfielder Rick Ankiel, 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Werth, 20 year veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez and 1st baseman/outfielder Michael Morse.  But will Werth be what it takes to move up over any one of the four clubs who finished above them in the NL East?  Never mind any thought of challenging for the division, ain’t gonna happen!   But the Nationals will be interesting to watch in 2011.

Now, for THE DEAL…   Cliff Lee, after a 2010 sojourn with the Seattle Mariners and after being integral in the Texas Rangers’ 2nd half drive to their 1st ever appearance in the World Series, spurned an attractive offer from the Rangers and steered clear of the Yankees with their drama and intrigues returning to the site of his 2009 heroics with the Phillies.  With Lee onboard, one would be hard-pressed to find, anywhere in MLB history, a starting rotation foursome on paper as impressive, dynamic and seemingly unbeatable as the Phillies’ Four Aces: righties Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt and lefthanders Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels.  

But looking back through MLB annals, you would have to go back to those Baltimore Orioles of the 1970’s with lefthanders  Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally and righthanders Pat Dobson and Jim Palmer or those Atlanta Braves rotations of the 1990’s of Steve Avery and Tom Glavine going from the left side and righthanders Greg Maddux and John Smoltz to find a rotation to approach the dominance, on paper, of the Phillies Four Aces of 2011.

Here’s a caution about the possibility of unrealistic expectations: the position of pitcher is the MOST vulnerable position on the field — a 95 mph fastball line-smashed back through the box — there’s not much a pitcher can do unless he’s lucky enough to get the glove hand up or, somehow get out of the way.

Having lost Werth to free agency, the Phils look to outfielders, including top prospect Domonic Brown, as well as Ben Francisco and possibly John Mayberry Jr., to either break-out individually or to collectively make Werth’s departure relatively painless.   And, of course, the rest of the starting lineup need stay clear of injuries and put together consistent production, both with regard to power and in small-ball, such as they’ve shown to be capable of in previous seasons.   The June/July swoon last season, the long string of shutouts against them, the power-outage and failure to play small-ball during that 2 month period all were nerve-wracking for Phillies fans.

Having said all of the above, each over the four aces consistently went deep into games and completed a combined total of 20 games between them in 2010.  Hopefully, in 2011, the Phils middle relief and set-up men won’t be over-used getting to the closer.   And a Brad Lidge, hopefully closer to 2008 form, would support the starters with plenty of light’s-out ninths when the aces need closer help.

I do not presume here to know the entire financial picture surrounding Werth’s departure and Lee’s signing.  But here is what I’ve pieced together in terms of the plus/(minus) for 2011 [this may or may not be complete];

  1. Werth’s departure frees up $7 million in 2011 (based on his 2010 earnings — source: USA Today
  2. Lee’s 1st season pay:  $11 million in 2011 (source: NBC Philadelphia)
  3. Possible trade of Joe Blanton: 2011 pay: $8.5 million (source: MLB Fanhouse) If traded, the Phils may have to eat a portion of Blanton’s 2011 pay to do the deal and free up funds in both 2011, as well as a full $8.5 million in 2012.
  4. Roy Oswalt’s final gauranteed season is 2011: he’s due $16 million ( source: NBC Philadelphia)
  5. Raul Ibanez makes $11.5 million in 2011, the final season of his deal (source: ibid)

Here are a group of great related articles dealing with all Four Aces, as well as other pertinent off-season pieces regarding Werth’s signing by the Washington Nationals and prior-season pieces regarrding other Phillies:

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Halladay’s No-Hitter Makes MLB History, Phillies Shut Out Reds

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

       Roy Halladay      Roy Halladay     Shane Victorino

Phillies ace Roy Halladay made his first-ever post-season appearance in high style against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday by making Major League Baseball history as only the 2nd pitcher to ever pitch a no-hitter in post-season play.  The only other holder of that historical distinction was  Don Larsen who threw an El-Perfecto at the then Brooklyn Dodgers in the  5th game of the 1956 World Series. The Yankees went on to win that series in the full 7 games.  Halladay’s shot at perfection was only marred by a fifth inning 2 out walk to Reds’ rightfielder Jay Bruce. But Halladay got the Reds’ next hitter, centerfielder Drew Stubbs to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning as Halladay’s no-hitter made MLB history and the Phillies shut out the Reds by 4-0 in their NLDS opener.

Halladay’s prowess was not limited to the pitcher’s mound.  Nursing a 1-0 first inning lead acquired due to centerfielder Shane Victorino’s 1 out double, his steal of 3rd base and 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s sacrifice fly RBI, Halladay’s 2 out second inning RBI single off of Reds’ starter Edinson Volquez was in the center of the Phils’ 3 run second inning which added cushion to the lead, as if “the Doc” really needed cushion.

Halladay threw 104 pitches, a miraculous 79 of them for strikes, in completing his no-hitter.  Having gotten Bruce on the 2 out fielder’s choice in the fifth inning, Doc faced the regulation 27 Reds hitters.
He struck out 8 while yielding 12 ground balls and just 6 flies to the outfield.  Former Phil 3rd baseman
Scott Rolen took an 0 for 3 collar — all strikeouts and leftfielder Jonny Gomes struck out twice.

After Volquez got a groundout and fly out to start the second inning, he walked catcher Carlos Ruiz and then 3rd baseman Wilson Valdez singled to left centerfield putting runners on 1st and 2nd base. Valdez, who has been clutch through the season when he has played replacing Utley, shortstop  Jimmy Rollins or Polanco, was subbing for Placido Polanco who was scratched from the lineup with an ailing back.  That brought up Halladay who nailed Volquez’s 1st pitch to leftfield driving in Ruiz with the 2nd Phils run. 

From there, Volquez fell apart.  He went 3-0 to Rollins before walking him on a full count to load the bases.  Victorino chased Volquez with his 2nd single in two innings driving in Valdez and Halladay as the Phils took the 4-0 lead.  Rookie reliever Travis Wood entered and got Utley to ground out to 2nd base to end the inning.  Wood tossed 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball only giving up a single and walking 1.  Two other Reds’ relievers held the Phils hitless through the final three innings but it didn’t much matter.  Halladay cruised to his no-hitter tossing but 9 pitches in the ninth to get a pop out to 2nd base, a foul out to 3rd base and 2nd baseman Brandon Phillips’ nubber which Ruiz jumped on and winged to 1st baseman Ryan Howard for the final out sealing the no-hitter.

The AP game recap for Yahoo notes:

Cincinnati didn’t come too close to a hit. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins made the toughest play, going deep in the hole and making a strong throw to retire Joey Votto in the fourth.

Pitcher Travis Wood hit a sinking liner to right that Jayson Werth caught in the third. Pinch-hitter Juan Francisco hit a hard grounder up the middle in the sixth, but Rollins scooted over and made it look easy.

Halladay became the fifth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the same year. He joined Nolan Ryan (1973), Virgil Trucks (1952), Allie Reynolds (1951) and Johnny Vander Meer (1938).

The Phils have announced their post-season roster.  The big surprise here is the dropping of Kyle Kendrick from the roster in favor of young left-hander Antonio Bastardo.  It was previously thought that Kendrick would relieve in the playoffs.

To view the scores of all Wednesday’s playoff games, click here.

The Phils and Reds have Thursday off and renew play at Philadelphia’s Citizen’s Bank Park on Friday as Roy Oswalt is scheduled to start  game 2 opposed by Cincinnati’s Bronson Arroyo.  The two teams are off on Saturday before switching venues to Cincinnati for game 3. 

To view the schedule of all Thursday’s and Friday’s playoff games, click here and here.

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Phillies Split Final 2 Games With Nationals, Face Atlanta for Season-Ending 3

Friday, October 1st, 2010

    Roy Oswalt   Ben Francisco  Mike Sweeney

               John Mayberry Jr.     Joe Blanton

After Phillies ace Roy Halladay’s 2 hit masterpiece clinched their 4th consecutive NL East crown, the Phils went on to split the final 2 games with  Washington Nationals as the Phils maintained momentum going into Atlanta for the final series of the regular season with the Braves.

On Tuesday, the other Roy, Roy Oswalt prepped for the playoffs with a five inning 67 pitch, 1 run, 2 hit effort as the two teams were knotted 1-1.  He walked 2 and struck out 3 for the no-decision outing.  Manager Charlie Manuel began rested starters while giving shortstop Jimmy Rollins, just back from the DL, some pre-playoffs playing time.  Rollins went 0 for the 2 games.  3rd baseman Placido Polanco, centerfielder Shane Victorino, rightfielder Jayson Werth and catcher Carlos Ruiz all sat with Greg Dobbs,  Ben Francisco, Domonic Brown and Brian Schneider playing in their stead.  Leftfielder Raul Ibanez led off the fourth with a homer off of Jason Marquis but the Phils’ offense went stagnant colllecting 3 other hits in the fourth inning but plating nothing.  The offense went stagnant for the game despite collecting 9 hits.  Marquis went six innings giving up 7 hits and 2 relievers shut the door on the Phils the rest of the way.  Nationals 1st baseman Adam Dunn, who may be lost to the Nationals via Free Agancy in the off-season, slammed a ninth inning leadoff walk-off homer off of reliever Jose Contreras as the Nationals edged the Phillies by a 2-1 score. 

On Wednesday, Joe Blanton followed Oswalt’s performance with a gem of his own.  Blanton threw 107 pitches in a seven inning 1 run, 3 hit effort.  Meanwhile, Phillies subs lit into lefthanded Nationals’ starter Ross Detwiler for 7 runs in 4 2/3 innings.  Leftfielder Ben Francisco had a huge game at the plate going 3 for 4 with 2 homers (in the second and fifth innings) and 3 RBIs.  1st baseman Mike Sweeney, subbing as Ryan Howard rested, went back-to-back with Francisco in the second inning and substitute outfielder  John Mayberry Jr. went 2 for 4 with a 3 run fourth inning homer.  3 Phil relievers went clean on Washington in the final 2 frames as the Phils pounded Washington by a 7-1 score to win 2 of the 3 games.

To view the AP recaps for Yahoo on both games, click here and here.

Wednesday’s recap indicates:

Joe Blanton (9-6) … [is] expected to be used as a reliever when the Phillies open the playoffs at home next Wednesday; they’ll use Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels in a three-man rotation.

“If he doesn’t start, he’s very valuable in the bullpen because he throws strikes and he’s gutty,” Manuel said.

Although the Braves have been mathematically eliminated from the division race, they are still fighting for the NL Wild Card berth and are 2 games up on the San Diego Padres with their magic number at 2 games.  The Braves have incentive to fight hard against the Phils — the Wild Card berth as well as revenge for being caught and overtaken.  The Phils also have strong incentive to win this series — to finish the regular season winning going away and to maintain team momentum, along with the home field advantage into the division and league championship playoffs.

To view the scores of all Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games,  click here, here and here.

The Phils had a rest day on Thursday before travelling to Atlanta to take on the Wild Card probable Braves in a 3 game end of the regular season series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Kyle Kendrick opposes Atlanta’s rookie Brandon Beachy who went 4 1/3 innings giving up 3 runs in losing during the recent Phils sweep.   The Phils are undecided as to their starters on Saturday and Sunday while the Braves appear to be going with Tommy Hanson on Saturday and Tim Hudson on Sunday.

This blog will be periodic for the remainder of the regular season as the remaining 3 Phillies games will be anti-climatic with the Phils undoubtedly shuffling the lineup to rest regulars for the playoffs with a number of September call-up prospects starting in their places..

To view the schedule of all of all Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s games,  click here, here and here.

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