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Ibanez Leads Phillies Past Pirates With Tenth Inning Walkoff to Sweep Series

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Jimmy Rollins    Raul Ibanez    Hunter Pence
Phillies leftfielder Raul Ibanez had easily his biggest game of the season on Sunday going 3 for 5, with 2 homers and 4 RBIs including his 1 out tenth inning walkoff double driving the winning run off of  Pittsburgh reliever Tom Watson.  Ibanez’s walkoff came back-to-back after a 1 out double by newly acquired rightfielder Hunter Pence.  Hurlers Vance Worley and opposing pitcher Jeff Karstens retired in the sixth and seventh innings respectively, with Pirates holding a 4-3 lead and were not part of the final decision.   Shortstop Jimmy Rollins went 2 for 4 in the final driving in 2 more runs, giving the Phils a short-lived 3-2 lead in the fifth and and garnering 6 hits and 2 walks in 17 plates appearances for the series while stealing 2 bases as Ibanez led the Phillies past the Pirates by 6-5 with a tenth inning walkoff double to sweep the 3 game series.

With the win, the Phils’  upped their NL East lead to 6 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who lost to the 4th place Florida Marlins.  The 3rd place Mets dropped to 13 1/2 games back after losing to last place Washington, while the 4th place Florida Marlins remained 15 1/2 games back.

The AP game recap for Yahoo sports provides the detail on Sunday’s game:

The Phillies trailed 5-3 in the eighth when Ibanez hit a two-run shot for his second homer of the game. He doubled to right off Tony Watson (0-2) in the 10th to score Pence and help the Phillies complete a three-game sweep.

“We stay together and pull together when we need to,” Ibanez said.

Antonio Bastardo (4-0) struck out one in a scoreless inning to earn the win.

Ibanez hit a solo homer in the second off Pirates starter Jeff Karstens and his tying blast was off Jose Veras. The Phillies are a season-high 29 games over .500 (68-39) and swept their fifth series of the season.

The Pirates, trying to keep pace in a crowded NL Central race, left Philadelphia reeling but with two new bats. A day after they traded for Derrek Lee, the Pirates acquired outfielder Ryan Ludwick from the San Diego Padres.

Lyle Overbay
hit a two-run homer and Karstens pitched seven solid innings for the Pirates.

On the brink of losing his starting first baseman’s job, Overbay connected on a two-run shot off Phillies starter Vance Worley in the sixth for a 4-3 lead. Overbay, a disappointment in his first season with the Pirates, will hit the bench once Lee joins the team. Lee, acquired from  Baltimore on Saturday, should take over at first when the Pirates return home.

After allowing 17 runs to the Phillies in the first two games of the series, Karstens turned in a nice little outing.

The Pirates then got Ludwick from the Padres for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Ludwick batted .238 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 64 RBIs in 378 at-bats. He was scratched two minutes before the start of the Padres game Sunday against Colorado.

“They have a bunch of answers,” Hurdle said. “Today, it was Ibanez.”

He hit his 15th homer in the second, a solo shot, for a 1-0 lead and Jimmy Rollins singled in two runs in the fifth that gave the Phillies a 3-2 lead.

The Pirates scored another run in seventh on Garrett Jones’ RBI double off reliever Brad Lidge.  Xavier Paul had a two-RBI single in the fifth.

Worley, coming off his first career complete game, picked up where he left off, fanning five straight batters over the first and second innings. With his glasses and quirky mohawk, Worley has become an instant fan favorite. He struggled after his fast start, allowing seven hits and four runs in six innings.

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

The Phils head out West to begin a 3 game series with the Colorado Rockies beginning on Monday. Lefthander Cole Hamels hopes to gain his 13th win to match ace Roy Halladay.   Hamels is opposed by 23 year old Jhoulys Chacin for the Rockies.

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

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Offense Clicks as Phillies Pound Pirates in First 2 Games

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Roy Halladay   Chase Utley   Jimmy Rollins   Ryan Howard   Cliff Lee
The Phillies offense clicked on a number of cylinders against Pittsburgh on Friday and Saturday behind ace  Roy Halladay and lefthander Cliff Lee.  And they added an additional tool to their offensive mix obtaining All Star outfielder Hunter Pence from Houston for 3 minor league prospects in a non-waiver trade on Friday.    On Friday, 2nd baseman Chase Utley and shortstop Jimmy Rollins were the offensive stars, each hitting a homer as Utley went 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs — 3 of them driven in on his second inning homer and Rollins hitting a seventh inning 2 run shot as the Phils pummelled Pirates starter Charlie Morton and reliever Jason Grilli.   Halladay carried a 1 hit shutout through seven innings tossing 98 pitches before being lifted to win his 13th game.    The Bucs scored their 3 runs in the eighth inning off of reliever Drew Carpenter before David Herndon tossed a 14 pitch clean ninth inning striking out 2 to seal the win.   On Saturday, Cliff Lee struck out 11 Bucs in 7 2/3 innings while coughing up 2 runs each in the fourth and eighth innings enroute to finally winning his 10th game.  1st baseman Ryan Howard was the big offensive noise in this one with a perfect 4 for 4 game with 3 RBIs, even drawing a walk and pounding a 2nd inning homer off of Bus’ starter James McDonald to put the Phils’ 1st run on the board.   Rollins slammed his 2nd homer in 2 games in the third inning as the Phils held a 3-0 lead in the fourth before 3rd baseman  Pedro Alvarez reached Lee for a 2 out 2 run homer to narrow the Phils’ lead to 3-2.    The Phils scored 2 answering runs in their fourth as McDonald left after five, and another in the seventh on catcher Carlos Ruiz’s RBI double.   Pence collected his 1st hit and RBI as a Phillie driving in the final runin the eighth as the offense clicked and the Phillies pounded the Pirates by 10-3 and 7-4 in the first 2 games of their series.

Despite their 2 wins, the Phils’  NL East lead remained at 5 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who also took 2 from the 4th place Florida Marlins.  The 3rd place Mets dropped to 12 1/2 games back splitting 2 games with last place Washington, while the 4th place Florida Marlins dropped to 15 1/2 games back.

Carpenter, who relieved Halladay on Friday was tagged for the Bucs’ 3 runs on 3 hits and walk in the eighth inning before being optioned with outfielder Domonic Brown to make room for Pence and reactivated 3rd baseman Placido Polanco.   Brown, 1st baseman Ryan Howard, leftfielder Raul Ibanez and 3rd baseman Wilson Valdez had a hit each and each drove in a run while centerfielder Shane Victorino went 3 for 5 and scored a run.

Hunter Pence
Victorino, who collected 5 hits in the 2 games opened Saturday’s eighth inning with a single to rightfield off of Bucs reliever Jose Veras.  After Utley grounded out, Howard was intentionally walked.  Pence then came through singling to center to drive in Victorino.   The Phils had a chance for more scoring in the eighth as Polanco singled in his 1st game back to load the sacks with 2 out.  But Veras got Carlos Ruiz to line out to shortstop.Meanwhile, reliever Antonio Bastardo replaced Lee with 2 on and 2 out in the eighth striking out Alvarez to end the inning.   Closer Ryan Madson then struck out the side on 13 pitches in the ninth to earn his 18th save.   Lee threw 128 pitches in 7 2/3 innings giving up 4 runs on 8 hits.For more background on the 2 games, click on the AP game recaps for Yahoo sports here and here.For all of Friday’s and Saturday’s scores and recaps, click here and here.

The Phils hope for a 3 game sweep of the Pirates to finish out July as youngster  Vance Worley, off of his 1st MLB complete game, looks for his 8th win opposing Jeff Karstens for the Bucs.  The Phils head out after Sunday’s game to begin a 3 game series with the Colorado Rockies beginning on Monday and followed by 4 games with San Francisco.

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

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Giants Top Phillies Behind Lincecum, Bullpen

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The on-again, off-again Phillies offense, stifled by Giants’ Matt Cain on Wednesday, were again totally shut down on Thursday by ace Tim Lincecum.  Meanwhile, the Giants scored single runs in the second and fourth innings, as well as 2 more runs in the seventh off of Kyle Kendrick building a 4-0 lead.as the Phils blew scoring chances in the first, third and fifth innings before 2nd baseman Chase Utley’s 2 out seventh inning double plated the Phils’ only run. They could have scored more in the seventh but 3rd baseman  Michael Martinez was stranded on 3rd base as 1st baseman Ryan Howard grounded out to end the inning.  In the ninth, pinch hitter Ross Gload connected for a 1 out double off of closer Brian Wilson but was stranded on 3rd base with Wilson striking out Martinez to end it.   Kendrick went 6 1/3 innings, and the 4 relievers who came after retired the final 8 Frisco hitters but the Giants topped the Phillies by 4-1 behind Lincecum and the bullpen thus taking 2 of the 3 games from the Phils.

Despite their 2nd straight loss, the Phils’  NL East lead remained at 5 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The 3rd place Mets moved to 11 1/2 games back, while the 4th place Florida Marlins improved to 13 1/2 games back, 2 1/2 games ahead of Washington by again beating the Nationals.

In what seemed the only piece of good news for the Phils in this one, newly acquired outfielder Carlos Beltran took an 0-4 collar in his debut appearance with the Giants after coming from the Mets in a non-waiver trade on Wednesday.

AP’s Thursday game recap for Yahoo sports on notes:

Lincecum and Matt Cain dominated the Phillies last October, and they did so again in this series.

“Our pitchers did a great job and we got the hits when we needed,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “They’re a great club.”

Lincecum (9-8) showed no negative effects from the stomach illness that forced him to push his start back two days. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner allowed three hits, struck out six and worked around four walks.

“I felt fine, a little fatigued but I just tried to keep a good pace,” Lincecum said.

The Phillies hadn’t lost consecutive games since June 4. They went a club-record 45 straight games without dropping two straight.

[Pablo] Sandoval
gave the NL West leaders a 1-0 lead when he led off the second inning with an opposite-field shot to left. It was Sandoval’s 10th homer, becoming the first Giant to reach double digits this season.

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick (5-5) gave up four runs—three earned—and six hits in 6 1-3 innings.

The Giants went up 2-0 in the fourth when Nate Schierholtz ripped an RBI single.  Aubrey Huff hit a two-out double and scored on Schierholtz’s liner to right-center.

In the seventh, the Giants had runners at first and third with one out when pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand hit a grounder to third.  Michael Martinez bobbled it and then made a wild throw to first base. Schierholtz scored from third and Chris Stewart came all the way around from first, sliding in safely on a close play at the plate to make it 4-0.

Ramon Ramirez took over for Lincecum to start the seventh. He gave up a double to Carlos Ruiz. Chase Utley drove him in when he hit a double off Jeremy Affeldt later in the inning.

Brian Wilson finished for his 33rd save in 37 chances.

Before the at-bat against Affeldt, Utley had stranded five runners, including three in scoring position, in his first three times up.

The Phillies had a runner on third with one out in the first after [Jimmy] Rollins led off with a double and advanced on a bunt. But Utley popped out to shortstop and Ryan Howard struck out. Utley struck out with men on first and third to end the third. He struck out with two runners on to end the fifth.

Roy Oswalt (back) is expected to make another rehab start before possibly rejoining Philadelphia’s rotation. … All-Star 3B Placido Polanco is moving closer toward returning to the Phillies. He’s scheduled to play nine innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday. … Rollins snapped an 0-for-19 slump with his double.

Reliever Brad Lidge, recently reactivated from the DL, has given up no runs, no hits while walking 1 and striking out 2 in 2 appearances over 1 1/3 innings in his first action in 2011.

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

The Pittsburgh Pirates are next into Philly for the final 3 games of this 10 game homestand to finish out July.   Ace Roy Halladay goes for the Phils in Friday’s opener against Charlie Morton.   On Saturday, lefthander Cliff Lee again tries for that elusive 10th win opposed by James McDonald.

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

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Cain Handcuffs Offense as Giants Edge Phillies

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels dueled with Giants’ Matt Cain as Cain stiffled the Phils offense holding them to a run and spreading out 4 hits while pitching into the eighth inning.  Hamels gave 2 runs on 6 hits over 7 2/3 innings an deserved a better fate than losing his 6th game along with his 12 wins.  Ex-Phil centerfielder Aaron Rowand tripled in the Giants 1st run in the third inning while rightfielder  Nate Schierholtz doubled in the winning run in the seventh.   Rightfielder Domonic Brown’s 1 out  single drove in the Phils’ only run in their seventh.   Runners were few and far in-between for the Phils offense as catcher Carlos Ruiz went out twice with runners on base grounding out to end the second inning leaving 2 on and grounding into a doubleplay with Brown on 1st in the seventh.   The Phils had shortstop Jimmy Rollins at 2nd base in scoring position with 2 outs in the eighth against lefthanded reliever Javier Lopez, but 2nd baseman Chase Utley flied out to centerfied to end the inning.   Closer Brian Wilson set the zPhils down in order in the ninth inning as Cain handcuffed the offense as the Giants edged the Phillies by 2-1 to knot the 3 game series at 1 win apiece.

With the loss, the Phils’  NL East lead dropped to 5 games over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves who edged the Pittsburgh Pirates again in extra innings.  The 3rd place Mets moved to 12 1/2 games back, while the 4th place Florida Marlins improved to 14 1/2 games back and 1 1/2 games ahead of  Washington by nipping the Nationals.

AP’s game recap for Yahoo sports summarized the game:

Rowand helped the Giants strike first when he sliced an opposite-field triple into the right-field corner in the third for a 1-0 lead.

Jeff Keppinger doubled to lead off the seventh and Cody Ross, the NLCS MVP, walked.   Nate Schierholtz followed with a low liner and right fielder Domonic Brown took a weird route before failing on a diving attempt, helping the Giants extend the lead to 2-0.

Hamels, who threw eight shutout innings in his last start against San Diego, escaped the rest of the [seventh] inning without further damage after loading the bases with no outs. Rowand grounded into a double play to end the rally.

Staked to a 2-0 lead, Cain ran into trouble in the seventh. Cain and catcher Eli WhitesideShane Victorino’s infield popup. They bumped each other and the ball was knocked into foul territory for a two-base error. Brown’s hard grounder deflected off first baseman Aubrey Huff and into right to make it 2-1.  Carlos Ruiz hit into a double play to end the threat. couldn’t get out of each other’s way on

Cain allowed an unearned run and four hits before he was yanked when pinch-hitter  Ross Gload reached on catcher’s interference leading off the eighth. Javier Lopez got three outs and Brian Wilson finished for his 32nd save and a combined four-hitter. The Giants have won 12 of 17.

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

On Thursday, the Phils hope to continue their string of 10 straight series wins as Klye Kendrick is slated to oppose Giant ace Tim Lincecum and to face centerfielder Carlos Beltran, now in a Giants uniform as a result of the non-waiver trade between the Mets and Giants.  Lincecum suffered from a stomach virus and thus had his start postponed from Tuesday’s opener to Thursday.

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

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Myers, Astros Edge Phillies as Offense Sputters Again

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

The Phillies collected 9 hits off of Houston starter Brett Myers.  But the offense blew numerous chances plating only 2 runs off of the former Phil.  Both runs came in the third inning when catcher Carlos Ruiz led off with a homer off of Myers.  After a ground out, 2 singles, and a fielders choice play at the plate, 2nd baseman Chase Utley looped a single into shallow centerfield to score the 2nd run.  Phillies starter Joe Blanton came up with another fine performance going seven innings and giving up a first inning run and 6 hits while striking out 9 and walking none.  With the Phils leading 2-1 starting the eighth inning, reliever Ryan Madson blew the lead giving up 2 runs as Myers and the Astros edged the Phillies by a 3-2 score as the offense sputtered again in the series opener.

The Phils blew their 3rd opportunity in 5 games to gain ground on Atlanta and remained remained 2 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Braves who were edged by Colorado.  The Phils wildcard lead dropped back to 1 game over the San Francisco Giants who pounded Cincinnati. Both the third place  Florida Marlins and the 4th place Mets had the day off but each picked up a 1/2 game on both the division-leading Braves and 2nd place Phillies.

Blanton retired the next 11 straight hitters after after giving up a run on 3 hits in the first inning.  Then he gave up a single hit in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.  In addition, he singled to shallow center in the third but, being slow afoot, he was rubbed out at home on centerfielder Shane Victorino’s fielder’s choice grounder.   With shortstop Jimmy Rollins at 3rd base after following Blanton with a single, Utley drove him home with his single to centerfield. 

With Madson in the game in the eighth and Astros on 2nd and 3rd base with 2 out, leftfielder Carlos Lee singled to shallow leftfield driving in both runs.  Madson was charged with the loss.

Manager Charlie Manuel was tossed from the game in the eighth for arguing a call when Astros centerfielder Michael Bourn bunted safely, barely eluding a tag attempt by 1st baseman Ryan Howard.  Manuel was tossed for claiming that Bourn step out of the baseline on the play.  Manuel was tossed by the same umpire under similar circumstances 2 months ago for arguing when Victorino was called out for running out of the baseline.

Winning pitcher Myers similarly fanned 9 Phils while walking 1 in his seven innings.  All 9 of Myers’ strikeouts were recorded against the 3rd through 6th hitters in the Phils lineup.  Howard alone accounted for 3 of strikeouts — that’s 112 strikeouts in 107 games.

Closer Brad Lidge tossed a scoreless ninth inning while Astros reliever  Brandon Lyon notched his 7th save. 

For more on another moribund offensive showing by the Phils, click here for AP’s game recap for Yahoo.

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

In Tuesday’s game 2, lefthander Cole Hamels opposes Bud Norris.

To view the schedule of all of Tuesday’s games, click here.

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Oswalt, Phillies Bullpen Shut Out Dodgers

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

        Domonic Brown    Roy Oswalt   Raul Ibanez

Newly-acquired Phillies starter Roy Oswalt was on his game winning his 1st game as a Phil on Wednesday shutting down the L.A. Dodgers for seven innings. Meanwhile, rightfielder  Domonic Brown grounded into a fourth inning bases-loaded fielder’s choice to plate the first of 2 Phillies runs off of Dodger starter Chad Billingsley.  Leftfielder Raul Ibanez, who’s hitting streak is now at 18 games, drove in the 2nd run with a double in the sixth.  When Oswalt left after seven innings, Reliever Ryan Madson took over pitching a scoreless eighth inning, only giving up a double.  Closer Brad Lidge, who is starting to resemble the Lidge of 2008, tossed another lights-out ninth inning for his 15th save as Oswalt and the Phillies bullpen shut out the Dodgers by a 2-0 score in game 2 of their 3 game series.

With the win, the Phils remained 2 1/2 games behind the NL East division-leading Atlanta Braves who pounded the Houston Astros. The 4th place  Mets dropped their game to the Colorado Rockies and are now 9 1/2 games behind the Braves and 7 games beneath the Phils. The Florida Marlins jumped into 3rd place, 1/2 game ahead of the Mets with their win over Washington.

Oswalt brushed aside 2-men-on threats in the second, third and fitfth innings with a doubleplay wiping out the second inning threat.  He threw 109 pitches through seven innings while walking 2 and striking out 5.  The Dodgers’ mounted their only serious threat — a fifth inning 2nd and 3rd base 2 out situation.  But a fielders’ choice grounder ended the fifth as Oswalt nursed the 1-0 lead brought about by Brown’s sacks-loaded, 1 out fielder’s choice RBI.  Back-to-back doubles by 1st baseman Ross Gload and leftfielder Raul Ibanez put the 2nd run on the board.  Although Billingsley also pitched a fine game, the Dodgers could privide no run support as Oswalt, Madson and Lidge made the 2 runs stand up.  Gload went down injured limping into 2nd base with a with a strained right groin on his leadoff sixth inning double.   Recently acquired pinch-runner Mike Sweeney scored the 2nd run on Ibanez’s sixth inning RBI double.  Sweeney finished the game at 1st base.

Madson gave up a leadoff double before finishing off the Dodgers in the eighth on 2 strikeouts and a fly out.  Lidge was even better going clean in the ninth on 11 pitches getting a groundout and 2 strikeouts to end it. 

                           Brad Lidge

Lidge has to be feeling mighty good about this one having brought back his memories of the many Oswalt games that he saved when they both pitched for Houston.

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

The Phils hope to come away with 2 of the 3 games as Joe Blanton is opposed by 22 year old lefthander Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers in Thursday’s series final.

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

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