It was another rough series for the Phillies. It showed that they still have problems in the bull pen with Tyler Walker surrendering a walk off homer and Ryan Madson almost blowing a save today. The Phillies are still trying to find a reliable arm to finish off games.
One big problem has been pitching all together. The offense is providing enough pop for them to win (averaged six runs a game during the series) but the starting and relief pitching has given up the leads provided by the offense.
Thursday – Philles won 9-4: The Phillies offense exploded for six runs in the 5th inning, backing up JA Happ who went 5.2 innings and allowed two runs on two walks, six hits, and seven strike outs. Jimmy Rollins hit a three run homer and Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz drove in a pair each.
Friday – Brewers won 8-4: Cliff Lee is starting to scare me. He’s starting to look like the Cliff Lee in the beginning of the season. He got roughed up again, this time by Milwaukee. Howard was the only bright spot for the Phillies, driving in three runs.
Saturday – Brewers won 7-5: Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer combined for eight innings and five runs. In the bottom of the ninth, Tyler Walker coughed up a two-run walk off homer to Ryan Braun. Howard and Paul Bako both homered for the Phils.
Sunday – Phillies won 6-5: Joe Blanton looked so good until the 6th where he surrendered four runs. He still earned the victory because the bull pen bailed him out (surprisingly). Ryan Madson earned his ninth save of the season in a nail biter.
Ryan Howard: 8-18, 3 runs, 2 doubles, HR, 7 RBI’s
Jimmy Rollins: 6-19, 5 runs, double, 2 HR, 4 RBI’s
Ryan Braun: 7-19, 3 runs, walk-off HR, 4 RBI’s
Next Series: Houston Astros (72-83, 28-46 on road) @ Philadelphia Phillies (90-65, 42-32 at home)
Monday: HOU: Bazardo (0-2, 9.55), PHI: Hamels (10-9, 4.11)
Tuesday: HOU: Lopez, W (0-0, 8.44), PHI: Happ (11-4, 2.79)
Wednesday: HOU: Moehler (8-11, 5.21), PHI: Lee, Cl (14-12, 3.19)
Thursday: HOU: Paulino, F (2-11, 6.51), PHI: Martinez, P (5-1, 3.32)
The Astros lead the series 4-0, surprisingly. We all remember that awful sweep that could have easily sealed the fate on the Phillies season but it didn’t. Now it’s the Phillies turn to earn some retribution and finish off the Braves. The Phillies magic number is now at three (the Braves are the only team left).
The Phillies are entering their final home stand with four versus Houston and then three versus Florida. They can clinch the division at home, a fitting end to the season. This will be the third straight year the Phillies won the division (the only other time it was done was from 1976-78).
The Phillies will win (I hope) and they will be crowned division champions in fron of the home crowd on Wednesday.