Series Win Gives Phillies 8 Game Lead

With a 3-2 victory over the Braves last night to win the series 2 game to 1, the Phillies will have an 8-game lead in the NL East over both the Braves and the Marlins going into September.  Joe Blanton pitched another beautiful game and got through 7 innings of one run ball; the only run came off a solo homer from Martin Prado in the first inning.  Blanton looked a bit shaky through those first few innings, but settled in well and only gave up 3 hits.

 

And for the 2nd night in a row, Chase Utley went yard; his solo shot to right field in the 4th was the only run for the Phillies until Carlos Ruiz stepped up in the 7th.  In honor of the Ruiz backpack night, a giveaway for kids 14 and under, Ruiz smacked a double to left to score Raul Ibanez and Pedro Feliz.  Ruiz went 3 for 3 on the night; it was his 5th 3-hit game of the year.  Maybe the Phillies should give away a Ruiz bobble head next?


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In the not-so-great offensive category, the Phillies are still struggling with runners in scoring position.  They left 14 men on base and again, had the bases loaded with no outs and failed to score.  Blanton hit a line-drive to first base and Ruiz was double off after the catch.  Jimmy Rollins then hit a weak grounder to end the inning.  The offensive outage is concerning, but thanks to great pitching, they came out on top.

 

Defense was a big part of the win as well.  Ryan Madson, who is entering Brad Lidge-bad territory, got into a huge jam in the 8th inning again.  He hit the first batter he faced and then gave up back-to-back singles which scored a run for the Braves.  Without recording an out, he was removed from the game and Scott Eyre took over. 

 

Brain McCann then hit a sharp grounder to Utley, who fielded it perfectly and flipped to Rollins who threw to Feliz at third; Feliz tagged Chipper Jones for the unusual 4-6-5 double play.  Having eliminated the lead runner, Eyre saved the Phillies from disaster and gave Lidge a 3-2 lead to work with.  Amazingly, Lidge nailed down the save with relative ease; it was his second save in a row.  Whew!


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By the way, did anyone see the actor, Paul Rudd (movies: “I Love You, Man”; “Anchorman”; “Knocked Up”), sitting in the 10th row behind home plate last night? He was just a few sections over from me so I took a few photos.  The woman next to him (right side, dark brown hair) is none other than Jen Utley, Chase’s wife.


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A very welcome off-day is upon us as the Phillies offense needs to rest and charge up for the September charge.  Watch for September call-up’s which may include pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Jack Taschner and Rodrigo Lopez; infielders Mike Cervenak and Andy Tracy; outfielders John Mayberry Jr. and Jason Ellison; and we will likely see a catcher added – maybe Paul Hoover.  Those are my guesses anyway.

 

A lot of moves will be made as the Phillies are also anticipating the return of Brett Myers, JC Romero and Clay Condrey to the bullpen plus Greg Dobbs.  All four have been on the DL and are very close to coming back.

 

And finally, here is the complete Photo Album from last night’s Phillies – Braves game.  Tomorrow, the San Francisco Giants come to town for 3 games and some serious pitching battles will ensue.  You may remember the Phillies were stomped in San Fran back in July, losing 3 out of 4 games.  The Giants are tied for a wildcard spot right now so this will be a very tough match match-up.  Cole Hamels starts it off tomorrow at 7:05pm.

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

7 Comments

Nice celebrity sighting there! I didn’t realize the Phillies were eight games up. Wow. You guys have that division sewn up!

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Ok, I am a HUGE Rudd fan. Forget the game. Paul Rudd was there. Wow. Big Mancrush. And he looked kind of cozey with Utley’s wife. Hope Chase doesn’t go through a big slump or else…NAH. Paul wouldn’t do that.
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

Jenn: I thought my Yanks had a big lead. 8 games is really cozy. There is room to stretch out a bit. Celebrities like baseball. Many times Jack Nicholson is at Yankee Stadium. Last night’s Yankee game was dramatic. Andy Pettitte was close to history…and then Jerry…I hate recalling it.
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

But which Cole Hamels will show up? I’d be worried about that the rest of the season. Rudd! What up, Rudd! Who knew?
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Jenn:

Celebrities like to support: and it was great that you got their picture.

By the way: nice picture taking! Have I ever told ya that?

Cole Hamels is leaving the fastball up: which has no movement –

Therefore it leaving the park. If he keeps the ball down: and drops the curveball every once in awhile your good to go.

If he can’t mix: look for a five inning five ER outing.

It’s the truth and nothing but the truth. =)

the Phils’ offense needs to pick him up though: and the Indians offense needs to pick our pitcher’s up.

we are ready for playoff baseball in Cleveland: and so are they in Philly.

Good luck!

Happy September.

–Ted

http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

Should Chase be jealous? Wow…she looks happy! Then again, who wouldn’t?! Congrats on being 8 games up!!
Ginny
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

This definitely makes great sense to me

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