PHILADELPHIA- The Phillies wrapped up a seven-game home-stand today at Citizens Bank Park. Miss any of the games? Here is a complete recap:
Game one- The Phillies made their first stop home after losing legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas, to take on the Padres. After an emotional tribute on the field, the Phillies looked to Cole Hamels to put the Phillies above the .500 mark for the first time this season. The offense gave Hamels a five run lead in their half of the first, but Hamels was unable to put the Padres away. They inched their way back into the game and then capitalized on a poorly pitched eighth inning by Ryan Madson. Madson blew a two-run lead, allowing three Padres to score in the inning. There was no further scoring, and the Phillies lost 8-7.
Game two- After a public memorial service for Harry Kalas at Citizens Bank Park, that included over 9,000 mourners and all of the 2009 Phillies, the Phils took on the Padres in game two of their four game series. After briefly going ahead, 5-4, in the eighth, the Phils called on Mr. Perfect himself, Brad Lidge, to attempt to convert his forty-eighth consecutive regular season save. It just wasn’t to be, as the Padres proved Lidge human, scoring four runs in the ninth sending Lidge off the mound, after blowing his first save in his last forty-eight attempts, to a standing ovation from the sell-out crowd of 45,007. The Phils lost another heart-breaker, 8-5.
Game Three- The Padres built a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning, but the Phillies slowly chipped back on a Chase Utley two-run homer to right field in the sixth to make it 4-2, and a Jimmy Rollins pinch-hit homer to right in the eighth, after Rollins sat out to work in the indoor cage on his hitting, to make it 4-3. Padres’ closer Heath Bell was unavailable, so Edwin Moreno stepped onto the mound in the ninth inning. That’s when all of the drama started. Ryan Howard hit a blooper to center for a lead-off single to get things going.
Then, new Phillie, and Raul Ibanez, who is rapidly becoming a fan favorite, stepped into the batter’s box, and Moreno quickly ran the count to 2-0. Moreno, just trying to hit the strike-zone, served up a change-up over the plate that Ibanez crushed to right field to win it, in walk-off fashion.
Game four- Postponed (due to rain) to July 23 at 7:05 PM, EST.
Game five- The Phillies welcomed the Milwaukee Brewers to town, Tuesday. The Phils jumped all over the Brew-crew, including a four run first and a five run fifth. But, in the top of the seventh inning, with the Phillies holding an 11-3 lead and everything going well, the rains came, beginning a 1-hour, 18-minute delay. Play eventually resumed, and the Brewers were able to tack on one more on a Ryan Braun RBI dribbler, the forth hit in Braun’s five-for-five, two home run, four RBI game. It wasn’t enough though, as the Phillies beat the Brewers 11-4 to take the first game in the three game series.
Game six- Starter Joe Blanton did what he does best, gave the Phillies a chance to win, giving up three runs over six effective innings, but the offense never got on track against Braden Looper and the Brewers’ bullpen, with Jayson Werth’s solo shot producing the Phils’ only run. “You can sense you will get it going,” Blanton told reporters, who fell to 0-2 after allowing eight hits and three earned runs in six innings. “It’s like that car that won’t quite start. It just needs a kick to get going.” The Phils ‘pen held the Brewers scoreless, but the Phillies fell 3-1.
Game seven- Just when things looked like maybe they were going well for Cole Hamels, he was plagued with even more bad luck. Hamels, who after struggling early this season, recovering from elbow inflammation, retired nine of the first eleven batters he faced, but then all the bad news began when Ryan Braun hit a two-run home run to left field with one out in the fourth inning and Prince Fielder followed Braun, ripping a line drive off the back of Hamels’ left shoulder, forcing him to leave the game. Hamels says he’s fine and expects to start, as scheduled, on Tuesday. On the offensive side, the Phils were no-hit through 7 1/3, by Conestoga High School product Dave Bush. Matt Stairs broke the no-no with a pinch-hit home run in the eight, hitting high off the right field foul pole. Stairs’ shot wasn’t enough though, and the Phillies fell to the Brew-crew 6-1.
The Phillies finished 2-4 on the home-stand, with one game being postponed.
- Courtesy of the Phillies media relations staff. Catcher Carlos Ruiz will begin his rehab assignment Saturday in Lehigh Valley. Manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday he expected the assignment to last four days, which means Ruiz could be back with the Phillies by next Wednesday.
- Lou Marson will return to Triple-A once Ruiz is called up.
- Shane Victorino has been selected as the recipient of the 2008 Lou Gehrig Award, presented annually by Phi Delta Theta Fraternity to the Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig.
- Charlie Manuel expressed concern that he has seen differences in some players since the Phillies won the World Series.
The Phillies travel to Miami, tonight to take on the Florida Marlins in a three-game series. After that it’s back home, to Ctizens Bank Park. It’ll be Brett Myers taking on Josh Johnson tomorrow from Dolphins’ Stadium.
One more note… My apology for the lack of content last week. Things were really crazy here. Expect regular updates from now on.