The Phillies won three of their last four games against the Cubs thanks in part to the big bats of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. The fourth game in the series today ended with a 4-3 victory.
Roy Oswalt got off to a rough start, allowing three runs in the first inning. But after he calmed down, Oswalt wound up going seven innings and did allow another run after the first.
However, Oswalt was involved in a little controversy after being called out on strikes in the sixth. The pitch looked like ball four and Charlie Manuel shouted from the dugout at the home plate umpire. He was quickly ejected which led to a few fireworks:
Manuel had reason to be upset. Prior to this incident, he watched his ball club load the bases twice with one out and score only one run each time. The bases were even loaded with the exact same players in both the first and third innings; Utley, Howard and Ben Francisco. Francisco drew a walk each time.
Coming away with only one run in the exact same situation twice had to be frustrating. It was just another reminder of how the Phillies offense has struggled to score runs.
But the memory was just that….a memory. Because in the seventh inning, Utley and Howard combined to set things straight. Utley doubled and then a single from Howard drove in two runs. Howard had three hits and three RBI in the game. Utley ended with two hits, a walk and two runs scored.
Utley also made what was probably a game-saving catching to end the game in the ninth inning. Ryan Madson allowed a single with two outs. Then Geovany Soto, who hit the game tying homer against Madson on Thursday, hit a fly ball into no-man’s land. Somehow, Utley got to the ball and the game was over. Whew!
By the way, today was the annual Father’s Day celebration and catcher Brian Schneider brought his mom and dad. Dad tossed out the first pitch.
The Phillies are off tomorrow, although they will all be at the Phillies Phestival which starts at 5pm Monday night. Hope to see you there!
And here is the full Photo Album from the game today. Enjoy!
Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography
After tonight’s horrifying loss to the Cubs, what I would like to know is, who kidnapped Roy Halladay and replaced him with an imposter? After six innings, this Halladay imposter had given up 6 runs, 5 of them earned. Who IS this guy? Will Ruben Amaro Jr. pay the ransom to get the real Halladay back? He wouldn’t pay to keep Cliff Lee, so I am not holding my breath. ;o)
Ok, back to reality… In one of Halladay’s worst outings as a Phillie, one thing did not change: he still did not get any run support from his offense. To make matters worse, the Phillies fielders did not bail him out in big situations either. In the 2nd inning, after already allowing 3 runs, Ryan Howard missed a foul ball pop-up from Derrek Lee that would have ended the inning.
Then, with 2 strikes on Lee and runners at first and third, Carlos Ruiz had a brain cramp. He decided to throw to second as Starlin Castro tried to steal and Ruiz botched the throw. Tyler Colvin scored easily from 3rd. Ruiz was given an error and Lee struck out on the next pitch. So that was one more unnecessary run handed over to the Cubs.
Things got monumentally worse in the 7th inning when the Phillies bullpen was called upon. JC Romero gave up 2 singles without recording an out and was pulled. The rookie David Herndon took over and the Cubs absolutely destroyed him. Herndon allowed 3 hits and a walk; by the end of the inning, 5 more runs had score. Two of those were charged to Romero and the other three to Herndon.
The score was 11-3 going into the 8th inning and basically, this game was over. Howard, Greg Dobbs and Ben Francisco all hit solo homers later, making the score 11-6, but that was the end of the scoring. The Phillies have not been hitting, now they are not pitching and even the fielding has been sloppy. In short, they are now worse than the Cubs. And that is very, very bad news.
This is just not the same Phillies team that fans have been used to seeing. They are not doing the little things right, as well as some big things, and they seem to have lost their Mojo. Maybe the Mojo was kidnapped along with Halladay?
Even more disturbing, Howard hit home runs in 3 out of 4 games of this Cubs series and the Phillies lost all three of those games. When even the Howard magic is not lighting a spark under this team, the Phillies are in big trouble.
The team travels to St. Louis next for a 4-game series with the Cardinals. It is just a guess, but I am willing to bet that facing Albert Pujols is not going to help the Phillies find their Mojo any faster. Game time tomorrow is 7:05pm.
Why ESPN Broadcasts Are So Entertaining:
In the first inning alone, ESPN viewers were treated to these gems:
– Joe Morgan says that Placido Polanco “runs well from the right side.” As opposed to?? He only hits from the right side.
– As Carlos Ruiz ran to catch a pop fly in foul ground, Jon Miller called him “Soto,” as in, Cubs catcher, Geovany Soto.
– While Roy Halladay was pitching, Milled said, “There’s an inside pitch to Halladay.” Wow. The man is really talented if he can pitch to himself.
And then in the 5th inning, another classic from Morgan: “If he had gotten the ball there (1st base) quicker, he’d have gotten him out faster.” It is official: Joe Morgan is a GENIUS.