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Phillies Slipping in Ultra Competitive NL East

The Marlins jumped right back into the NL East race by taking two of three from the division leading Phillies over the weekend. The Marlins were able to hold the Phillies bats at bay and didn’t allow too much of their own in terms of defense.

Philadelphia Phillies hats In the first game of the series we had a pitcher’s duel between the Marlin killer, Jamie Moyer and Marlins top pitcher this year, Ricky Nolasco. The Phils were able to get to Nolasco early for a couple of runs with Ryan Howard going deep for his 29 th homer of the year. After Geoff Jenkins sent a pitch from Nolasco to the deepest part of the ballpark in left center field, Nolasco settled down. He went seven innings and gave up only the four runs, but that is all that Philly would need as they win 4-2. Jamie Moyer continued to stifle the Marlins as he did not give up a hit until the fourth inning. He went six innings allowing two runs on four hits picking up his ninth win of the year. Lights-out Lidge came in to pick up his 21 st save in 21 chances this year and the Phillies took game one of the series. Little did they know that would be the only one they would get.

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In the second game of the series, the Marlins sent Scott Olsen to the hill to face the young gun, Kyle Kendrick. Despite two home runs from Pat Burrell the Phillies fell to the Fish 9-5 Saturday afternoon. Marlins catcher Jeff Baker had two hits in the game including a home run and he drove in four in the victory. Kyle Kendrick had a rough day giving up a career-high seven earned runs and he allowed three home runs in the loss. Jorge Cantu had four hits for the Fish and he drove in two runs in the game. Dan Uggla broke out of his slump against the Phillies as he hit a home run in the game along with Jeremy Hermida. Scott Olsen went five innings for the Fish giving up three earned runs off of eight hits.

In the final game of the series the Marlins and Phillies battled into extras. The Phillies took a 2-1 lead into the eighth behind Cole Hamels, but they could not hold it. The Phillies gave Hamels no run support at all and Cody Ross hit a game-tying shot to right field. Hamels went eight innings giving up just four hits and the two home runs and he still got a no decision. The game went to the 11 th inning where the Marlins constructed an inning and moved base runners over to get the win. With the bases loaded Jorge Cantu unloaded on a 0-2 pitch from Clay Condrey that hit the wall in center and gave the Marlins another walk off win. With that win the Fish pulled to within a half game of New York and Philly. The real good story for the Marlins is that Josh Johnson pitched a great game in his first game back. He pitched six and two thirds innings giving up two earned runs and striking out four.

Next up the Phillies welcome the division rival Mets to town for three. After the occurrence at the All Star Game, how will Chase Utley respond after getting booed in Yankee Stadium during intros. The Mets are hot but they have played very well against the Phillies this year including taking three of four last time these two teams met after the Fourth of July. The pitching probables are as follows:

  • J. Blanton (5-12) vs. J. Santana (8-7)
  • B. Myers (3-9) vs. J. Maine (8-7)
  • J. Moyer (9-6) vs. O. Perez (6-6)


By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent

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