Chipper Jones hit his second career pinch-homer and the Atlanta Braves beat the Phils 10-4 Wednesday night in the 215.
Then the Cubbies beat the New York Mets 9-6 in 10 innings, reducing the Phillies’ magic number for clinching their second straight division title to three. Three friggin’ wins, come on fellas.
The Phillies remain 1½ games ahead of the Mets. They will finish the regular season with a three-game series against the last-place Washington Nationals, starting Friday and look to capitalize.
The NL-East leading Phillies missed a chance to reduce their magic number for clinching their second straight division title against the New York Mets, who beat the Cubs 6-2 last night. Philadelphia leads New York by 1 1/2 games in the NL East. The magic number for clinching the division remains at four.
Casey Kotchman homered, Mike Hampton won for the first time in a month and the Atlanta Braves halted the streaking Phil’s playoff push with a 3-2 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night.
Determined to stay on top, the Phils are playing their best baseball at the right time.
Pat Burrell hit a three-run homer in the eighth and the NL East-leading Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 Monday night for their 10th win in 11 games.
The Phillies reduced their magic number for clinching their second straight division title to four after the New York Mets lost 9-5 to the Cubs to fall 2½ games back. Philadelphia’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is three.
Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer, Jimmy Rollins had three hits and three steals and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Florida Marlins 8-6 on Monday night.
The Phillies closed within 1½ games of the NL East-leading New York Mets. They remain two behind in the loss column.
“Every game is a must-win,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “We have to win more games than they do.”
Joe Blanton (2-0) pitched five shaky innings to earn his first win since Aug. 2. Blanton allowed four runs and five hits in his 10th start since Philadelphia acquired him from Oakland. Blanton really scares me as we near the home stretch of the season. Every time I checked back to the Phils game (watching MNF, some fantasy ramifications on the line) he had given up more hits and more runs. He needs to get his ass in gear if he expects to pitch in the playoffs. After averaging 1 walk per 9 IP in the AL for his career, he is now averaging 4 walks per 9 IP in the NL, an easier pitchers league, explain that.
Mets News: Billy Wagner is out for the rest of this season and will likely miss all of 2009 too.
The New York Mets closer will have surgery after an MRI on Monday showed a torn MCL in his pitching elbow has gotten worse during more than a month of rehab. His injury could send the Mets into the free-agent market for a top reliever this winter.
Jamie Moyer shut down the Mets only allowing two hits over seven innings and Greg Dobbs hit a three-run homer off Pedro Martinez, helping the Phil cut the NL East margin to one game with a 6-2 victory in the opener of a day-night doubleheader Sunday.
Carlos Delgado hit two long homers and drove in four runs, backing a huge win by Santana as New York beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3 on Sunday night for the doubleheader split.
The NL East leading Mets salvaged the finale of the three-game series, giving them a two-game lead over the second place Phils.
I think we still all remember last September, when the Mets blew a seven-game cushion with 17 to play and lost the division crown to the Phillies. Plenty of time fellas, plenty of time.
Cole Hamels once again received very little run support but managed to get the victory. Cole pitched eight sharp innings to snap a seven-start winless drought in front of his parents (who happened to attend the game in San Diego).
Hamels ( 10 -8 ) limited the Padres to one run on seven hits as he won for the first time since a 4-1 victory at Atlanta on July 3 and helped the Phillies stay two games back of the Mets in the NL East.
The Phillies who had one less hit then the Padres, still managed to win. Pat the Bat hit his 29th homer of the season, a solo shot with one out in the sixth that proved to be the difference. Burrell also homered on Friday night in the Phillies’ 1-0 win over San Diego.
There’s a great chat being hosted over on ESPN.com by Jayson Stark regarding the signing of Johan and how it will affect the NL East race.
His intro into the chat:
If Johan Santana was good enough to carry a team to a World Series by himself, the Twins would have played in about five of them already. But now that we’ve got that away, no sane human would dispute that Santana is a contract extension away from changing the face of the NL East.
Two days ago, the Phillies were the clear-cut favorites in this division. It’s safe to say they aren’t anymore. But does that mean the Mets are a lock? Not necessarily, according to the baseball men I surveyed in the last 24 hours.
The case for the Phillies
This may come as a shock to all residents of Queens, but we did find several bright, rational NL executives who still pick the Phillies.
Remember, they did outscore the Mets by 88 runs last year, whomped 82 more extra-base hits and drew 92 more walks. In fact, if you go around the diamond, how many positions are there where the Mets are definitively better than the Phillies? I’d give the Mets two — third base and center field.
The Phillies also catch the ball better. And would it really surprise anybody if the Phillies’ top two starters — Cole Hamels and Brett Myers — won just as many games as Santana and Pedro Martinez?
Finally, keep in mind the reason that one NL front-office man picked the Phillies — depth. The Phillies were deep enough last year to survive injuries to Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Hamels, Myers, Shane Victorino and Flash Gordon. And the Mets obliterated their system to make this deal, leaving them with “not much of an underbelly” if they have injuries. And everybody has injuries.