Sunday, August 30, 2009

Not A Good Night for the Phils

Braves vs. Phillies

Last night was a washout for the Phillies in many ways, but unfortunately not enough as they were able to complete 7 1/2 innings. The game was delayed by rain at the outset and eventually called with the Phillies due to bat in the 8th inning. In between, the game was all Braves as they outscored the Phillies 9-1 on the strength of four home runs and strong pitching by Derek Lowe and Mike Gonzalez.

Heading into the night, the Phillies chances seemed very good with Cliff Lee scheduled as the starting pitcher. Surely, no one expected a blow out. After Chase Utley staked him to a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the 1st inning, Lee held the Braves scoreless until things unraveled in the a big way.

Brain McCann and Yunel Escobar bounced singles to start the inning. Long-time Lee nemesis Garrett Anderson followed by driving a ball into the right field stands to give them a 3-1 lead. It didn't stop there, with two outs and a runner on, scorching hot Matt Diaz also dropped one in the right field stands to extend the lead to 5-1. These were the first home runs off Lee since he joined the Phillies.

The Braves later added to their lead with an Escobar home run off Lee in the 5th and a Chipper Jones homer off Chad Durbin in the 6th. Meanwhile, the home team was putting runners on base (11 hits in 7 innings), but could not push them across, twice leaving the bases loaded.

Tonight the Braves send a tough right-hander Jair Jurrjens to the mound against Joe Blanton in the pivotal game. Although they might have difficulty pronouncing his name, the Phillies are very familiar with Jurrjens as he has pitched well against them, going 2-0 with a 0.92 ERA in 3 games. Of course, the historical numbers last night favored the Phillies, but the game did not quite follow suit.

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