Saturday, July 25, 2009

Phils lose to Cards; Get your copy of Fightin Phillies Magazine now!

Last night was just not the Phillies' night. Joel Pineiro was excellent and every time the Phils hit a ball hard, it was right at someone or fell just short of leaving the yard. Matt Holliday sparked the Cardinals' offense with a four hit night, leading St. Louis to an 8-1 series opening victory.

J.A. Happ lost for the first time since his Major League debut a few years ago; but he pitched pretty well last night. He made a mistake in the second inning, with a runner at third and two outs. He threw a two strike fastball to Rick Ankiel that was supposed to be in, but it ran over the plate and Ankiel smacked it into left field for an RBI single. Happ settled in nicely until the sixth inning, when it became for evident that it wasn't our night.

The Cards put up a four spot against Happ in the inning, with the help of three bloopers that dropped into no man's land. Happ did allow a clean single and a hard double to right-center field in the inning, which came after all the bloop hits. It was tough luck for Happ, but it happens to every big league pitcher and how he handles it is the important thing. He did finish the inning, but limiting the damage as much as possible was crucial with Pineiro on the mound, to which he didn't accomplish.

It's hard to blame Happ, who's been outstanding all season. He still pitched pretty well and didn't issue any walks, and his ERA remains under three. The Marlins and Braves each gained a game on the Phils last night and both sit 5.5 back, while the Mets lost again and remain 10.5 out.

The Phillies need to even the series today with Rodrigo Lopez on the mound against Kyle Lohse.

Be sure to pick up a copy of this month's Fightin Phillies Magazine, created by Rich Baxter with pictures and stories by Rich and myself

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