Monday, August 22, 2011

Another blown save gives Nats series

The Phillies have uncharacteristically blown three of their last six games in the ninth inning. They're 3-3 over that span.

It started with Roy Halladay failing to fend off the Diamondbacks at Citizen's Bank Park, and ending with Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo blowing two of three in Washington over the weekend.

Bastardo had a wicked slider yesterday, and was one out away from shutting down the Nationals until he made one mistake, hanging a 1-2 slider to Ian Desmond who smacked the game tying homer. Brad Lidge promptly stunk it up in the 10th, giving the Nats a walk-off victory on a hit batter.

Rain robbed Roy Halladay of a chance at his 16th victory, and after Michael Schwimer blew the lead by allowing a blast to the first batter he faced in his Major League career, he actually pitched very well.

Schwimer would have picked up the win had Bastardo not blown the game. He pitched three innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.

Atlanta moved to 6.5 behind the Phils, who need to start securing victories to fend off the once again hot Braves. Those ninth inning melt downs are the difference between going 6-0 and 3-3 in their last six. Unfortunately, they went the latter.

The Phils play host to the Mets for three games starting tonight. Cliff Lee (13-7 2.82) will face Dillon Gee (11-4 3.92).

Lee is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 25 strikeouts in his last three starts. Lee faced New York once this year, back on May 1. He picked up a no decision, tossing seven innings allowing one runs and two walks with five strikeouts. He's 1-0 in his career against NY with a 0.64 ERA and ten strikeouts in 14 innings.

Gee is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in his last three starts. He faced the Phils in relief back on April 29, allowing four runs in just 1.2 innings. He's 1-0 in his career against the Phillies with a 6.23 ERA. He's been one of the Mets' best arms this year, but he's struggled lately. Entering July, he was 8-1. Since then, he's 3-3.

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