Tuesday, September 27, 2011

100 wins for the Phils

The Phillies reached 100 wins last night, taking the first game over the Braves 4-2 in front of stunned, saddened, miserable fans in Atlanta.

The Braves caught a break from our good buddy Ed Wade, as his Astros defeated the the Cardinals, keeping Atlanta one game up in the Wild Card.

Cliff Lee's final tuneup before Sunday's NLDS Game Two went relatively well, despite a slow start.

Chipper Jones hit a two-out solo shot, his 18th of the year, off Lee in the first. Atlanta added another run in the second on back-to-back doubles from Matt Diaz and Alex Gonzalez, and the chop was out in full force.

But as Lee settled down, allowing two runs on five hits, no walks and six strikeouts over six innings, and the Phils started to chip away things started to quiet down.

Jimmy Rollins' 15th home run of the year tied it in the fifth, and RBIs in the sixth and eighth from Raul Ibanez put the Phils in front for good.

It was great to see the bullpen come in and nail down the final nine outs against a desperate Braves' lineup. Lefty Joe Savery retired a batter in the seventh, and Michael Stutes retired the next two in order. Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson followed, each pitching a scoreless inning. Lidge worked out of a one-out, two runners aboard situation by inducing a double-play from Jones, while Madson worked around a leadoff double to secure his 32nd save of the season.

The Phillies are 2-0 since Charlie Manuel moved Chase Utley out of the three-hole. Utley wasn't producing in that spot, and so far, he's not producing batting second either. He was 0-for-4 last night with a strikeout and a runner left on base.

Roy Oswalt (8-10, 3.86) takes the ball tonight against Dereke Lowe (9-16, 4.92).

Oswalt is 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA in his last three starts, and is just 1-3 with a 5.15 ERA in his career against Atlanta. Oswalt pitched well against Atlanta on September 7th, allowing two runs on four hits, four walks and seven strikeouts over seven innings.

Lowe is 0-3 with a 7.98 ERA in his last three starts, and 8-6 with a 3.34 ERA in 113.1 innings against the Phillies. He's 1-3 with a 4.13 ERA in four starts against the Phils this season.

Milwaukee and Arizona both lost, meaning the Brewers stay one game ahead of the Diamondbacks for the second spot.

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