Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Phils finish 6-1 vs. Playoff contenders, lose to Astros

The Phillies wrapped up their "Playoff Preview Week," finishing a ridiculous 6-1. After sweeping the Atlanta Braves, which essentially wrapped up a fifth consecutive NL East crown, they won the first three in Milwaukee. Vance Worley pitched well in the finale, but was unable to best Yovani Gallardo who struck out twelve over seven strong innings.

Two of the three Phillies' victories against the Brewers came without Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard or Chase Utley in the starting lineup.

They opened a series last night in Houston, and former Astros Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence were unable to defeat former Phillie Brett Myers in their return to Minute Maid Park.

Oswalt dropped to 7-9, allowing five runs on eleven hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out two. Pence fared much better, going 2-for-4 with a double in his first at bat.

Joe Blanton made his first appearance since May 14, tossing a scoreless inning. He allowed one hit and struck out one.

Myers allowed just one run on six hits and one walk over eight dominant innings. He struck out four. He improved to 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA lifetime against his former club.

The Phils will face another former Phillie tonight when Cole Hamels (14-7, 2.60) takes on J.A. Happ (5-15, 5.77).

Happ beat the Phillies in his only appearance against them last season. Hamels is just 3-2 with a 4.82 ERA in his career against Houston.

The Phillies magic numbers are:

1- to clinch a playoff berth

5- to clinch the NL East

7- to clinch home field advantage throughout the postseason.

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