Sunday, September 20, 2009

And the Magic Number is Now 6....

The Phils beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2 yesterday in a rain-delayed game. A nearly two-hour rain delay cost Cliff Lee another win, as the rains came halfway through the fifth inning, and Lee was unable to return after the lengthy rain delay. Lee pitched four solid innings, giving up one run on five hits. Instead, Tyler Walker, who pitched two innings, got the win. In the process, the Phillies snapped Braves' rookie Tommy Hanson's scoreless inning streak at 19. They tagged Hanson for seven hits and four earned runs.

Lee didn't want to come out of the game, even after the delay. "I let them know I wanted to go back out there, but I'm not going to sit there and argue with them over it," he said. "I wanted to go out and they know I wanted to go out. They were saying it's not really worth the risk. We still won the game, so it doesn't really matter."

The bullpen did an excellent job. "We got some good work out of our bullpen," declared Charlie Manuel. "We got some good work our first night in here, and we got some good work today." Brad "Light 'Em Up" Lidge got his 31st save, but it was yet another shaky and unpredictable performance by him. Lidge gave up a walk to Brooks Conrad, who then advanced to second base as a result of Lidge's not watching him. Conrad then scored on Brian McCann's single. Lidge then retired the side by striking out Nate McLouth to notch the save, but by giving up the run to Conrad, his ERA puffed up to a really hideous 7.24, which is, by far, the highest ERA of any major league closer. It's not even close.

Shane Victorino was ejected in the second inning after arguing being called out while trying to steal second base. Although he only played two innings, at least it wasn't as a result of still being under the weather from a stomach virus that caused him to miss the two previous games. Carlos Ruiz, who sprained his wrist last week, missed another game, with Paul Bako doing the catching.

We also learned why Brett Myers hasn't appeared in a game in over a week. "He's got some soreness in the back of his shoulder," declared Ruben Amaro, Jr., the team's general manager. "We've been kind of protecting him. I guess he sustained it about eight or 10 days ago....He's scheduled to see (team physician) Mike Ciccotti on Tuesday to see of there is anything really serious about it. [The training staff] is saying it's a possible strain." Let's hope that it's not anything serious, as the Phillies will need a healthy and effective Myers int he post season.

The Marlins lost, meaning that the magic number is now 6. The Phils are off tomorrow, and then have a three game set against the Fish. If they sweep the series, it's over. Let's hope that the Phillies will be celebrating in Miami this week.

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