Sunday, June 1, 2008

Phils Weekend Recap: Regain Control Of NL East

After missing an entire week of baseball due to the birth of my new daughter, I have made it back just in time to recap the Phils weekend series with the Marlins as they regained, lost and regained again the lead in the NL East by a half a game.

Friday night, the Phils not only continued their offense streak from the week that saw them average 12 runs a game against Rockies, but also saw a shed of light from pitcher Brett Myers. After giving up three runs in the first inning to the Marlins, Myers settled down nicely and pitched eight strong innings striking out 11. The Phils offense managed 10 runs against the Marlin's starter Mark Hendrickson, and two more against the pen. Friday moved the Phils into first by a half game over the fish. Unfortunately the lead would only last a day.

Saturday, Cole Hamels looked to recover from potentially his worst start of his career the earlier in the week, in which he only went four runs. The Marlins had other plans and in five and two thirds innings of work scored seven runs off Hamels. The Marlin's Ricky Nolasco became the first pitcher in a week to hold the Phils offense in check and only allowed two earned runs in six and two thirds. The Phils would only manage one more run and dropped their first game in five and relinquished the NL East lead once again.

Luckily for the Phils, Sunday would prove to be a step back in the right direction. Jamie Moyer took the mound for the Phils as they honored Mike Lieberthal at Citizen's Bank Park, who became a Phillie for one more day, just long enough to retire. Moyer, struggled early for the Phils and by the third innings was in a 5-1 hole. The Phils managed to crawl back into the game though with home runs by Chase Utley, who now extends the league lead to 20, and Geoff Jenkins who hit his fifth dinger of the season. It was in the seventh inning though that Pat Burrell's two RBI double would score the eventual game winning runs and secure first place once again for the Phils.

The Phils will host the Cincinnati Reds this week for four games. Ken Griffey Jr. comes in with 599 home runs as he looks to break into the 600 club, while Chase Utley leads all NL Allstar vote getters and looks to continue his home run lead.