Friday, August 1, 2008

Ludwick and Lohse Snap Phillies' Streak

Of all the pitchers to snap the Phillies' six-game winning streak, who would've thought it would be Cole Hamels? Yet that's just what happened tonight, as Hamels struggled to keep the ball in the park and Lohse limited the Phillies offense.

The third inning proved to be the decisive one. Skip Schumaker led off with a single and Cesar Izturis followed with a walk. That brought up rookie Joe Mather with Albert Pujols on deck. Hamels, no doubt, didn't want to load the bases for Pujols and instead gave Mather a pitch to hit. And hit it he did, launching a three-run home run and putting the Cardinals ahead. The Cardinals would tack on another run after two infield singles and a sacrifice fly plated Ryan Ludwick, and the Phillies trailed 4-0 at the end of the third. The Cardinals extended the lead to 5-0 in the fifth inning, as Ludwick hit a solo home run off the first offering from Hamels in the at-bat.

The Phillies offense made its first appearance in the sixth. Shane Victorino led off the inning with a double and Chase Utley drove him in with a ground rule double. After a Ryan Howard strikeout, Pat Burrell hit his 27th home run, cutting the deficit to two runs. Geoff Jenkins doubled in the next at-bat, putting the tying run at the plate. That would be all for Kyle Lohse, as Tony La Russa put the game in the hands of the Cardinals bullpen. Russ Springer entered and retired Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz to keep it a 5-3 game.

That would be all the scoring the Phillies could muster, as Springer, Jaime Garcia, and Jason Isringhausen combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings. The Cardinals, in the meantime, added an insurance run, as Ludwick homered for the second time in the eighth off Ryan Madson. The extra run wouldn't make a difference, as the Phillies were unable to register a single hit against the St. Louis bullpen, but don't tell that to Isringhausen, who walked two runners in the ninth. However, Victorino, representing the tying run, grounded the second, ending the game.

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