When the Phillies have a weekend pitching staff of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, you know it's bound to be a winning series, or maybe a sweep against the Atlanta Braves.
All started out swiftly for the Phils. Ryan Howard put up the game's first run in the top of the second with a solo homer out to right-center.
The Braves had a chance to score in the bottom of the fourth when Paul Janish singled to center. John Mayberry sent the ball home to Erik Kratz, who stood his ground and took a HARD hit from Chipper Jones. Kratz held on (despite flying a few feet backwards) and applied the tag. Still 1-0 Phillies.
Roy Halladay was looking pretty solid up until the fifth inning. It was obvious that the heat and humidity was getting to him, his face was flushed and he was sweating bullets. With Mike Minor on base, Martin Prado homered to left field, putting his team up, 2-1. Doc slammed the rosin bag down and slammed his hand into his glove.
It didn't get any better. Freddie Freeman sent a two-run jack to straightaway center in the same inning, prompting Halladay to look even more frustrated and exhausted. Jeremy Horst would collect the final out in the fifth.
Doc's final line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. 81 pitches, 51 for strikes. Atlanta has really beat him up this year.
The Phillies wouldn't sit back and watch the Braves take another game. In the top of the sixth, Jimmy Rollins, Kevin Frandsen, and Chase Utley hit back-to-back-to-back singles (Utley's was a bunt single) to load up the bases for Ryan Howard. Howie came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jimmy and Kevin.
Chad Durbin, a former Phillie, replaced Mike Minor after that RBI single. Ty Wigginton popped up a sac fly, allowing Utley to score from third. Tied ballgame.
With Jeremy Horst still in the ballgame in the sixth, Dan Uggla sent a ball deep to left field, putting the Braves up, 5-4.
Phillippe Aumont pitched a scoreless eighth for the Phillies, giving them a chance to come back in the ninth.
The dominant closer in Craig Kimbrel came in to close it out for the Braves. Erik Kratz wouldn't allow that. To lead of the ninth, Kratz sent a moon shot to left field, making it a 5-5 game. This was Kimbrel's third blown save this season.
Josh Lindblom pitched the ninth, keeping the Braves from winning in walk-off fashion. Christhian Martinez came in for the top of the tenth, only to give up a three-run home run to John Mayberry.
That would prove to be the game winner. Jonathan Papelbon came in to collect his 250th career save, and he did just that. Congrats to him on the milestone! Phillies win, 8-5.
Tomorrow evening at 4:05, Cliff Lee and Tim Hudson will take the mound in game two of this weekend series.