Well, at least the Astros made it tough for the Phillies. Wait. The Astros had the lead, twice. But in the end, the Phillies scored the last nine runs of the game, and...well, the Astros aren't built to come back from seven down. Phillies win, and clinch the NL East, with a 10-3 win. (Did you see Matt Diaz get thrown out at third, with the bases loaded, and the Braves down by one, in the bottom of the 9th, scurrying like a freaking rat to get back to third on a wild pitch, when he could have scored the tying run, and kept their playoff chances alive? Get that guy a skirt. Maybe a scrunchie.) ESPN noted that Brian Moehler is now 8-22 for his career in September, and 1-13 in September since 2002. Let's do the thing:
Moehler: 4.1IP, 6H/7ER, 1K:3BB, 15/22 first-pitch strikes, 17/45 non-contact strikes (15 called:2 swinging)
Wright: 0.2IP, 1/2 FPS, 0/2 NCS
Gervacio: 1IP, 2H/1ER, 1K, 2/4 FPS, 4/8 NCS (2c:2s)
Byrdak: 1IP, 1H/2ER, 0K:2BB, 3/6 FPS, 2/8 NCS (1c:1s)
Valverde: 1IP, 1BB, 4/4 FPS, 4/10 NCS (3c:1s)
Interesting to note that the Phillies swung and missed at six pitches all night, out of 126 total pitches. And that's two straight disaster starts for Moehler, and the symmetry is disgustingly gorgeous, as his first two starts to 2009 were also of the diaster variety. Like his last two of 2009. It's also his 9th start of 2009 in which Moehler didn't make it to 80 pitches. Here's hoping Wesley Wright blows them away in Winter Ball.
Offensively, once again, the Astros had their chances, actually having the lead twice this game. In the first inning, the Astros had the bases loaded with one out. Blum struck out swinging, Pence walked, and Matsui flied out to right. Seven batters, one run. In the 3rd inning, Lee doubled to lead it off, and Blum grounded out, Pence struck out looking, and Matsui flied out to center. Okay, that's pretty much it for chances.
Tejada was 2x5, extending his hit streak, and giving him 194 hits on the season, needing six hits in the last four games to get to 200 (because the math is free here at Astros County). And Bourn stole his 61st base of the season, moving him into 2nd place for all of MLB (unless Carl Crawford stole a base tonight, I didn't check), and within four stolen bases of tying Gerald Young's franchise stolen base record.
But the story for the offense was J.R. Towles, whose two homers almost doubled his career home run total - which, before tonight, stood at three. It also means that he has five hits in last 12 ABs, before which he had one hit in 21 ABs.
There were a few 0-fers tonight: Bourn (0x5), Pence (0x3), Matsui (0x3).
Man of the Match: J.R. Towles. Hopefully he can build on this.
Goat of the Game: Brian Moehler. Are you kidding me? Are we sure he's locked up a 2010 SP spot?