Saturday night - Braves 6, Phillies 4
Sunday afternoon/evening - Phillies 4, Braves 2
I've spent the last few days of my post-work deadline sabbatical fighting a cold, and the cold ultimately won. However, we did manage to attend an incredible wedding in Dallas, PA, and we now know which hotel in the Dallas vicinity to completely avoid the next time we're in that neck of the woods. (And who knew there was a Dallas in Pennsylvania?) Despite my cold and the fact we were out of town, the Phillies carried on with their series against the Braves.
On Saturday night, the Phils mirrored my energy output for the day by sleepwalking through the first eight innings. The offense was completely shut down by Braves starting pitcher Javier Vazquez, but they rallied late for the sake of appearances and scored four off Braves closer Rafael Soriano in the 9th inning. Two of the late runs were courtesy of Ryan Howard's 41st home run and another run scored on pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs' RBI-single. Phillies starter Pedro Martinez left after just three innings with a pain in the neck.
The Phillies took the game (and the series) this afternoon after waiting out a 2-hour rain delay in the 5th inning. Doubles from Ben Francisco and Raul Ibañez started the scoring in the 4th inning. The Phillies bullpen shut the door on the Braves following the departure of starter Cliff Lee due to the lengthy rain delay. Brad Lidge gave up his obligatory 9th inning run, but managed to save his 31st game of the year.
The team heads into the off-day tomorrow with a magic number to clinch the division of 6. By this time next weekend, I hope to have added a "Phillies Clinch Division for 3rd Year in a Row" highlight card to the 2009 Chachi set. Hard to believe, Harry.