Roy Halladay roared back to life last night and the Phils kept on rolling. After burying the Nationals, the Phillies are the champs of the NL East for the fourth time in four years.
Roy Halladay came into the game having slogged through his last six starts, but he went a long way towards answering any questions there might be about his ability to deal with his enormous workload and pitch in big games. He was simply fantastic, needing just 97 pitches to throw a complete game shutout. Werth homered and doubled in the game, driving in four runs, and the Phils turned a 4-0 lead into an 8-0 blowout when they scored four runs in the top of the ninth.
The Phillies are 94-63 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 8-0 last night. They have won the NL East. The Reds appear to be a lock to win the NL Central and the Wild Card race is between the Braves and whoever winds up not winning the West between the Giants and the Padres. The Braves are a half game ahead of the Padres. The Giants lead San Diego by a game.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game shutout, allowing two singles and striking out six. He didn’t walk a batter.
He threw a 1-2-3 first.
He was up 1-0 when he started the second. He struck out Adam Dunn and Roger Bernadina as he set Washington down in order again.
Wilson Ramos singled to right to start the third, but Halladay got Alberto Gonzalez to hit into a double-play behind him. The pitcher John Lannan struck out swinging for the third out.
Halladay threw a 1-2-3 fourth and a 1-2-3 fifth.
He was up 4-0 when he started the sixth. He got Ramos and Gonzalez before Kevin Mench hit for the pitcher Craig Stammen. Mench grounded to first for the third out.
In the seventh, Halladay struck out Danny Espinosa, got Nyjer Morgan on a ground ball to second and Ian Desmond on a fly ball to right.
Adam Dunn singled to center to start the eighth. Mike Morse was next and ripped a ball down the third base line, but Polanco made a nice play to snare the ball as he went to the ground for the first out. Roger Bernadina popped to Polanco in foul territory for the second out and Ramos grounded to Utley for the third.
Big play by Polanco to stop the inning before it got started.
Halladay was up 8-0 when he started the ninth. He had thrown 87 pitches in the game. Gonzalez got behind 0-2 and lined to Polanco for the first out. Adam Kennedy hit for the pitcher Miguel Batista and flew to right for the second. Halladay got ahead of Espinosa 0-2 and struck him out swinging 1-2 to end the game.
The Phillies lineup against left John Lannan went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Werth (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Rollins was expected to return to the lineup to play short in the game, but that was rethought due to the wet field.
Polanco singled with one out in the first and took second on a wild pitch, but Utley struck out swinging and Howard flew to center to leave him stranded.
Werth started the second and hit a 1-1 pitch out to left, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez hit a foul ball in the corner that Morse didn’t handle before Ibanez doubled off the wall in left. Ruiz grounded to third for the first out and Valdez grounded to second for the second with Ibanez taking third on Valdez’s out. Halladay grounded to short for the third out.
Polanco singled with one out in the second, but Utley hit into a double-play behind him.
The Phils went in order in the fourth.
Ruiz singled off the glove of the second baseman Epinosa to start the fifth, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him. Halladay grounded to short for the third out.
That’s 20 GIDP on the year for Valdez.
Polanco walked with one out in the sixth and Utley was hit by a pitch behind him. Howard struck out for the second out, but Werth was next and lined a ball into the gap in right center that rolled all the way to the wall. Polanco and Utley both scored and the Phils were up 3-0. Ibanez was next and moved Werth to third on an infield single near the mound. Ruiz followed that and absolutely smashed a double to left, scoring Werth to make it 4-0 with Ibanez moving to third. Valdez was walked intentionally, loading the bases for Halladay. Halladay grounded to short to end the frame.
The Phils went in order in the seventh and again in the eighth.
Ruiz started the ninth with a double. Valdez was next and struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt that Ramos didn’t handle. Valdez took off for first and Ruiz for third, but Ramos pounced on the ball and threw Ruiz out at third for the first out with Valdez safe at first. Halladay was next and tried to bunt. The Nationals pitcher Joe Bisenius threw an 0-1 pitch at his head, but Halladay somehow managed to avoid being killed before striking out for the second out. Valdez stole second as Halladay struck out and took third before Victorino drew a walk. Polanco lined a single into center and Valdez scored, putting the Phils up 5-0 with two down and men on first and second. Utley hit a ball into left center. Morgan made a long run and a sliding effort, but the ball went off the heel of his glove for a double that cleared the bases and put the Phils up 7-0. Howard walked, putting men on first and second for Werth. Werth chopped a ball that dribbled down the first base line. Dunn fielded and swiped at Werth as he went past, but missed him and Werth was safe with a single and Utley scored all the way from second. 8-0 with men on first and second for Ibanez, who flew to center for the third out.
Great hustle by Utley to score from second on Werth’s hit. Great hustle by Werth to be safe on Werth’s hit. The inning was pretty much played in a downpour, so let’s hope Bisenius throwing the ball at Halladay’s head was because the ball slipped. Not a great day with the bat for Halladay, who was 0-for-4 and left five men on base.
Victorino was 0-for-4 with a walk in the game.
Polanco was 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Utley 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Howard 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
Werth 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and four RBI.
Ibanez 2-for-5 with a double.
Ruiz 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
Valdez 0-for-3 with a walk.
The Phillies web site says that Roy Oswalt (13-13, 2.80) will face righty Jason Marquis (2-9, 7.18) tonight and maybe he will. Oswalt is 7-1 with a 1.86 ERA with the Phils. Marquis has a 3.96 ERA over his last seven starts.
“All your base are belong to us” comes from an unfortunate translation in the video game Zero Wing.