For the first time in his career, Roy Halladay (20-10, 2.53) is pitching for a playoff contender. From the looks of it, it hasn’t phased him one bit. Halladay won his 20th game of the season tonight for the Phillies beating the Atlanta Braves 5-3 in front of the 119th consecutive sellout at CBP. This is the first time the Fightins have had a 20-game winner since Steve Carlton did it in 1982.
Halladay made it through seven innings allowing three runs on seven hits. He only struck out three batters and did walk two guys. Two walks in one game is very rare for Halladay; he only has 30 in 32 starts this season. I wouldn’t look too much into that stat as Halladay was getting a little squeezed on the outside corners tonight. Halladay has thrown over 240 innings this season and I know I wouldn’t mind seeing the Phillies lock this division up early and give the good Doctor some extra rest heading into the playoffs.
The offense has Halladay’s back all night chasing Atlanta starter Mike Minor (3-2, 6.18) after recording only one out in the third inning. Minor allowed seven hits including a laser shot of a home run by Jayson Werth to give the Phillies a three run lead. Phillies hitters exploded for 12 hits tonight with Werth, Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, and Wilson Valdez collecting two hits each. Even Roy Halladay added a hit and now has 12 hits on the season.
The Phillies have now won nine straight games, a season high, and are a Major League best 17-3 in September. At 91-61, the Phillies are 30 games over .500 for the first time since 1993. After tonight’s win their lead over the Braves in the NL East is five games. Werth’s homer was his 25th of the season and he became the first Phillies player this year with 100 runs scored.
Phillies magic number to clinch is down to six. Roy Oswalt will try and help the Phils go for the sweep tomorrow against Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson.