The 1-2 punch of Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay was supposed to rival the leagues’ best starting duos like Lincecum/Cain, Lee/King Felix and Becket/Lester. Now while the season hasn’t exactly played out the way we all thought, it seems the Phils duo is locking in. Halladay backed up Hamels’ eight innings of scoreless ball with another eight innings without allowing a run. Phillies’ pitchers have now thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings.
The offense actually made it a night where Halladay didn’t need to be perfect. They spotted him five runs in the fifth inning long after the good doctor was in cruise control. Halladay lowered is ERA to 2.28 and struck out nine batters. He did throw 116 pitches so I found it a bit odd that Charlie Manuel let him hit in the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Was there a need to have him pitch the eighth inning with a five run cushion already? Halladay leads the majors with 162 innings pitched.
The Phillies started off the fifth inning with four consecutive hits. Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco started it off with singles and scored on Raul Ibanez’s double to center. Ryan Howard moved Ibanez to third with a single who then scored on a Jayson Werth sac fly. Ross Gload then crushed one into the bullpen for a two-run homer scoring Howard. The Phillies finished off the inning with a 5-0 lead.
And that was all Halladay would need. The Phils did add another run in the eighth on an Ibanez RBI single. Raul finished the game with three hits and three RBIs.
The Phillies have now won 10 of their last 14 games at home and five straight. The Phillies had 12 hits for a second straight game and Howard stole his first base of the season.
Worth noting: Braves closer just blew his third save of July and the Marlins won in walk off fashion. The Phillies are now six games back heading into the weekend.