It wasn’t pretty, but the Phillies now hold a three-game lead in the National League East with 15 games left to play.
Behind an impressive night from their lineup, the Phillies carried Roy Halladay to his 19th win as they topped the Marlins 10-5 to sweep the series and capitalize on the Atlanta Braves loss earlier in the afternoon.
Doc didn’t have his best stuff, scattering ten hits over six innings, but he did strike out nine Florida batters without walking anybody. Charlie Manuel continued to baffle fans with his use of the bullpen as he put his two anchors, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge into another game where there services probably shouldn’t have been used.
Madson cruised in the eighth inning, however the same cannot be said for Lidge as he walked three batters, gave up one hit and also allowed an earned run before being pulled with the bases loaded for Jose Contreras who picked up the save.
Before tonight, Lidge had been dominating, allowing just one earned run over his previous 17.1 IP. With the stretch run upon us, back to back days of rest couldn’t have hurt either Lidge or Madson, but a win is a win.
Wilson Valdez provided some strength from the eight-hole, going 3-5 with 2 RBI. Chase Utley hit his 15th home run of the season, the only one for the Phillies on the evening. Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez all scored two runs in the effort as well.
Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that Phillies only struck out four times as a team and drew six walks, three of which by Ryan Howard.
Halladay will get an extra day’s rest on each of his next two starts, which might be what the doctor ordered. Closing in on 250 innings, it is safe to say Halladay isn’t dominating the way he was early in the season. Since his dominance of the Mets on August 20th, Halladay has seen his ERA jump from 2.16 to 2.49 despite winning his last three starts.