—Citizens Bank Park
LL Cool J’s backup singer once said,” doin’ it, doin’ it, doin’ it well.” I’m fairly certain that’s Roy Halladay’s motto in life. Against the Cubs on Friday night he did it well, as usual, striking out nine batters over seven innings of work in the Phillies — win.
The bullpen must not be listening to the same tune. Jose Contreras came on in the eighth and was unable to hold the fort, allowing four runs to score in just 1/3 of an inning. J.C. Romero followed and didn’t even record an out as he gave the Cubs one more run to make it a 7-5 game. Mike Stutes showed them how it’s done by getting the final two outs without incident.
Halladay was virtually untouchable, scattering seven hits while working out of a first and third, one-out jam in the third inning. That was the only time the Cubs could get anything cooking off Doc, as he lowered his ERA from 2.56 to 2.39. His stuff had all kinds of movement on it all night long.
To help Halladay win his ninth of the season, Charlie Manuel rearranged his lineup, placing Placido Polanco fifth. Of course, it worked like a charm. Polanco belted grand slam to left field that sounded like it was shot out of a cannon, putting the Phillies up 7-0 at that point. It was his 100th career home run and third grand slam, but more importantly, it was a sign – albeit a small one – that this offense could be perking just a bit.
Ryan Howard said it “worked to our advantage tonight.” And you can bet your life savings that same lineup will be out there for Saturday’s 4:10 start.
The other three Phillies runs came in the first two frames. With runners at first and third, Jimmy Rollins was caught in a rundown between third and home after Chase Utley ripped one up the middle that hit Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Rollins held off long enough to get Victorino and Utley to second and third. Ryan Howard grounded out one batter later for the first run.
Runs two and three were much easier. Domonic Brown simply deposited a ball into the right field seats for his second home run of the year.
To recap; Halladay awesome, Contreras/Romero not at all, Stutes ends threat, Polanco gives offense a boost, Brown goes yard, Phils win.