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Phillies Strike Early to Down Reds in Finale

Everybody Kratz your hands! (AP)

The Roy Halladay you fell in love with has returned in a big way. Doc went 7 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking one in the Phillies 6-2 win over Cincinnati. They took two of three from one of the best teams in the NL, and their hot stretch in August and September continues.

Halladay was backed offensively with all six runs in just the second and third innings. Domonic Brown ended an 0-for-19 slide (which felt like 0-for-300 because of the time missed) with an opposite-field, RBI single scoring Ryan Howard.

Erik Kratz continues his quest for Phillies second half MVP. I mean, is there anyone more deserving? He continued his tear with a three-run bomb off Mike Leake in the second inning, number nine on the season for the hulking catcher.  Chase Utley added a two-run shot in the third inning off Leake, his 10th in 2012.

John Mayberry Jr. continues his second-half surge, going 2-for-4 and raising his average to .256.

The bullpen came in and did a fine job, most notably Antonio Bastardo handling the best hitter in the National League, Joey Votto. He got Votto with a knee-locking, 3-2 breaking ball in the eighth inning, sending the former league MVP back to the dugout looking stunned. That is hard to do. More of that, please.

Jonathan Papelbon came in with a five-run lead, as he had on Sunday when a very winnable game was lost in what seemed like a heartbeat. He didn’t give it all up, but he did allow one run on a Jay Bruce homer, then allowed another baserunner before ending the inning. Jeez.

Either way, a nice series against a very talented Reds squad.

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