Roy Halladay, as he pitches his 50th complete game, wins his 150th career game as he outduels the Astros’ Ray Oswalt, as the Phils defeat the Astros’ 2-1. The Phils, now 5-1, are off to their best start since 1993, when they started that pennant season with an 8-1 start.
The Phils took a quick 1-0 lead in the first as, on the second pitch of the game, Jimmy Rollins hits a solo home run, his first home run of the season. The Phils would make it 2-0 in the second as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Carlos Ruiz hits an RBI ground out, 6-3, knocking in Raul Ibanez, who had earlier doubled and had gone to third on Shane Victorino’s single, while Victorino, who had earlier singled, moved up to second base. The game then became a pitchers’ duel between the Phils’ Roy Halladay and the Astros’ Roy Oswalt, with Oswalt giving up no more runs before leaving the game in the sixth, having given up two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out eight Phils, while Halladay, through five, gave up only three hits while striking out five Astros. The Astros then threathen in the sixth as they loaded up the bases on singles to pinch hitter Chris Johnson and Michael Bourn, with Johnson moving up to second base, and an error to third base by Halladay on a bunt attempt by Jeff Keppinger, allowing Johnson to reach third, while Bourn moved up to second on the throw to third, with nobody out. But the next batter, Cory Sullivan then hits into a 6-3 double play, forcing out Keppinger at second base, while Johnson scored, making it a 2-1 Phils’ lead, while Bourn moved up to third, where he would stay as the next batter, Carlos Lee, pops up to Rollins for the final out of the inning. The Astros then threathen again in the seventh, as they put runners on second and third, with one man out, via singles to Geoff Blum and Pedro Feliz, with Blum moving up to second base on Feliz’s hit, and then with both man moving up a base on Kazuo Matsui’s sacrifice bunt, 2-4, for the inning’s first out. But Halladay then turned the Astros back by getting J.R. Towles to bounce back to the pitcher, 1-3, for the inning’s second out, and then striking out pinch hitter Jason Michaels, swinging. That would be the last threat as Halladay gets Feliz to end the game in the bottom of the ninth with a pop up to Chase Utley for the final out.
Roy Halladay picks up the win as he pitches a complete game, giving up an unearned run on seven hits, as he strikes out eight. His record is now 2-0 with a reduced ERA of 0.56. Roy Oswalt took the lost as he pitches six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, while he strikes out eight. His record is now 0-2 with an ERA of 3.75. Jeff Fulchino, Tim Byrdak and Brandon Lyon combine for three shut out innings, giving up only one hit (Fulchino), while striking out two Phils (Fulchino and Byrdak, one each).
The Phils’ offense had only six hits in the game, with Jimmy Rollins leading the team with two hits, a solo home run and a single, knocking in a run. Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino and Roy Halladay had the other foru Phils’ hits, with Utley and Ibanez’s hits being doubles. Carlos Ruiz knocked in the other Phils’ run with an RBI ground out.
The Phils (5-1, 1st East) start a six games home stand with a three games series against the Nationals (3-3, 4th East). The first game of the three-games set, being played at Citizens Bank Park, is already in progress. The Phils send to the mound Cole Hamels (1-0, 3.60), who is coming off a win against these same Nats on April 7, as he pitched five innings, giving up three runs, only two of which were earned, on five hits and two walks, while striking out five, in the Phils’ 8-4 win. He hopes to improve on that outing, giving the Phils a chance to win their home opener. He will be opposed by Jason Marquis (0-1, 13.50), who is coming off a lost to the Phils, also on April 7, as he lasted only four innings, giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out only two, in the Nats’ 8-4 lost. He hopes to do better against this same Phils squad. The Phils plan to win their home opener, and to increase their winning streak to four games.