Roy Halladay becomes the first Phils starter, since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton won 23 in 1982, to win 20 games in a season, as the Phils defeat the Braves, 5-3. The Phils’ lead in the NL East increases to five games, while their magic number falls to six games.
The Phils took the lead in the third as, with two men on, and with one man out, Jayson Werth hits a three-run home run, his twenty-fifth home run of the year, knocking in Placido Polanco, who had earlier walked, and had moved up to second on Chase Utley’s single, and Utley, who had earlier singled, giving the Phils a 3-0 lead. The Braves got a run back in the fifth as, with runners on the corners, and with nobody out, Eric Hinske hits an RBI force out, 4-6, knocking in Alex Gonzalez, who had earlier doubled, then went to third on Rick Ankiel’s single, making it a 3-1 Phils’ lead, while Ankiel, who had earlier singled, was wiped out at second base. The Braves scored again in the sixth as, with runners on second and third and with nobody out, Derrek Lee hits a sacrifice fly, knocking in Martin Prado, who had earlier singled, and had gone to third on Brian McCann’s double, making it a 3-2 Phils’ lead, before McCann, who has earlier doubled, is thrown out at third, 8-5, trying to move up to third, on a sacrifice fly-double play, for the second out of the inning. The Phils got the runs back in their half of the sixth as, with two men on base, and with two men out, Raul Ibanez hits a two-run double, knocking in Ryan Howard, who had earlier walked, and moved up to second on Werth’s single, and Werth, who had just singled, giving the Phils a 5-2 lead. The Braves got a run back in the seventh as, with two men out, pinch hitter Freddie Freeman hits a pinch hit solo home run, the first of his major league career, making it a 5-3 Phils’ lead. That would be the final score as the bullpen would hold down the Braves in the eighth and in the ninth, with Brad Lidge collecting his twenty- fifth save of the year, as he got Ankiel to end the game by poping up to the shortstop for the final out.
Roy Halladay gets the win as he pitches seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out three. His record is now 20-10 with an ERA of 2.53. Ryan Madson collects his fourteenth hold as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out one. Brad Lidge gets his twenty-fifth save of the season as he pitches a scoreless inning, giving up a hit, while striking out a batter. Mike Minor took the lost as he pitches only two and one-third innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk. His record is now 3-2 with a 6.18 ERA. Cristhian Martinez and Kyle Farnsworth combines for two and two-thirds scoreless innings, giving up a hit (Martinez) and two walks (Martinez), while striking out four (Martinez (3), Farnsworth (1)) between them. Michael Dunn pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out a batter. Peter Moylan, Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters combine for two and a third scoreless innings, giving up two hits (Kimbrel (1), Venters (1)), while striking out three (Kimbrel (1), Venters (2)) between them.
The Phils had twelve hits in the game, with Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Jason Werth, Raul Ibanez and Wilson Valdez leading the team with two hits each, with Polanco, Utley and Valdez’s hits being all singles, with Werth’s hits being a single and a three-run home run, knocking in three runs, and Ibanez’s hits being a pair of doubles, knocking in two runs. Ryan Howard and Roy Halladay had the other two Phil hits, both singles. The Phils’ offense left twelve men on base, failing to cash in on several scoring opportunities, but scoring enough runs to win once again.
The Phils (91-61, 1st) will conclude their series with the Braves (86-66, 2nd) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phils will send to the mound Roy Oswalt (13-13 (7-1), 2.90 (1.94)), who is coming off a win against the Nats on September 17, as he went six innings, giving up a run on six hits and a walk, while striking out seven, in the Phils’ 9-1 rout. In his last three starts, his record is 3-0 as he had pitched twenty-two innings, giving up five runs on sixteen hits and three walks, while striking out twenty. He will be trying to lead the Phils to a sweep of the Braves. The Braves will counter with Tommy Hanson (10-11, 3.62), who is coming off a win against the Mets on September 17, as he pitched six innings, giving up four runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four, in the Braves’ 6-4 win. In his last three starts, his record is 1-1 with a no-decision, as he had pitched nineteen innings, giving up twelve runs, nine of which were earned, on fourteen hits and three walks, while striking out thirteen. He will be trying to help the Braves avoid the sweep. The Phils will be trying to sweep the Braves, to extend their lead in the NL East to six games and set things up for an early clinching.