Phillies fans just love it when Roy Halladay pitches. Lately, the whole Phillies team has loved it as well. Halladay won his 10th game of the season tying him for best in the majors. The Phillies are now 8-0 in his last eight starts and 14-3 when he toes the rubber.
Halladay only allowed one run in nine innings for his league leading fifth complete game. He struck out four to increase his National League leading total to 123. Halladay is now 5-0 in his last eight starts and is the team leader at 10-3.
Jimmy Rollins, who had been 0 for his last 15, came through in a big way going 4 for 4 with two runs scored. Rollins, Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino started the game with consecutive hits off Oakland starter Josh Outman (3-2). Victorino had an RBI single and Ryan Howard grounded into a double play which plated Polanco to give the Phillies an early 2-0 lead.
The Phillies got their third run from Ben Francisco, who had an RBI infield single in the fifth inning. Francisco was starting in right field in place of Domonic Brown, who was booed last night for not running out a ground ball. Was this punishment from Charlie Manuel? Probably not. Brown is still young and hasn’t fully made the adjustments facing left handed pitching. Either way, he should have been hustling.
The Phillies are back to 19 games over .500 (49-30). Tuesday will be their third chance to get to 20 games over .500 as they welcome the Boston Red Sox to town to continue Interleague play. The Phillies are now 5-4 this season against teams from the American League.
There are only four more series (Bos, Tor, Fla, Atl) until the All Star break. Hopefully the Phillies can keep the momentum heading into the break. With the injured Roy Oswalt out until August, the rotation gets a little out of order for the upcoming series. We will see Cliff Lee and Vance Worley throw the first two against Boston and could see either Kyle Kendrick or Cole Hamels go for game three.
The Boston series is a big one. I say this lightly, but on paper this is the World Series matchup a lot of people are waiting for. On paper means nothing. Both teams, however, are playing championship caliber baseball.