So there’s no need to be worried about Roy Oswalt anymore. The righty, who has either been injured or spotty all season, turned in six stellar innings, allowing no runs and only four baserunners in six innings of work as the Phillies piled on the Braves, who dropped to 9-17 in September with the Cardinals (now even with the Braves after a 13-6 win in Houston half a game back and tied with Houston as I post this UPDATE: St. Louis has taken the lead, coming from down 5-0 to up 9-6 in the 7th) staggering at a slightly faster clip toward the finish line.
The 7-1 win featured a little something for everyone: apart from Oswalt, the Phillies got perfect innings of relief from Joe Savery and (more importantly) the heretofore unraveling Antonio Bastardo. Not only did Oswalt seem to have his velocity, command, and good off-speed stuff back, but Bastardo, who had been enduring about as bad a month as you could have asked for, looked rather like the classic Tony No-Dad in his inning of work. Kyle Kendrick allowed a towering home run to Martin Prado to lead off the ninth and break up the shutout, but I guess you can’t have everything.
On the offensive side, three Phillies homered the top three hitters in the Phillies order homered, the last a towering blast by Jimmy Rollins off Julio Teheran that gave me the opportunity to make this joke. Rollins went 3-for-5 with the home run and a stolen base.
Somewhat lost in all the fireworks and playoff hysteria is a pair of milestones: the win, No. 101 on the Phillies’ season, ties the franchise record, set in 1976 and again in 1977. Charlie Manuel also registered his 645th win as Phillies skipper, tying him with Gene Mauch for the franchise record. Both records could fall in tomorrow’s season finale. Until then, pleasant dreams.