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2010 Game Recaps

Bullpen Blows Another to End Weird Weekend

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, August 21, 2011 06:30 PM Comments: 51

For the better part of this 2011 season, the Phillies have gotten through games unscathed and with relative ease. They’d blown

Chooch and Raul were celebrating. But the fun didn't last. (PHOTO:AP)

few games in the ninth inning up until this past week, so consider me, and many others I’m sure, a little shocked by what has transpired.

Sunday, after another rain delay, and just one strike from victory, the Nationals fought back to win 5-4 in 10 innings. It wasn’t quite a meltown, which Ryan Madson went through on Friday. Antonio Bastardo gave up a two out, two-strike home run to Ian Desmond to tie the game at four. In the 10th, Brad Lidge allowed two hits, a walk, and plunked Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded to send home the winning run, and leave everyone scratching their heads.

Bastardo has pretty much been flawless in ’11, so chalk this up as a blip in an otherwise ridiculous campaign for the young lefty. It’s just how it’s all happening right now that is head-scratching.

Continue reading Bullpen Blows Another to End Weird Weekend

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Halladay Overcomes Groin Pull to Bring Phils Home

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 22, 2010 12:44 AM Comments: 69

They’re bringin’ it back…back. To Philly…Philly. The Phillies staved off elimination behind a gritty performance from Roy Halladay, beating the Giants, 4-2. If you noticed Halladay laboring throughout, there was good reason; he suffered a minor groin pull in the second inning.

The details are obviously sketchy, as Manuel said he hurt the groin in an at-bat against Buster Posey. However, the Giants catcher batted in the first inning. Halladay reiterated postgame that he indeed injured it in the second. In any case, on the bad-ass meter, thats about an 11. To go out there and beat the Giants who have been red hot with one healthy leg is quite impressive. It was quite noticeable, however, that something was amiss.

Halladay threw (by my unofficial count) just 12 fastballs on the night (excluding cutters). The Doc relied heavily on his offspeed stuff and somehow, someway, it worked. He pushed his way through six innings – throwing 108 pitches, 74 for strikes – allowing two runs on six hits and two walks.

Run support was still lacking for Halladay as the Phillies crossed home four times, three in a huge third inning. In the big third frame, Raul Ibanez got the ball rolling with a single to right field, followed by Carlos Ruiz being pegged on the right arm. With two on and nobody out, things got a little crazy around home plate.

Halladay bunted the ball off home plate, and it was hard to tell if the ball was fair or foul. Buster Posey quickly jumped on it and threw to third, but Pablo Sandoval missed the base and Ibanez was called safe. Halladay, however, did not run after thinking the ball was foul. Sandoval rolled around on the ground for a few seconds but still had plenty of time to throw out Halladay.

Aubrey Huff then allowed the Phils to grab the lead as Shane Victorino ripped one that caromed off the first baseman and into shallow right field, allowing Ibanez and Ruiz to score. Victorino was able to move to second on the error – he then scored on a Placido Polanco single to left field to push the Phils advantage to two.

San Francisco, as pesky as ever, grabbed a run in the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Pat Burrell and Cody Ross.

Backtracking to the first inning, an interesting situation occurred with Burrell and Halladay. Doc appeared to stare in at home plate umpire Jeff Nelson after a few questionable calls. Burrell took exception to it and yelled a few obscenities back at Roy, and the stares continued.

Back to Ross; he continues to pillage in the playoffs, knocking in his fifth run of the series. Luckily, those were the only two extra-base for the Giants on the night.

After Halladay came impressive performances from Jose Contreras, J.C. Romero, Ryan Madson, and Brad Lidge. Andres Torres singled off Contreras in the seventh and was the only Giants runner to reach base over the final three innings. Madson was torture on  meat of the order, striking out Posey, Burrell, and Ross in succession.

Before Brad Lidge could come on to close it out, Jayson Werth gave him a bit of breathing room with an incredible opposite field home run. That made it 4-2, which was plenty for Lidge, who put the Giants down in order to send the series back home.

We’ll keep you abreast of the Halladay situation, which is not a hindrance at this point with Roy Oswalt going Saturday and Cole Hamels on Sunday, if necessary.

But I know what you’re thinking; Sunday will be necessary.

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Cain Kills Phils Hopes of 2-1 Lead

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, October 19, 2010 08:20 PM Comments: 72

When you don’t hit, you can’t win. The Phillies found that out the hard way today in San Francisco as Matt Cain shut them down completely over seven innings in the Giants 3-0 win. Cole Hamels wasn’t even all that bad, even though he was tagged with the loss.

As for Cain, he rendered the Phillies offense useless, allowing just two hits and three walks with five K’s over 119 pitches. In actuality, he wasn’t as sharp as the numbers indicate, as he threw only 69 strikes to 50 balls. It was the Phillies lineup that made him look as such. There were several zeroes throughout the order; Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz were responsible for the three hits, while Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, and Ross Gload reach via walk. But that was the extent of the offense.

Once again it was their inability to pull through with runners in scoring position that did them in. Seven men were left on base, with the team finishing 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position. The Phillies ran their RISP average down to .105 in the three games, or 2-for-19. That just won’t do.

Cole Hamels was the hard luck loser. He really only struggled in one inning and that unfortunately did him in. Through six innings, he allowed five hits and three runs on some tough base hits by the Giants.

In the fourth, Edgar Renteria led off the inning with a single, the first hit to that point given up by Hamels. Freddy Sanchez then pushed Renteria along with a sac bunt, which would have been a close play at second base had Howard looked that direction. He did not, and Renteria moved to scoring position. A Buster Posey strikeout was followed by a Pat Burrell walk. Cody Ross then struck again.

Ross singled from his shoes to left field, bringing home Renteria, and adding to his 2010 postseason lure. It wasn’t a bad pitch from Hamels to Ross – a low, 4-seam fastball above the middle part of the plate – but was something too close to his wheelhouse. He converted once again, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead.

Aubrey Huff then singled off the glove of a diving Chase Utley into right field, which scored Burrell who had moved to third on Ross’s hit.

Then in the fifth, Aaron Rowand doubled on the first pitch from Utley into the left field corner. He would later score on a Freddy Sanchez single that took a wicked hop and ate up Utley at second. It was originally called an error but changed to a base hit later. Utley appeared to have a play on the spinning ball but it skipped to his right, ricocheting off his arm and into shallow center field. Just that sort of day.

That would conclude the scoring for San Fran, but it would also be more than enough for the Giants to take a 2-1 lead with two games remaining at AT&T Park.

Charlie Manuel has stated that Joe Blanton will start in Game 4 against Madison Bumgarner. The skipper is pinning his hopes on a guy who hasn’t pitched a full game since September 29.

Although this is uncharted territory for this team, we all know they can’t be counted out of any series. And while the lineup is sinking like a brick, they’ll get a chance to turn their fortunes around against the Giants fourth starter.

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Oswalt, Rollins Team Up to Tie Series, 1-1

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 18, 2010 12:53 AM Comments: 149

—Citizens Bank Park

If you said you weren’t at least slightly nervous before the Phillies and Giants took the field for Game 2 of the NLCS, you’re a liar. You’re a liar because the Phillies had seldom seen themselves trailing in a series. You’re a liar because you weren’t sure which team would show up. You’re a liar because you, as a fan, are unfamiliar with watching this team lose on their home turf.

Even though Cody Ross abruptly ended a no-hit bid once again, Roy Oswalt, along with Jimmy Rollins, was able to soothe that lingering anxiety by pitching eight fantastic innings in the Phillies 6-1 win. Oswalt was a completely different pitcher than in Game 2 of the NLDS against Cincinnati and it showed with his fastball. Against the Reds, it lacked life and he was smacked around. Tonight, it had pop and it helped him to hold the Giants without a hit into the fifth inning.

Rollins had been MIA for a while now, beginning the series just 1-for-15 before finally making his presence felt. “Rollins” and “presence felt” haven’t joined forces in quite sometime, but in the seventh, they were a match made in heaven.

That huge seventh was put in motion because of the bat of Jimmy Rollins. He didn’t take the swing, however, Roy Oswalt used Rollins’ bat to single to left-center field to begin the inning. Oswalt said he had tried it in BP two days ago and asked J-Roll for help. It worked.

“He (Oswalt) used my bat tonight, and that gave me a lot of confidence tonight actually…See the bat still had hits in it,” Rollins said. “It’s just the person using it.”

Following Oswalt’s leadoff single, Shane Victorino sacrificed him to second base, as Manuel went to the small ball, something seldom seen. Chase Utley was intentionally walked before Placido Polanco singled to center field, setting up a play at the plate that should never have been.

Running on contact from second, Oswalt turned third and blew through Sam Perlozzo’s stop sign, but slide just under the tag of Buster Posey to give the Phils an extra run. “I read it pretty well off the bat,” said the ever-so-speedy starting pitcher. “But as soon as he hit it, I knew it was over the infield. When I got halfway, I saw the stop sign, I said ‘it’s too late now, no turning back.’”

The insurance run gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead, which was added to shortly thereafter. Utley and Polacno would advance on a double-steal and Jayson Werth would reach on an intentional walk. With the bases clogged with Phillies, Jimmy Rollins did his best impression of the 2009 NLCS against the Dodgers by depositing a ball off the wall in right-center field to clear ‘em. It was shades of the Jon Broxton game all over again, and with one swing of the stick, J-Roll mave have gotten his groove back.

The bases-clearing double made it 6-1 and put the Giants away for good.

In the eighth inning, Oswalt believed he had been pulled by Charlie Manuel with two on and two out, but the skipper stuck with the “Other Roy.” “Well, I had my back turned. I saw Jimmy walking toward me. I thought Charlie was coming, so I thought he had already motioned for the bullpen, but I didn’t know for sure.”

Good thing he didn’t, because Oswalt was able to send Aubrey Huff to the dugout after grounding out to Chase Utley to end the threat. Oswalt’s poise throughout the night allowed Manuel to stay with the ace. “He asked me what I felt like,” said Oswalt. “I knew I had a few left. I honestly felt like I could get through one more.”

The only blemish for Oswalt was another monster home run by Ross, his third jack in two days. That home run to left field ended Oswalt’s attempt at a no-hitter with one out in the fifth, but it did little to shake his confidence, or Manuel’s.

Offensively, the team did a good job of staying patient with Jonathan Sanchez, pushing his pitch count to 35 after the first inning. Sanchez struggled with the “effectively wild” mantra all night, walking three while striking out seven. He was able to minimize the damage, getting through six innings with five hits and three runs – two of which were earned. The bullpen wasn’t as lucky.

No need to be nervous anymore. The Phillies and Giants head to San Francisco tied at one apiece, which certainly beats a 0-2 hole to climb out of.

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Ross Clobbers Halladay, Leads Giants to 1-0 Lead

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, October 17, 2010 12:01 AM Comments: 92

It had been a long, long time since anyone had seen Roy Halladay give up a hit. Like 20 days long. On this night, he gave up eight of them, including two home runs to eighth-place batter Cody Ross in the Phillies 4-3 loss to the Giants in Game 1.

Halladay looked nowhere near his no-hit form of October 6, and perhaps this time, the long layoff coupled with the brisk conditions may have led to his demise. Those, however, are excuses, which Roy Halladay will not make and did not make following his somewhat-lackluster showing. His line: seven innings, eight hits, four earned runs, no walks, and seven strikeouts.

“Well, I made some bad pitches. First pitch to Ross I don’t think was that bad, but the second one I left the ball over the plate,” said Halladay. At least he stuck around for the accountability. Ryan Howard bolted early, missing the media following his 1-for-4, three strikeout-night.

Ross absolutely owns the Phillies in his career. His two bombs to left field were the second and third of this postseason, with the first one a no-hitter-killer in the second inning. To that point, Halladay had a personal 13. 1/3 inning hitless streak -including the regular season finale against the Nationals – snapped on Ross’s first homer. His second home run in the fifth inning gave the Giants a 2-1 lead, which they would add to one frame later. His regular season numbers against the Phillies are staggering during his career, which includes 13 of his 86 career home runs. He only added to his resume with this showing.

In the sixth, Halladay unraveled a bit as he allowed three two-out hits in succession, putting two more on the board for San Francisco. Buster Posey led off with a single, followed by a Pat Burrell double to left field. Raul Ibanez appeared to have a beat on it as he jumped against the wall, but dropped it. Posey scored, make it 3-1 Giants. Burrell was replaced by pinch-runner Nate Schierholtz who touched home on a Juan Uribe first-pitch single to center field.

After Ross’s first jack, Carlos Ruiz got the crowd back into it almost instantly as he led off the bottom of the second with a home run to right. That home run extended Ruiz’s postseason on-base streak to 24 straight games and added to his silly totals during that stretch. In those 24 games, Ruiz is hitting .338 with six doubles, four homers, and 14 RBI to go with a .495 on-base percentage. Tonight, he needed a little help from his friends but didn’t quite get enough.

In the bottom half of the sixth inning, Jayson Werth would finally make his presence felt, going to the opposite field with a big two-run home run to cut the Giants lead to one. But they would get no more as Ruiz and Werth were the only Phillies to show up.

Giants starter Tim Lincecum left went seven innings, giving up six hits while walking three. His two blemishes were the home runs to Ruiz and Werth. “The Freak” wasn’t freakishly good or unhittable as he allowed several hard hit balls, but he seemed to lock it down when necessary.

Lincecum was aided by poor situational hitting from the Phillies. They finished the night 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position, which on the surface may not seem like much, but against a pitcher like Lincecum, they are big time opportunities gone by the wayside.

Eighth and ninth inning rallies fell short for the Phillies as they stranded a runner on base in each frame. In the eighth, Jimmy Rollins failed yet again in a bit situation, whiffing at heat from Giants closer Brian Wilson. Rollins surely does not look to be the same guy that took this same situation a year ago and led the Phillies to a win.  You’ll recall in Game 4 of the NLCS, Rollins smoked a gapper off of Jonathan Broxton to send the Phillies to a 3-1 series lead. In this one, he swung right through Wilson’s fastball.

In the ninth, Ross Gload and Shane Victorino each struck out with Carlos Ruiz on first base to end what little threat they had going. As a unit, the Phillies left seven men on base, missing several opportunities to overcome the so-so performance from Halladay.

Tomorrow night, they’ll get right back at it with a very tough matchup. Jonathan Sanchez, the lefty feaster will go up against Roy Oswalt. It’s about as close to a must-win as possible.

Here are some photos from Game 1:

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Welcome Back: Phillies Sweep Reds to Reach NLCS

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 11, 2010 12:59 AM Comments: 60

It never gets old, does it? The Philadelphia Phillies swept the Cincinnati Reds to reach their third consecutive National League Championship Series.

Cole Hamels made sure the fun would continue for the Phillies faithful, throwing a complete game shutout in the 2-0 series-clinching victory. Hamels was absolutely brilliant, going the distance  119 pitches (82 strikes) while striking out nine Reds without a walk. He changed speeds beautifully all evening, overmatching the Cincinnati order with his mid-90′s fastball, a curveball that was nasty, and a changeup that fooled everyone at Great American Ballpark.

The offense struck early, capitalizing on another defensive miscue by the Reds in the first inning. Placido Polanco scored on a throwing error by shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who earlier in the day was thought to be out of the lineup with an oblique injury. His errant throw, along with Scott Rolen’s bobble in the sixth inning, were the sixth and seventh errors of the series for the Reds, respectively (or disrespectively?).

It was quite an unpleasant series for what was the best defense in the National League during the regular season. Perhaps the postseason jitters were real for this team that somewhat resembles the 2007 version of this Phillies team: young, wet behind the ears, and a overmatched in their first dance in October.

In the fifth inning, Chase Utley hit the first home run of the series for the Phillies – as a team they hit 25 home runs in the 2009 playoffs – to give the Phils a 2-0 lead. The homer wasn’t without controversy. A Reds fan appeared to slightly interfere with centerfield Drew Stubbs, who looked to possibly have a play on the ball. The umpires used instant replay to be sure, and the play was upheld. No red flags were thrown, although white flags should have been waved.

All night, Hamels was completely in control, harkening back to the good old days of 2008. At this point, he may be even better. His fastball had life, his breaking pitches were untraceable. This top three of Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels is just downright scary and the Cincinnati Reds saw that firsthand.

What is slightly worrisome is the Phillies inability to sustain anything with the sticks. In the quick three-game set, the Phils scored 13 runs, six of which were unearned. Basically, the Reds were undone by their breakdowns defensively. And while the Phillies took advantage of those opportunities, they still haven’t been able to use this killer offense to their advantage.

It’s now a long week off as the NLCS begins on Saturday. The opponent is unknown, and won’t be until at least tomorrow night when the Giants and Braves play Game 4 of their series from Atlanta.

What we do know is that we’ll see Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels in some way, shape, or form beginning next weekend at Citizens Bank Park. The wait will be a lengthy one, but for now, enjoy this dynamic and possibly dynastic team.

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Reds' Defensive Flubs Help Push Phils to 2-0 Lead

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, October 08, 2010 11:12 PM Comments: 62

Whoever coined the phrase “You can’t script October” was dead on.

None of the 46,511 could have imagined Game 2 playing out the way it did. But after sloppy play, countless errors, a rally inning, and a certain lefty deemed useless, the Phillies somehow pulled out an incredible 7-4 win.

Cincinnati, known for it’s splendid defense with guys like Phillips, Votto, Bruce, and Rolen, completely unraveled in the bottom of the seventh inning. During the regular season, the Reds were tied with San Diego for the best defensive team in the NL with only 72 errors.

The start of the seventh inning was fascinating, as lefty Aroldis Chapman made his way to the mound with Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jayson Werth up in the order. Chapman, and his 100-plus m.p.h. pitches, were render useless almost instantly as Utley was hit by a pitch on the hand. Or was he?

Utley dropped his bat as the ball sailed above catcher Ryan Hanigan’s glove and to the backstop. Afterward, he acted as if he wasn’t sure. “It was pretty close. At first I thought it was going to hit me in the head,” said the second baseman. When asked if it hit him again, he said, “I’m not sure.”

Ryan Howard then struck out on straight heat from Chapman – three straight fastballs, three straight swings and misses. Jayson Werth followed him up and strange times ensued.

Werth reached on a bang-bang play at second base as Scott Rolen attempted to nail Utley on a fielder’s choice. Utley was called safe, and replays showed it to be very, very close. More weirdness followed.

The normally sure handed Jay Bruce (just three errors in 1199 innings) lost a Jimmy Rollins liner in the lights, allowing Utley to somehow scatter home, with Werth on his heels as Brandon Phillips fumbled the relay throw. But did Utley touch third base? It certainly appeared to be yet another close play, however, the Cincinnati bench, along with the players on the field, did not realize that Utley may have whiffed rounding the base. In any case, the two runs scored on consecutive errors and just like the a 4-0 Reds lead was a 5-4 Phillies advantage.

Rollins touched home to put the Phils up two following a Raul Ibanez single and a Carlos Ruiz force out to second base.

A wild three-run inning sent the crowd into a frenzy and transformed Utley from goat to hero.

In the second inning, the normally sure-handed second baseman committed two throwing errors – one on a simple throw ranging to his left, the other on a surefire double-play ball that skipped over the outstretched arm of Ryan Howard. Nightmares of the 2009 NLCS began to play out. In the end, Utley let his bat make up for it.

The errors were costly, but the offense was able to fix the obvious shortcomings of Roy Oswalt and the defense behind him.  The Phillies starter came into the game having gone 7-1 with a sub-two era since joining the team prior to the trade deadline. October baseball rendered his regular season meaningless just four pitches into the game.

Brandon Phillips blasted an 85 m.p.h slider from Oswalt into the seats in left field to lead off the game, quickly axing the thought of back-to-back no-no’s. The Other Roy would then allow single runs in the second, fourth, and fifth before finishing what was surely an evening to forget.

His first playoff start in five seasons was a bit of a dud, although he kept the Phillies close enough to strike late. All told, Oswalt went five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) with a walk and five strikeouts. Commanding his pitches was his downfall as his inability to throw strikes haunted him throughout the night.

With a 2-0 series lead now, Oswalt may get an opportunity to fix whatever went wrong on this night.

It wasn’t the prettiest sight; hell let’s just call it downright ugly – the six combined errors is an LDS record -  but a win is a win. And with this victory, the Phillies have jumped into a position they’ve become used to lately – clinching position.

They’ll get their chance behind the arm of Cole Hamels on Sunday night in Cincinnati.

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Halladay Becomes Larger Than Life with Postseason No-No

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, October 06, 2010 10:50 PM Comments: 40

— Citizens Bank Park

In this town, it takes extraordinary feats to reach legendary status. Jim Bunning with his perfect game on Father’s Day in 1964. The Broad Street Bullies as a unit swept through the town in the mid-70’s, en route to two Stanley Cup championships. Dr. J soared to new heights in Philadelphia, and became a cult hero. The 1993 Phillies are still as beloved as ever.

Roy Halladay is now one with this city, just as the pioneers mentioned above. On October 6, 2010, Halladay tossed a no-hit, no run game at Citizens Bank Park, becoming just the second pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to accomplish that feat.

Halladay put forth the game of his life – in his first ever playoff start – somehow managing to one-up his perfect game against the Florida Marlins on May 29. He threw 104 pitches, 79 for strikes, blowing through eight Reds hitters. Halladay narrowly missed another perfect game, with Jay Bruce being the only batter to reach base on a two-out walk in the fifth inning. Other than that, an overmatched Cincinnati team couldn’t sniff a hit in the 4-0 Phillies victory.

The hardest hit ball of the night was put on the barrel by relief pitcher Travis Wood. He flew out to right fielder Jayson Werth. Pitch after pitch was pounded into the turf as Doc induced 12 groundouts to just six flyouts.

Halladay carved through the Cincinnati order by doing a simple thing very well – by throwing strikes. Sounds elementary, but Doc threw first-pitch strikes to the first eight batters of the night, before starting off Wood with a ball. All told, Halladay started a ridiculous 25 of 28 batters with a strike; an 89% clip.

But as coy as ever, Halladay tried to deflect some of the attention away from him by praising his partner in crime. “I know I always go back to it, but (Carlos) Ruiz has done a great job of recognizing early on what’s working, what’s effective, and calling that. But really, I thought we were aggressive, made good pitches, and Carlos, again, what can I say?”

We. The man puts together one for the record books, with the use of his right arm, and all he can think about is the guy behind the plate putting down the fingers. It not only makes him a fantastic pitcher, but also gives a lesson in how to be the perfect teammate.

Cross another one off of the checklist as to why he’s now a monumental figure and why he may now be the most admired talent to ever grace a uniform in this town.

Bunning was a fine pitcher, however he lacked (and still may lack) as a teammate. The Cup-winning Flyers were cherished; they were rock stars. Still, even they were a little too rough at times. Dr. J could fly through the air, but his personal life became a punch-line. The ’93 Phillies are still talked about like they just won the NL crown. Steroids, Dykstra, and Daulton give them a bit of a black eye.

Halladay that ain’t. A family man, a tireless worker, a humble human, and a perfect teammate. Halladay exudes all of those qualities, making this moment even more awe-inspiring.

On Tuesday, he talked about letting it all sink it.  The pageantry of the postseason, something he had yet to experience. The thrill of the World Series chase, something he’s never come close to. “You work all off-season, all season to get to this point,” Halladay said in his press conference. “You don’t want to go through it and miss something.”

Focus is a staple of everyday life for the Phillies unquestionable ace. For tonight, however, he was able to capture a bit of what was going on around him. Normally, Halladay is locked in enough to block out the happenings within his surroundings. But even he couldn’t keep from feeling the waves of emotion pouring out from the 46,411.

“When it gets that loud, it’s hard to ignore,” said Halladay when being asked if he kept his usual tunnel-vision intact. “It’s probably, obviously, one of the most electric atmospheres I’ve ever been in. It was pretty neat.”

What else was neat, you ask? How about Doc doing some damage with the stick, too. His game was anything but one-dimensional as he stroked a first-pitch fastball from Edinson Volquez into left field to score Carlos Ruiz. Jimmy Rollins then walked and Shane Victorino would send Roy home, along with fill-in Wilson Valdez to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead, providing the man of the night with plenty of run support.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Reds starter Edinson Volquez was quickly bounced after recording just five outs. He was tagged for four earned runs on four hits and two walks.

When all was said and done, Halladay re-wrote the history books. Sitting, chilling, next to his locker was a bottle of Dom Perignon waiting to be uncorked. It would likely have to wait for one of those post-game weight-lifting sessions. Even after work, there is still more to be done, more ways to be perfect.

And that’s what makes Roy Halladay the most beloved man in Philadelphia. Welcome to legendary status, Doc. You’ve earned it.

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Phils End Season with Loss, Will Play Reds in NLDS

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, October 03, 2010 05:49 PM Comments: 137

As of now, the Phillies still do not know which team they’ll face in the NLDS starting Wednesday. This, after Atlanta took the finale, 8-7, to keep their season alive.

In what was a wild game that saw the Phillies use Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton, the Phillies were unable to finish off a comeback from an 8-2 deficit. In the end, the Braves turned it on with their backs against the wall and pounded the likes of Danys Baez, J.C. Romero and Blanton, while the Phillies seemingly used their entire 40-man roster. Atlanta absolutely needed to win, especially with this being Bobby Cox final regular season game as manager.

The Phillies were given a couple of injury scares in a meaningless game. Carlos Ruiz was hit by a pitch on the elbow and was taken out of the game. X-rays were negative, and according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, Ruiz thinks he should be OK to go for Wednesday – so breathe a sigh of relief. Also, J.C. Romero left with a tight lower back, he too should be fine for the start of the NLDS.

So, about Wednesday. We’ll soon know what happens with the Padres and Giants game and once that game is through, the Phillies will know if they’ll have an opponent or if they’ll have to wait until tuesday.

As far as the postseason roster is concerned, the Phillies don’t have to make any decision until Wednesday at 10 a.m.

We’ll update this post when the Giants/Padres game is over.

UPDATE, 8:15 pm: The Phillies will play the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS after the Giants dispatched the Padres, 3-0, to win the NL West.

Game 1 will begin at 5:07 p.m. on Wednesday. Game 2 on Friday starts at 6:07 p.m. More coming here on PhilliesNation.com!

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Phillies lock up best record in Majors beating Atlanta, again

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, October 03, 2010 11:16 AM Comments: 6

Vance Worely pitched five shutout innings and allowed only one hit making a bid to jump into the 5th starter competition in Spring Training next year.  He combined with Antonio Bastardo, Danys Baez, Ryan Madson, and Jose Contreras for the three hit shutout beating the Braves 7-0.

The Phillies are 97-64.  Even if they lose today they would still have the best record in the Major Leagues.  Besides the obvious, the win, another bright spot for the Phillies was the return of Placido Polanco.  Polanco received a cortisone shot on Wednesday but was back in the lineup last night against the Braves going 2 for 4.  In the beginning of the season, when Polly received a shot he went on a hitting tear reaching base safely in nine straight games.  Let’s hope his elbow is feeling good going into the playoffs.

Shane Victorino had three hits for the Phillies, while Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez, Polly, Brian Schneider all had two hits each.  It really seems the Phillies are getting help from all angles.  This is very good going into the playoffs not having to depend on the long ball.

The Phillies are still going to hit home runs, don’t get me wrong, but I think they are at their best when they can score seven run via small ball.  One number I would like to see down next week is strikeouts.  Braves pitching struck out Phillies hitters 15 times in this game.  Now I know a win is a win and they did get 14 hits, but capitalizing with runners on is key come playoff time.  They did strand 17 runners as well.

Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt will get some work in today gearing up for their respective NLDS starts next week.

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