After three straight (heartbreaking) losses, the Phillies looked to Doc Halladay to pull them out of their slump. He didn’t waste any time retiring the first Brave of the game on a slow roller to first after just one pitch (cuttered).
In his fourth start for the Fightins he pitched his second complete game and first shut out of 2010 bringing his record to 4-0 and his ERA down to a national league leading 0.82 having passed Mike Pelfry (0.86) and Tim Lincecum (0.90). Harry Leroy rounded out the night with 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, and 7 SO on 113 pitches (71 for strikes, 23 for cutters).
For the third game in a row, however, something else distracted everyone from the stellar (starting) pitching performances put on by Hamels, KK & His Majesty. The difference? Tonight ended in a win and we’re not stuck grumbling about quiet bats or sloppy relievers. No, tonight we get to decide which of the six ridiculous defensive plays are going to make the ESPN Top 10 plays on Sports Center tonight. Just do me a favor and keep your comments to yourself about the crappy quality of the screen grabs. I’m more than aware.
Let’s start with Shane Patrick Victorino robbing McLouth of a potentially game-tying home run in the bottom of the second:
Personally, I’m impressed Shane-O managed to make it happen so that the screen shot could be so easily saved under the title “THIS” in my pictures folder.
The next ah-may-zing play came in the bottom of the 6th and it’s a two-parter:
First, Castro came out of nowhere to make a Rollins-esque nab to keep a ball fresh off man-child Jason Heyward’s bat and keep it in the infield. Clearly Ryan Howard has been working out with his Eagles cheerleader girlfriend Krystle Campbell – otherwise I don’t know how he dug this one out:
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why you stretch before games.
As if those two defensive showcases weren’t enough for these guys, Doc decided to make it interesting in the 7th by loading the bases with one out and 2-0 lead on the line. By “make it interesting” I mean he just wanted everyone to gather ‘round closely to witness Utley turn an improbable double play (if he were anyone other than Chase Utley, of course).
The “please, please, please catch this:”
The “fist pump for a double play:”
And the “I’m taking you all to the zoo as soon as we get back to Philly:”
But it isn’t over yet, folks – far from it.
Yes – believe your eyes. That’s Sir Ryan Howard making double sure that he gets on the highlight reel one way or another tonight. Airborne, stretched out, first class first base defense brought to you by Subway.
At the end of the night it boiled down to this:
- The Phillies snapped a three game losing streak
- Halladay ends a three game hitting streak
- Both Werth and Ibanez locked up an RBI apiece
- The Phillies starting pitchers have allowed only 2 earned runs over their last 25 innings
- Placido Polanco (hit by pitch) left the game with an elbow contusion (x-rays were negative) but doesn’t expect to miss much time
I don’t have anything else to say other than “welcome back, boys!”
Tomorrow, 47-Year-Old-Jamie Moyer (1-1, 7.50 ERA) faces Derek Lowe (3-0, 4.67 ERA) for the series finale at 7:10 pm.