The Phillies won a hard-fought victory tonight thanks to the efforts of some stellar pitching and a few very well-timed hits. Roy Halladay started strong out of the gate, and despite giving up an early home run to ex-Met Carlos Beltran, Halladay kept the game in check, giving up only two hits over eight innings while striking out eight as well. If there were any worries about his ability to pitch following the injury, these last three games should have erased all doubt. The doctor is back in, and he’s putting up a clinic.
I can’t disregard the offense tonight either. After the tag-team of Howard and Brown answered Beltran’s home run in the second inning, Kyle Lohse kept them quiet for the following five innings. Upon his removal for the reliever Barret Browning, however, the offense kicked in 2008 style: A few timely hits followed by a big fat homer. Jimmy Rollins led off the inning with a double to left. After Juan Pierre got him over to third, Chase Utley came to the plate and delivered like it was the glory days all over again, going yard on one of the longest home runs he’s hit in a while and putting them up 3-1, where the score would stand until the game was over.
Papelbon got himself on a wire in the ninth, but Carlos Beltran (coughLOLMETScough) handed the Phillies the game when he tried to steal second while in the middle of a pickoff move. And just like that, it was over. Roy Halladay improved to 6-6 on the season, and Chase Utley continues his return to dominance following his major DL stint.
Our boys are now a mere 10 games under .500 now. And if it’s one thing I’ve learned while watching this sport, it’s that it ain’t over until it’s over. Cliff Lee goes tomorrow, looking for the series win and a bit of revenge for last year.