The offensive train for the Phils kept right on rolling last night, scoring 11 runs in a game where Halladay and the bullpen ensured they would only need one. The Phils have plated 21 runs in their last two games and the offense that worried so many at the start of the season is averaging more than seven runs a game.
Next stop is Atlanta.
In last night’s game, Halladay gave the Phils the outstanding start we’ve come to expect, throwing seven shutout innings. He was backed by Baez and Herndon, who combined to throw a pair of scoreless frames. Wilson Valdez had a night to remember at the plate, going 4-for-4 and driving in three runs. Polanco continues to pound the ball as well — after driving in four runs last night he’s tied with Howard for the team lead with eight RBI.
The Phils are 5-1 on the year after topping the Mets 11-0 last night. The Phillies take two of three in the series.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and a walk. All six of the hits were singles and he struck out seven. After two starts he has an 0.69 ERA and an 0.92 ratio. In 13 innings he’s allowed 11 hits and a walk and struck out 13.
Jose Reyes was the first batter of the game and he lined a single into right. Willie Harris was next and Halladay struck him out swinging 0-2 for the first out. Reyes was running as Wright grounded to short. Rollins fielded and had to go to first for the second out. It brought Ike Davis to the plate with two down and a man on second and he fouled out to Polanco to leave Reyes stranded.
Angel Pagan started the second and Halladay walked him on four pitches. Lucas Duda was next and he hit a ball that went off of Halladay’s leg as Halladay fell to the ground. The ball deflected to Valdez and Valdez tagged Pagan for the first out with Duda safe at first. Brad Emaus was next and hit into a double-play to set the Mets down.
Josh Thole led off the third with a single into center. The pitcher Jon Niese was next and tried to bunt but fouled off a 1-2 pitch, striking out for the first out. Reyes and Harris followed with back-to-back singles, loading the bases for Wright with one out. Wright struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Davis grounded to second to leave the bases loaded.
Big strikeout of Wright with one out and the bases loaded helps keep the Mets off the board.
The Phils were up 2-0 when Pagan started the fourth with a single into center. Halladay got Duda on a fly ball to left before Pagan stole second. Emaus was next and he flew to center with Pagan tagging moving up to third. Halladay got Thole looking 3-2 to end the frame.
Fourth time in four innings that the leadoff batter reached for the Mets.
It was 6-0 when Halladay started the fifth. Going by what had happened in the series, this is about the time you would expect the Mets to score eight runs and Halladay to start to look like Rudy Stein. But it didn’t happen. Halladay set Murphy, pinch-hitting for Niese, Reyes and Harris down in order.
Up 8-0, he got Wright to fly to center to start the sixth. Davis was next and he singled to right before Pagan hit a ball that Ibanez took on the track in left for the second out. Duda grounded back to the mound to end the frame.
Halladay had thrown 99 pitches through six innings.
He struck out Emaus to start the seventh, got Thole to ground to first for the second and Murphy to ground to first with Halladay covering to end the frame.
Baez started the eighth with a 10-0 lead. He allowed a two-out double to Wright, but got Davis on a fly ball to center to leave Wright stranded.
Herndon pitched the ninth, walking Duda with one out but getting Emaus to hit into a double-play behind him to end the game.
Two more scoreless innings for the pen, who allowed one run in 13 innings in the series. Nobody in the pen has thrown more than one day in a row. Baez and Herndon both threw ten pitches in the game.
The Phillies lineup against lefty Jon Niese went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Francisco moves up a slot between Howard and Ibanez. Ruiz catches after getting the night game off the day before.
Victorino started the bottom of the first with a single back up the middle and into center. Polanco hit into a double-play before Niese struck Rollins out swinging 2-2 to end the inning.
Howard walked on four pitches to start the second. Francisco was next and struck out looking 2-2 for the first out. Ibanez struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Ruiz struck out swinging 2-2 for the third out.
So much for that.
Francisco came into the game leading the team in strikeouts. After this plate appearances he had eight in 24 plate appearances.
Valdez started the third with an infield single and Halladay bunted him to second. Victorino was next and singled into center and Valdez scored. Pagan threw home and the first baseman Davis tried to cut the throw near the mound, but it bounced away from him. Pagan was charged with an error that allowed Victorino to take second. Polanco was next and he doubled to left, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 2-0. Rollins hit the ball hard, but Emaus took it as second and threw to first for the second out as Polanco took third. Howard struck out swinging 1-2 to end the inning.
Francisco hit Niese’s first pitch of the fourth into center for a single. Ibanez was hit with an 0-1 pitch, putting two men on for Ruiz. Ruiz singled into left, scoring Francisco to make it 3-0 and moving Ibanez to second. Valdez hit the first pitch of his at-bat into the right field corner, scoring Ibanez (4-0) and sending Ruiz to third. Halladay struck out swinging for the first out and Victorino struck out swinging for the second, but Polanco picked them both up with a two-run single into right. 6-0. Rollins grounded to third to end the inning on a very nice play by Wright in which he charged, bare-handed and threw strong to first.
Howard started the fifth with a single. Francisco was next and he flew to left for the first out. Ibanez hit a ball that was fielded by Davis, but Davis’s throwing error left Howard safe at second and Ibanez safe at first with one out for Ruiz. Ruiz flew to center for the second out and it brought Valdez to the plate with two men on. Valdez delivered a bases clearing double that put the Phils up 8-0, but Reyes took the throw from Pagan and Valdez was tagged out going for third to end the inning.
If you had asked me before the game started how many RBI doubles to expect from Valdez before the end of the fifth inning, I would have said less than two.
Halladay started the sixth with a single to center. Victorino was nearly killed by Pedro Beato’s 1-1 pitch, but survived to hit a ground ball to short. Halladay was forced at second with Victorino beating the relay to avoid the double-play. Polanco followed and hit into a double-play.
Rollins started the seventh with a single and was forced at second when Howard followed with a ground out to Davis. Francisco struck out swinging for the second out before Ibanez hit one out to right for a two-run shot that put the Phils up 10-0. Ruiz flew to center to set the Phils down.
First home run of the year for Ibanez.
Valdez started the eighth with an infield single. With righty DJ Carrasco on the mound for New York, Mayberry hit for Baez and singled to left. It put men on first and second for Victorino and he flew to center. Valdez did a nice job to tag and go to third, which allowed him to score when Rollins followed with a ground out to short. 11-0 with two outs and Polanco on first for Rollins and he singled, putting men on first and second. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, but Howard grounded back to the pitcher to end the inning.
Victorino was 2-for-5 with an RBI in the game. 4-for-15 with five strikeouts in the series. He has one walk on the season so far and a .292 on-base percentage.
Polanco 2-for-5 with a double and four RBI yesterday. 6-for-13 with a walk and eight RBI in the series. Hasn’t struck out this season. Howard is the only player on the team with more than five plate appearances who has a better OPS so far than Polanco’s 1.100.
Rollins was 2-for-5 with two more singles. 3-for-12 with two walks in the set. He’s hitting .375 and leads the team with four walks, but is still looking for his first extra-base hit.
Howard 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout in the game. 5-for-12 with a home run, two walks and two RBI in the series.
Francisco 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. 2-for-12 with a walk, a home run and two RBI in the series. Hit two balls that probably would have been out to left on a normal day. He’s struck out in nine of 25 plate appearances (36%). Coming into last night’s game he had struck out in about 18.5% of his plate appearances for his career.
Ibanez was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. 5-for-12 with a home run and three RBI in the series.
Ruiz 1-for-4 with an RBI. 1-for-7 in the series.
Valdez was 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. 5-for-10 with two doubles in the series.
Cliff Lee (1-0, 3.86) starts tonight in Atlanta against righty Tim Hudson (1-0, 1.29).