The Phils played the thirtieth game of their season last night. So far, so good. After winning to complete a three-game sweep of the Nats, the Phils are 21-9 and tied for the best record in baseball.
The series was notable for the explosion of Raul Ibanez, who continued to hit last night, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. Ibanez came into the series hitting .154 for the season and pounded the ball in all three games, going 8-for-12 with three doubles and a pair of home runs.
The Phillies are 21-9 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 7-3 last night to complete the three-game sweep. They lead the second-place Marlins by two games in the NL East.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out ten and didn’t walk a batter.
Danny Espinosa was the first batter of the game and grounded to Rollins. Alex Cora followed and singled to center. He stole second and would have been thrown out by Sardinha, but the ball went off of Valdez’s glove and Cora was safe. Halladay struck Jayson Werth out looking and Laynce Nix out swinging to leave Cora at second.
If Valdez isn’t going to hit at all, it’s important he catch the ball when it comes near him.
Adam LaRoche doubled to left to start the second. Halladay struck Wilson Ramos out looking behind him for the first out and Jerry Hairston out swinging for the second. Ian Desmond grounded to Valdez to set Washington down.
Pitcher John Lannan went down on a ground ball to second to start the third. Espinosa struck out looking and Cora grounded to first.
Halladay started the fourth with a 6-0 lead and Werth lined a single to left to start the inning. Halladay struck Nix out again for the first out before LaRoche moved Werth to second with a single. Ramos was next and he singled to left, scoring Werth to cut the lead to 6-1 and moving LaRoche to second. Hairston was next and singled, too, loading the bases. Desmond hit a fly ball to center for the second out, deep enough for LaRoche to score and make it 6-2. Lefty Matt Stairs hit for the pitcher Brian Broderick and grounded to second to leave men on first and second.
Halladay threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
He struck out Nix and LaRoche with a 7-2 lead in the sixth.
He struck out Desmond and Brian Bixler in a 1-2-3 seventh.
Bastardo started the eighth. Espinosa led off with a double and moved to third when Cora followed with a single to right. Werth flew to left for the first out with Espinosa tagging and scoring. 7-3. Righty Michael Morse hit for the pitcher Henry Rodriguez and flew to center for the second out. Cora took second on a wild pitch, but Bastardo struck out LaRoche to leave him there.
Madson threw a 1-2-3 ninth to lower his ERA on the year to 0.75.
Two innings for the bullpen in which they allow a run on two hits. Bastardo threw 22 pitches, Madson 11. Nobody has pitched more than one day in a row.
The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Ibanez (7) Valdez (8) Sardinha. Mayberry gets the start in right with Francisco on the bench. The righty Francisco oddly comes into tonight’s game hitting just 241/313/310 on the year against lefties. Ibanez stays in left against the lefty. Valdez at second with Orr on the bench. The righty Sardinha catches with the lefty Schneider and hurting Ruiz on the bench.
Victorino was hit by a pitch with one out in the first, but Polanco and Howard both went down behind him.
Valdez and Sardinha singled back-to-back with two outs in the second, putting men on first and second for Halladay. Halladay smashed a line drive back up the middle, but Lannan caught it to end the inning.
Rollins singled to start the bottom of the third and Victorino homered to left behind him. 2-0. Polanco followed that with a single and Howard walked. Mayberry doubled, Polanco scored (3-0) and Howard went to third. Ibanez cleared the bases with a double. 5-0. Righty Brian Broderick took over for Lannan and Valdez singled to center, scoring Ibanez to make it 6-0. Sardinha flew to left for the first out before Halladay bunted Valdez to second with the second. Rollins grounded to first to leave him there.
First seven batters of the inning reach on three singles, two double, a home run and a walk.
The lead was cut to 6-2 when the Phils hit in the fourth. Polanco singled with one out, but Howard and Mayberry went down behind him.
Ibanez hit a long home run to right center to start the fifth. 7-2. The Phils went in order behind him.
Rollins singled to start the sixth and Victorino walked behind him. Polanco flew to right for the first out and Howard struck out for the second before Victorino and Rollins pulled off a double-steal. Mayberry flew to Werth in foul territory to leave the runners at second and third.
Ibanez started the seventh with a single. With Valdez at the plate the ball got away from Ramos and Ibanez tried to take second, but Ramos got to it quickly and Ibanez started late and Ibanez was thrown out at second. Valdez and Sardinha both struck out behind Ibanez.
The lead was cut to 7-3 when the Phils hit in the eighth. With lefty Doug Slaten on the mound for Washington, Francisco hit for Bastardo to start the inning and walked. The Phils went in order behind him.
Rollins was 2-for-5 in the game and 6-for-13 with two walks and a triple in the three-game series. He’s hitting 292/380/375 on the season.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run homer. 4-for-11 with two walks and a home run in the series. 292/361/492 for the year.
Polanco 2-for-5 last night and 3-for-11 with a walk and two RBI in the series. 375/418/483.
Howard 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. 2-for-11 with five strikeouts and two walks in the series, one of which was intentional. He’s 3-for-his-last-20 with three singles and hitting 276/346/509 on the season.
Mayberry was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 1-for-4 with a double and a walk in the series. 306/405/472 on the year. Francisco walked in his only plate appearance last night and was 0-for-6 with three walks in the series. He’s hitting 250/352/413 for the season and is 1-for-his-last-12 with five walks.
Ibanez 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI. 8-for-12 with three doubles, two home runs and five RBI in the series. 214/283/350 on the year.
Valdez 2-for-4 with an RBI. 3-for-8 with three singles and two RBI in the series. 250/288/289 on the year.
Sardinha was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He’s 1-for-7 on the season. Schneider was 3-for-8 with three singles in the series and is hitting 184/244/368 in 41 plate appearances.
Cliff Lee (2-2, 3.66) faces Derek Lowe (2-3, 3.72) and the Braves tonight. Two of Lowe’s last three starts haven’t been good and he’s thrown to a 7.07 ERA in 14 innings in those starts overall. Lee was good in his last start, holding the Mets to a run over seven innings.
Update: PS — are you reading the Starts Log? The Phillies have 17 quality starts in their last 20 games. They’re leading all teams in either league with 23 for the year.