Roy Halladay pitched the Phils into the post-season with a magnificent outing yesterday afternoon, throwing a complete-game shutout as he led the Phils to a 1-0 win over Houston. With the victory, the Phils salvage a game in a three-game set in which they scored a total of four runs and failed to score more than two in any game against the lowly Astros.
Victorino and Polanco started yesterday’s game with back-to-back hits, but the Phils would get just two more hits the rest of the way, singles by Halladay and Pence in the sixth. They wouldn’t score after the first inning, notably loading the bases with one out in the sixth before being turned away on a Howard strikeout and Ibanez’s fly out to center. Howard was 0-for-11 in the series and is 3-for-his-last-23 with ten strikeouts.
The Phillies are 95-51 on the year after beating the Houston Astros 1-0 yesterday. The Astros take the series two games to one. The Phils have clinched a spot in the post-season and lead the second-place Braves by 11 games in the division.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete-game shutout, allowing six hits and a walk. All six of the hits were singles and he struck out seven.
He was up 1-0 when he pitched the bottom of the first. Jordan Schafer lined softly to third for the first out. Clint Barmes was next and he struck out swinging 0-2 for the second. JD Martinez grounded to short to end the inning.
Carlos Lee led off the second and hit a ball to third that Polanco didn’t handle for an error. It brought Brian Bogusevic to the plate with a man on first and Bogusevic moved Lee to second with a single to left. Jimmy Paredes bunted for a hit and the bases were loaded for Jose Altuve. Altuve hit a ground ball to third and Polanco came home, forcing Lee for the first out. Halladay got Humberto Quintero to hit into a double-play to keep Houston off the board.
No run for Houston after loading the bases with nobody out.
Halladay got pitcher Bud Norris to pop to Howard for the first out of the third. Schafer reached on an infield single and stole second before Barmes popped to Martinez for the first out. Martinez hit a ball hard, but Polanco took it at third and threw to first to end the inning.
Halladay set Houston down in order in the fourth.
Altuve led off the fifth and singled to center. Quintero flew to center for the first out. Norris tried to bunt Altuve up to second, but struck out fouling off a two-strike pitch. Altuve stole second, but was left there when Schafer grounded to third.
Halladay walked Martinez with one out in the sixth, but got Lee and Bogusevic behind him.
Paredes singled to right to start the seventh and Altuve bunted him to second with the first out. Quintero grounded to third for the second out with Paredes moving up to third. Righty Matt Downs hit for the pitcher Norris and Halladay struck him out swinging 0-2 to leave Paredes at third.
Halladay struck out Schafer and Barmes to start the eighth before Martinez singled to left. Jason Bogusevic ran for Martinez at first, but was left there when Lee flew to left.
Halladay threw a 1-2-3 ninth, getting Bogusevic on a fly ball to center, Paredes on a ground out to short and striking out Altuve to end the game.
The Phillies lineup against righty Bud Norris went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Pence (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Ruiz (7) Orr (8) Martinez. Rollins on the bench with Martinez at short. Orr at second with Utley sidelined. Victorino back after not starting game two — still hope the Phils get him more rest soon.
Victorino led off the game with a double to center. Polanco was next and he singled into center. Victorino scored from second as the throw from Schafer came in high and Polanco took second with the Phils up 1-0. Pence grounded to the pitcher for the first out with Polanco holding second. Howard went down on a ground ball fielded by Altuve for the second with Polanco moving up to third. Ibanez grounded to first with Norris covering to leave Polanco at third.
And here ends the offense for the Phils. They are held to one after putting a man on second with nobody out.
They didn’t have another base-runner until the sixth inning, when Halladay led off with a single to right. Victorino walked behind him. Polanco was next and bunted, but Norris made a fantastic play, pouncing on the ball, whirling and somehow making an accurate throw to third to force Victorino for the first out. Pence followed with a single into left and the bases were loaded. Howard struck out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Ibanez flew to center to leave the bases loaded.
No run for the Phils after putting the first two men on and then loading the bases with one out. Big strikeout for Howard, who can’t put the ball in play with one out and the bases loaded.
The Phils went in order in the seventh.
And again in the eighth. Halladay hit for himself and struck out for the first out.
Pence, Howard and Ibanez all struck out as the Phils went in order in the ninth.
Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in the game. His double was the only extra-base hit for the Phils. 1-for-9 with a double and a walk in the three-game series. 291/367/511 for the year. He’s hitting .190 in September. Still think he needs to rest.
Polanco 1-for-4 with an RBI. 1-for-7 with two walks in the series. 276/332/340 for the season.
Pence 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 4-for-11 with a walk, a double and a home run against his former team. 312/368/497 for the year. He’s hitting .385 over his last ten starts.
Howard 0-for-4 and struck out twice, including a big strikeout in the sixth with one out and the bases loaded. 0-for-11 with a walk and four strikeouts in the series. 249/343/491 for the year.
Ibanez 0-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. 1-for-6 with two walks and a double in the set. 246/294/424 for the year. 268/308/474 over his last 416 plate appearances since May 3. Everything’s great in the last 416 except he still isn’t walking. He walked just 24 times in those 416 plate appearances, which is about 5.8%. That’s lower than his career mark of walking in about 8.6% of his plate appearances. Coming into 2011 he had walked in more than 9% of his plate appearances for three straight seasons.
Ruiz 0-for-3. 2-for-10 with a walk and a home run in the series. 283/375/389 for the year. His power is down this year and especially down against left-handed pitching. This year his is hitting .261 against lefties and slugging .337. For his career he has hit .261 against lefties but slugged .414.
Orr 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-8 in the series. 241/300/277 in 90 plate appearances for the season.
Martinez 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 0-for-9 with a strikeout in the series. 2-for-his-last-25 and hitting 200/253/290 for the year. The Phillies have given him 222 plate appearances.
The Phils play a double-header with the Fish today. Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.29) faces righty Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.64) in the day game and Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.44) faces righty Alex Sanabia in the night game. Sanabia will be making his second appearance of the season and his first start.