The Phils jumped out to a one game to none lead in their series with the Cardinals tonight, getting a strong outing from Halladay after a worrisome start and mounting an offensive explosion late that saw them plate ten runs in their last three times at bat.
Halladay gave up a three-run homer to Lance Berkman in the top of the first, putting the Phils in an early 3-0 hole. The Phils look stumped by St Louis starter Kyle Lohse until the fourth when a David Freese error on a foul ball extended Victorino’s at-bat long enough for Victorino to knock in Utley and cut the lead to 3-1. The Phils knocked Lohse out of the game in a five-run sixth that featured a three-run shot by Howard and a two-run homer by Ibanez and put the Phils up 6-3. The Phillies thumped the St Louis pen in the seventh and the eighth, scoring five more runs charged to Marc Rzepczynski and Mitchell Boggs as they extended the lead to 11-3. Stutes didn’t have much luck when he took over for Halladay in the ninth, getting just one out before Madson came on to bail him out and hold the Cards to three runs in the inning.
The Phils lead their best-of-five NLDS with the Cardinals one game to none after winning 11-6 tonight.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a three-run homer by Lance Berkman. He struck out eight. After allowing a leadoff single to start the second, Halladay retired 20 hitters in a row.
He faced a St Louis lineup that went (1) Rafael Furcal (SS/S) (2) Allen Craig (RF/R) (3) Albert Pujols (1B/R) (4) Lance Berkman (LF/S) (5) David Freese (3B/R) (6) Yadier Molina (C/R) (7) Skip Schumaker (2B/L) (8) Jon Jay (CF/L). Furcal starts at short with questions coming into the game about his hamstring. Holliday on the bench with his finger and Allen Craig in the lineup in right.
St Louis had six hitters on the bench to start the game, righties Holliday, Gerald Laird and Ryan Theriot, lefties Adron Chambers and Daniel Descalso and switch-hitter Nick Punto. Punto hit about the same against lefties and righties in 2011. He’s been a little better against righties in his career.
Furcal was the first hitter of the game. He took strike one before singling into right. As the count went 1-1 on Craig, Furcal stole second. Ruiz’s throw bounced into second, Utley didn’t handle it cleanly and Furcal would have been safe if he had. Halladay struck Craig out swinging 2-2 for the first out. Pujols was next and Halladay walked him on four pitches, putting men on first and second. Berkman hammered the first pitch he saw out to right, putting St Louis up 3-0. Halladay got Freese looking 2-2 for the second out. Molina grounded to third on a 1-0 pitch to set the Cards down.
Berkman doesn’t watch a pitch after Pujols takes four straight balls. Guess Furcal’s hamstring is okay.
The last time anyone besides Lance Berkman has homered off of Roy Halladay is July 18 (Aramis Ramirez). At least in a game that counted. Maybe someone did in batting practice or whiffle ball or something. Over his last 94 1/3 innings he has given up two home runs and both have been hit by Berkman.
Schumaker led off the second and singled to right on an 0-1 pitch. Jay was next and he hit a ball hard to first, but Howard made a nice diving play and tossed to Halladay covering for the first out with Schumaker taking second. Halladay struck Lohse out swinging 0-2 for the second out and got Furcal to ground to second to leave Schumaker stranded.
Lohse doesn’t bunt Schumaker to third with the second out, which would have been a bad idea.
Halladay had thrown 29 pitches through two innings.
He set St Louis down in order in the third. Craig grounded to short for the first out. Pujols hit a pair of balls hard but foul down the third base line before grounding to Polanco for the second out. Berkman again swung at the first pitch and this time popped to Polanco in foul territory to end the frame.
Berkman swinging first pitch for the second time in two at-bats. Nine pitch inning for Halladay, who was at 38 for the game.
Freese led off the fourth and grounded to second 1-2. Halladay struck Molina out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Schumaker popped to third 0-2 to set St Louis down.
Nine in a row for Halladay. He was at 49 pitches for the game.
It was 3-1 when Halladay set St Louis down in order in the fifth. Jay struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Lohse grounded to short for the second. Furcal bunted back to the mound and was thrown out by Halladay for the third.
Twelve in a row for Halladay. Sixty pitches in the game.
The Cards went in order in the sixth, too. Craig struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Pujols hit a ground ball back up the middle that Rollins handled for the second. Berkman struck out swinging 1-2 for the third.
Fifteen in a row and 74 pitches.
The Phils led 6-3 when Halladay started the seventh. Freese grounded to third on a 1-1 pitch for the first out. Molina was next with a 10-pitch at-bat that ended with a ball hit hard to Rollins. Rollins got in front of it, though, and threw Molina out for the second out. Schumaker hit the ball pretty well, too, but Howard took it at first and beat Schumaker to the bag for the third out.
Halladay was at 89 pitches and had retired 18 in a row.
The Phils were up 9-3 when Halladay started the eighth. Jay led off and chopped a ball to first. Howard handled it and tossed to Halladay covering. Daniel Descalso, who had entered with Marc Rzepczynski in the bottom of the seventh, was next and Halladay struck him out swinging for the second out. Furcal lined to left on a 2-2 pitch for the third out.
Twenty-one in a row. Halladay was at 105 pitches.
Stutes started the ninth for the Phils with an 11-3 lead. He got ahead of Craig 0-2, but walked him. Pujols was next and singled into center, moving Craig to second. With the count 1-0 on Berkman, Laird ran for Pujols at first. Berkman hit a 2-2 pitch to second that might have been a double-play, but Utley’s toss to Rollins at second wasn’t great and the Phils only got one. It left St Louis with men on first and third with one down and the lefty Chambers hit for pitcher Arthur Rhodes. Chambers ripped a 1-1 pitch into right for a single. Craig scored (11-4) and Berkman moved up to second. Molina followed with a single to left that loaded the bases. That was it for Stutes and Madson came on to pitch to Schumaker. Schumaker hit the first pitch from Madson to left and off the glove of a diving Mayberry for a double that scored Berkman and Chambers. 11-6 with one down and men on second and third. Jay was next and Madson struck him out swinging 0-2 for the second out. Holliday hit for Descalso and Madson struck him out swinging 0-2 to end the game.
Stutes faced five batters in the game, allowing three singles and a walk. He got one out and was charged with three runs. He threw 20 pitches in the game. Madson threw eight.
The Phillies lineup against righty Kyle Lohse went (1) Rollins (SS/S) (2) Utley (2B/L) (3) Pence (RF/R) (4) Howard (1B/L) (5) Victorino (CF/S) (6) Ibanez (LF/L) (7) Polanco (3B/R) (8) Ruiz (C/R). Utley hits second instead of third with Polanco hitting third instead of fifth. Victorino out of the two-hole and hitting fifth.
The Phils started the game with six players on their bench, righties John Mayberry, Wilson Valdez and Ben Francisco, lefties Brian Schneider and Ross Gload and switch-hitter Michael Martinez. Martinez was an atrocious hitter against both righties and lefties, but more atrocious against lefties. 179/189/196 for the year against lefties.
The Phils were down 3-0 when they hit in the first. Rollins broke his bat grounding to first on a 1-0 pitch for the first out. Utley hit an 0-1 pitch back to the mound. Lohse knocked it down, picked it up and threw Utley out at first for the second out. Pence grounded to second on a 1-0 pitch for the third out.
First career post-season at-bat for Pence. Lohse threw six pitches in the inning.
Howard lined Lohse’s first pitch of the bottom of the second to left for the first out. Victorino popped to Pujols near the mound for the second out. Ibanez squirted a ball towards third. Freese charged, fielded and made an off-balance throw to first that Pujols handled to end the inning.
Howard hit the ball well, just right at Berkman. Twelve pitches for Lohse through two.
Polanco led off the third and fouled out to Pujols on a running basket catch for the first out. Ruiz hit the ball pretty well, but flew to Jay in center on an 0-1 pitch for the second out. Halladay lined a 1-2 pitch to right, but Craig handled it for the third out.
Lohse was at 19.
Rollins led off the bottom of the fourth and struck out swinging 1-2 for the first out. Utley was next and hit a 1-0 pitch high off the wall in right for a double. Pence struck out swinging at a 1-2 pitch that was way outside for the second out before Howard walked on four pitches, putting men on first and second for Victorino. Victorino lofted a 1-2 pitch high down the third base line. Freese tried to make an over-the-shoulder basket catch and dropped the ball for an error. Victorino singled into left with Utley scoring to cut the lead to 3-1 with two down and men on first and second. Ibanez swung at the first pitch and flew to Craig in shallow right center to leave the runners stranded.
Pence looked bad striking out at a bad 1-2 pitch. Big hit for Victorino hitting behind Howard early in the series. Lohse didn’t seem real concerned about walking Howard on four pitches with Victorino behind him. Error by Freese gives Victorino another chance — it looked like Freese had time to get into better position to try to catch the ball.
Lohse was at 45 pitches.
Polanco struck out looking 1-2 for the first out in the fifth. Ruiz again hit the ball hard, but this time off the right foot of Lohse. Lohse threw him out for the second out. Halladay grounded to third for the third out.
Second time in two chances that Ruiz hit the ball hard without a hit. Lohse was at 54 pitches.
Things got a lot better for the Phils in the sixth. Rollins led off and singled to center. Utley was next and struck out for the first out, fooled on a 1-2 changeup out of the zone. Pence singled into center on the first pitch of his at-bat, moving Rollins to second. It brought Howard to the plate with men on first and second. He fouled off two 3-2 pitches and then crushed a ball way out to right for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 4-3. Victorino ripped a 1-0 pitch down the first base line, out but just foul, before he singled into center on a 2-2 pitch. It brought Ibanez to the plate and he hit a 2-0 pitch out to right for another homer and the Phils led 6-3. That was it for Lohse. Righty Octavio Dotel came in and struck Polanco and Ruiz both out swinging to end the inning.
Rollins starts the rally for the Phils with a single. Howard watched his home run in a way that might not appeal to those who aren’t fans of the Phillies. Howard, Victorino and Ibanez came close to going back-to-back-to-back with Victorino’s ball going foul just by a few feet.
Halladay hit for himself to start the seventh against lefty Marc Rzepczynski. Halladay had thrown 89 pitches in the game. He hit a ball back up the middle that went off of the pitcher’s glove for an infield single. Rollins was next and he singled to right, moving Halladay up to second. Utley showed bunt against the lefty, taking ball one and then strike one. He didn’t try to bunt at the 1-1 pitch, which was a ball, then fouled off the next offering to make it 2-2. Utley hit the 2-2 pitch into center for a single that loaded the bases. Righty Mitchell Boggs came in to pitch to Pence. Pence swung at the first pitch from Boggs and dribbled a ball out near the mound. Boggs picked it up and threw home to force Halladay for the first out. The righty Boggs stayed in the game to pitch to Howard and got ahead of him 0-2. Howard hit a 1-2 pitch hard to right. Craig took it for the second out with Rollins tagging and scoring from third to put the Phils up 7-3 with men on first and second. Victorino lined an 0-2 pitch from Boggs to right and Utley raced around third to slide in safe just ahead of the throw from Craig. 8-3 with men on first and second for Ibanez. Ibanez singled into right as well, with Pence scoring well ahead of the throw from Craig this time. 9-3 with men on first and third. Mayberry ran for Ibanez at first. Boggs got Polanco on a fly ball to right to end the inning.
Not a fan of trying to bunt with Utley if that’s what he really wanted to do. Howard gets to hit against the righty Boggs with a chance to blow the game open and has to settle for a sac fly. The other lefty in the pen for St Louis (Arthur Rhodes) stays in the pen. Victorino and Ibanez come through with back-to-back singles after Howard.
Boggs was back to start the eighth and got Ruiz on a ground ball to short to start the eighth. Halladay hit for himself again, this time with a six-run lead and having thrown 105 pitches in the game, and struck out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Rollins walked on a 3-2 pitch that was inside. Boggs again stayed in to face a lefty and Utley smoked a ball off the wall in right for a double, sending Rollins to third. Pence took strike one from Boggs, then roped a single into center that scored both Rollins and Utley and put the Phils up 11-3. Rhodes finally came into the game to face Howard with two down and Pence on first. Howard went down on a ground ball to Schumaker to end the inning.
St Louis sure stuck with Boggs for a while. He allowed four hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings and threw 36 pitches in the game.
Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk and two singles in the game.
Utley was 3-for-5 with two doubles off the wall in right.
Pence 2-for-5 and drove in two runs.
Howard 1-for-3 with a walk, a three-run homer and four RBI.
Victorino 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Ibanez 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI.
Polanco 0-for-4 and struck out twice.
Ruiz hit the ball hard twice, but was 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the game.
Cliff Lee will face righty Chris Carpenter in game two.
Lee went 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.03 ratio during the regular season. He was third in the league in ERA and third in ratio. Second in strikeouts and fourth in fewest walks per nine innings.
Lee didn’t allow more than two earned runs in a start after July. In his last ten starts on the year he threw to an 0.93 ERA with an 0.84 ratio and struck out 79 in 77 2/3 innings.
He had a 1.94 ERA and an 0.98 ratio in his 18 starts at home in 2011.
Lefties hit .196 against him. He walked four of the 212 left-handed batters he faced in ’11.
Carpenter went 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.26 ratio for St Louis in 34 starts this season. Carpenter led the NL in innings pitched and was in the top ten (seventh) in fewest home runs per nine innings. He allowed 16 in 237 1/3 innings for the year.
Carpenter allowed more than one run in just one of his last five starts to end the regular season. He threw to a 1.13 ERA over 40 innings in those appearances.