Against the Nationals tonight, the Phillies would face a pitcher who has not been great. Jason Marquis pitched in 5 games this year before tonight, lost all five games and gave up no less than 5 runs in each of those games. Two of those 5 games were against the Phillies. Marquis’ ERA was 14.33 going into this game.
Although the Phillies clearly had this guy’s number early in the year, tonight was another story. The offense managed only 1 run and 4 hits off Marquis in 5 innings. Raul Ibanez collected the lone run with an RBI-double in the 3rd inning to score Chase Utley. As a team, the Phillies left 7 men on base and went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position against Marquis.
When the Nats bullpen took over, the Phillies did not fare any better. Joel Peralta pitched two innings without allowing a base runner. The good news was that Roy Halladay was pitching for the Phils. Halladay got off to a tense start as he and the home plate umpire were not seeing eye to eye. Despite walking a season high 3 batters, Halladay plowed through 7 innings of no-run ball.
Ryan Madson pitched the 8th inning and gave up a lead-off single. But after some sharp defense behind him and a couple ground outs, Madson got through the 8th safely. In 22 games since coming off the DL in July, Madson has allowed just 4 runs total.
Brad Lidge has also managed a massive turn-around in his past 7 games since blowing a save in Washington DC on July 31st. He collected his last 6 save in 6 opportunities and has not allowed a run since then. When Lidge came into the 9th tonight with no margin for error in a 1-0 game, fans had reason to be optimistic. And Lidge did not disappoint; his 7th save in a row gave Halladay his 16th win of the year.
Game 2 of this series is tomorrow at 7:05pm and the Phillies will face the Nats big gun, Stephen Strasburg, for the first time. Kyle Kendrick pitches for the Phillies.
Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography