Balls were flying all over Coors Field today. Luckily for the Phillies, more balls bounced their way then they did for the Rockies.
Pitching in his hometown, Roy Halladay looked a little tired today. But as usual, he battled through and pitched a solid game. Over seven innings, Halladay surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and a walk.
Halladay also had a hit in the game and later scored from third base on a wild pitch. Phillies fans held their collective breath as Halladay slide awkwardly between the catcher’s legs and was safe. Seeing your star pitcher slide is never a joyous moment, but Halladay did just fine.
Ryan Howard took advantage of the thin Denver air again with a double, a homer and four RBI. He did not have the best start to the game though. Howard struck out with no outs and the bases loaded in the first inning. In the latter half of the inning, he bungled an easy ground ball and then threw the ball away for the second error in one play.
But Howard’s bat made up for the first inning. Chase Utley got in on the action as well with two hits, scoring twice. Hunter Pence now has a five game hitting streak as a Phillie and added a sac fly RBI as well.
With an 8-6 lead going into the ninth inning, the Phillies sent another Denver local to the mound, Brad Lidge. It was his first save attempt since coming off the DL and more importantly, it was a shot at 100 career saves as a Phillie. With Ryan Madson absent because his wife was in labor, Lidge was the guy. And although Lidge likely will not close many games anymore, he got the job done tonight.
This win completes back-to-back 3-game sweeps of the Rockies and Pirates, which is great timing as the Phillies will face the defending World Champs next.
The return of Roy Oswalt from the DL (yet to be made official) sets up the rotation like this against the Giants: Cliff Lee on Thursday, Vance Worley on Friday, Cole Hamels on Saturday and Oswalt on Sunday.
Game time on Thursday is 10:15pm – welcome to another late-night West Coast series.
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Photos by Jenn Zambri Photography