It seems like a very long time since we have seen a really good Phillies game. But with Roy Halladay on the mound last night looking like the ace that he is, it felt like old times again.
After a year of struggles and injury, Halladay appears to be at 100% finally. Against the World Champion Cardinals Friday night, he pitched 8 innings and allowed only 2 hits, one of which was a solo homer. That would be the only run of the night for the Cards.
The Phillies are in the process of finding out exactly what they have for next year. Halladay’s performance was a huge boost in that regard. They also tooled around in the outfield, moving guys here and there like a roulette wheel to see which one might hit the jackpot.
As a result, Nate Schierholtz played center field for the first time in his MLB career. Domonic Brown started in right and then both guys got shuffled around later in the game. Even with all the changes, everyone held their own pretty well.
Brown knocked in the first run for the Phillies with a single in the second that scored Ryan Howard. The other 2 runs scored on an 8th inning 2-run homer from Chase Utley. He hit the ball so hard it went into the upper deck of the bullpen in center field. It looks like Utley has also found his groove again.
The pitching was excellent for both teams, but the Utley homer won the game for the Phillies who walked away with a 3-1 victory. Game 2 starts tonight at 7:05pm. Cliff Lee will pitch and try to keep pace with the Doc’s amazing performance.
And a quick congratulations to former catcher Mike Lieberthal who was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame last night! Lieby looked both humbled and honored as he accepted the award and thanked the fans for their support. Congrats to him…a well deserved honor!
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography