Thursday, September 16, 2010
2010 Topps 206 #246 Raul Ibañez
Game 147 - Wednesday Night, September 15th in Miami
The Phillies were in complete control from the outset of this game, scoring 3 times in the first, and never looking back. With 15 games remaining on the 2010 schedule, the Phils are now 3 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East. Six of their remaining 15 games come against the Braves, and the Phils' Magic Number to clinch the division is down to 13. They have the best record in the National League, and if that continues they'll clinch home field advantage throughout the play-offs. A few months ago, I had no idea I'd be typing out the sentences in this paragraph.
The team's three 1st inning runs all came with two outs. After Chase Utley and Ryan Howard walked, Jayson Werth drove home the first two runs with a single to right and Raul Ibañez followed with a double. Ibañez finished the night with 3 hits, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Utley added a solo home run (his 15th) to right in the 3rd to make it 4-1, Phillies. Six more Phillies' runs followed, as everyone in the starting line-up, save Howard, Carlos Ruiz and Roy Halladay, finished the game with at least one RBI.
Halladay didn't have his best stuff, scattering 10 hits over 6 innings, but his savvy pitching and 9 strikeouts allowed him to earn his 19th win of the season. He's now up to 210 strikeouts for 2010, which represents a career high for him, and the most for a Phillie since Curt Schilling's 300 in 1998. Charlie Manuel continued to work the back-end of his bullpen like rented mules, sending Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge out to pitch the 8th and 9th, when guys like Mike Zagurski and Danys Baez could have eaten those innings instead.
The Phillies and I will enjoy an off-day today before opening a weekend series with the Nationals. (Just to clarify - the Phillies are opening the weekend series, and I'll just be watching on TV.)