Phillies 5, Nationals 4
Game 54 - Monday Afternoon, May 30th in Washington
One Sentence Summary: Roy Halladay didn't have his best stuff, but the offense provided by Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez picked him up and led the Phillies to a Memorial Day victory, 5-4.
What It Means: At 34-20, the Phillies have the best record in baseball. The Marlins trail by 2 1/2 as they begin play against the Diamondbacks tonight.
What Went Right: Howard and Ibanez hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth to give the Phillies a 3-2 lead. It was the first time all season the Phillies had hit consecutive home runs. The Nationals re-took the lead in the sixth, but it wouldn't last long. With one out in the top of the seventh, Placido Polanco reached on a single. Chase Utley walked and Howard singled off lefty Sean Burnett to tie it up, 4-4. Utley scored the go-ahead run on Ibanez' sacrifice fly.
Halladay (7-3) struggled on the sweltering afternoon, allowing ten hits and four runs while striking out five. Three of the hits allowed were home runs. Perhaps the biggest out recorded by Halladay was his last one. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and runners on first and second, Halladay struck out Jayson Werth swinging to end the threat. Ryan Madson pitched a perfect ninth for his twelfth save.
Featured Card: After an early season slump, Ibanez has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. He hit .161 with 1 home run and 10 RBIs in April. So far in May, with one game left to be played tomorrow, he's hitting .317 with 7 home runs and 19 RBIs.
Transaction: The Phillies optioned Vance Worley to AAA Lehigh Valley during the game and the rumor is that Kyle Kendrick will take his place in the rotation. A corresponding roster move to fill Worley's vacated spot will be announced before tomorrow night's game.