Just from looking at the box score some could start to say ‘I didn’t know Brad Lidge was back.’
However, that would be both wrong and unfair. But nonetheless the bullpen did, once again, stumble in the ninth inning of a game where the Phillies had a fairly comfortable lead.
Roy Halladay pitched brilliantly again like only the Doc knows how to do. He went eight innings, while allowing two earned runs and eight hits. He also struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. His ERA has jumped up to 1.13. No need to panic, I think he will recover from this one. Halladay also helped put an end to Marlin Jorge Cantu’s streak of 10 games with at least one hit and RBI. Until it ended, it was a Major League record. To help his own cause, Halladay had a hit in the game. He now has had at least one hit in each of his starts this season.
The Phillies offense averaging over seven runs a game wasted no time getting onto the board. Three RBI singles from Ryan Howard, Juan Castro and Carlos Ruiz started the scoring early in the bottom of the 1st. Philadelphia added a run in the 2nd and 3rd innings and finally chased Florida starter Anibal Sanchez after six innings. He gave up eight hits and five earned runs.
Placido Polanco and Chase Utley each had a solo home run in the game. Utley is now tied for the Major League lead in homers with Nelson Cruz of Texas and Toronto’s Vernon Wells with six.
The Phillies took a 8-2 lead into the ninth but with Halladay having already thrown 100 pitches and in the midst of a short rain delay, Manager Charlie Manuel opted to bring in David Herndon from the bullpen. The Rule 5 Draft pick, who was stellar in Spring Training, saw his first real trouble of the young season allowing five hits and four earned runs in only a third of a inning. Ryan Madson came in and mopped up the mess closing out the rest of the night. The Phillies held on to a 8-6 victory in front of their 45th straight sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park.
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