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Phillies broadcaster Tom McCarthy called Roy Halladay a “surgeon” when he’s on the mound. Halladay was just that today against the Astros. He tossed nine efficient innings. 75% of his 111 pitches were strikes. If not for two fielding snafus in the sixth inning, Halladay would have notched his 16th career shut-out along with his 150th victory and 50th complete game.
The Phillies offense finally faced a legitimate starting pitcher in Roy Oswalt, who held them to two runs. Oswalt competed very well with Roy Halladay, striking out eight in six innings. However, he was not able to overcome a Jimmy Rollins lead-off home run and aggressive base running in the second inning.
Coming into the game, Phillies hitters were on a roll. In five games, they had racked up only 26 strikeouts behind 32 walks.
Rollins, Utley, Ibanez, and Ruiz are drawing walks at rates well above their career averages.
Utley, Howard, and Werth are striking out well below their career averages.
The team’s five wins and one loss marks the best start since 1993, when the to-be National League champions won eight of their first nine. Their win today keeps them a game in front of the Florida Marlins, two in front of the Washington Nationals, and three in front of the New York Mets.
Cole Hamels will take the bump tomorrow in the team’s home opener. He will be opposed by Jason Marquis, who struggled in his first start of the year against the Phillies.
The Inquirer’s Matt Gelb has a list of the events scheduled for tomorrow.
Game graph courtesy FanGraphs.