Roy Halladay threw his first complete game shut out of the year as the Phillies defeated the Houston Astros 1-0 today. With the win, the Phillies became the first team in baseball to clinch a playoff spot. It’s also the earliest that the franchise clinched a playoff spot in their history. Halladay struck out seven, gave up six hits and just a walk to pick up his 18th win of the season. He also now the National League leader in ERA. Bud Norris was the tough luck loser for the Astros, only giving up a run in seven innings. The Phillies head home for a double-header against the Marlins tomorrow while Houston heads to Chicago to take on the Cubs.
Shane Victorino, who’s been terrible at the plate, ripped a double to center to start the game. Placido Polanco hit a single to center that scored Victorino and in the blink of an eye, the Phillies were up 1-0. The Astros had their biggest scoring chance in the second inning with the bases loaded and no out. After an error and two singles, Roy Halladay got Jose Altuve to ground into a fielder’s choice that forced out the runner at the plate. Doc would then get Humberto Quintero to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to escape the jam. Things got a little testy in the bottom of the fifth inning. Astros’ starter Bud Norris was trying to sacrifice a runner to second base when Halladay threw a pitch up and in. Norris took exception to that and stared back at Doc. That made Carlos Ruiz say something back to Norris, but nothing came of it. Roy got his revenge when he singled to lead off the next inning. Ryan Howard came up in that inning with bases loaded and one out, but struck out. Raul Ibanez couldn’t pick up his teammate when he flew out to end the inning. The Phillies only had four hits in the game and just two after the first two batters of the game. The Astros only had six hits in the game as both starting pitchers were very good. Halladay got Jose Altuve to strike out to end the game, giving the Phillies’ their fifth straight playoff appearance.
-Opponents are hitting under .120 with the bases loaded against Doc.
-Offense is definitely in a lull right now.
-You can tell Ryan Howard’s foot is still bothering him. He grimaces after every step.
-At bats like he had with the bases loaded and one out today drive me crazy.
– Michael Martinez still sucks are baseball.
-No celebration by the Phillies as they clinched a playoff spot and I’m glad. This team knew they were good on April 1st.
-However, it’s pretty amazing to see your team being the first to clinch a playoff spot.