They say the true mark of a great pitcher is to win without his best stuff. Roy Halladay is a great pitcher.
Pitching "when it counts" late in the season and going for his 20th win of the season, Halladay struggled with his command much of the night but held the Braves to three earned runs in seven innings as the Phils won for the second straight night (and ninth straight time overall) to widen their lead over Atlanta to five full games.
Halladay has struggled in his last few outings, yielding more home runs and walks than are his norm and uncharacteristically missing on the outside of the plate, too. (The home plate ump didn't help last night, blowing a few very obvious calls.) Halladay is a dogged competitor, however, and doesn't give in even when obviously struggling. The results were another win for him and his adopted team. The 20 wins are the most by a Phillies pitcher since Steve Carlton in 1982.
Jayson Werth provided another big hit with a tremendous 3-run homer in the third inning. Werth has been on a tear lately and will be sorely missed next year, but not by this blogger. Still cannot stand the guy. Who said one has to be rational about these things?
The Phils go for the sweep tonight with Roy Oswalt on the mound. Oswalt will be seeking his eighth straight win in a Phillies uniform.