Roy Halladay hasn't looked as sharp in his last two outings as he did in earlier but in each case the big righthander did precisely what he was brought here to do: win!
Halladay pitched 7.2 innings last night against the Mets, allowing four earned runs. The game was marked by two unusual circumstances: the light-hitting Halladay drove in two runs to help his cause and he was lifted with two outs in the eighth. Rarely does Halladay get a base hit and even more rarely does he fail to finish what he has started, especially an inning, but Charlie Manuel went out there and took the ball when he'd seen enough. The Phils are clearly monitoring Halladay more closely these days as his innings totals mount and the post-season looms.
Ryan Howard continued to cement his reputation as Mr. September, hitting his third home run in three games and his fifth of the month.
The victory marked another surge for the heretofore on-again off-again offense. There's no better time to spank the opposition when playing the bottom half of the NL East. In the next few weeks the Phils have ten more games against the lowly Mets and Nats. The latter always give them fits so it won't be easy. Nor will the six games remaining against Atlanta. Nearly everyone expects those games to decide the division winner. The loser won't necessarily be consoled with the Wild Card. San Francisco and Colorado continued to keep up the pressure for the final playoff spot.