Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oswalt dominates in 1-0 victory as Phils sweeps Braves

The Phillies' magic number is down to four after their sweep over the Atlanta Braves all but secured the NL East for a fourth consecutive year.

Tommy Hanson showed up for the Braves, shutting the Phillies down and holding them to no runs on just two hits, three walks and four strikeouts. But a recurring theme was present: Roy Oswalt was better.

Oswalt allowed just one hit over seven shutout innings. He walked one and struck out eight.

In the bottom of the eighth in a scoreless ballgame, Brad Lidge was warming up and primed to enter the game in the ninth. Little did he know, they'd need him to convert his third save of the series.

After a Ryan Howard double play erased Chase Utley from the base-paths, Jayson Werth walked with two outs. Jonny Venters fell behind Raul Ibanez and left a pitch up which Ibanez smacked down the left field line. It landed just fair and when Nate McLouth's throw missed the cut-off man, Werth scored easily from first. It'd be the only run support Oswalt, Ryan Madson and Lidge would need in a 1-0 victory.

The Braves are left scrambling for their playoff lives. They hold a half game lead in the Wild Card race over the Giants.

The Phillies shuffled their rotation again, deciding to pitch Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick and Hamels in the upcoming series against the Mets.

With nine to play, losing a six game lead would be a monumental collapse. But that's not in this team's makeup.

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