Thursday, September 15, 2011

Halladay's first shutout ends three game losing streak, clinches playoff berth

Well, Doc put an end to that mini skid. The Phillies avoided being swept for the first time in a three-game series all season by beating the Houston Astros 1-0 yesterday afternoon. The win also clinched a playoff berth for the Phils, setting a franchise record for fewest games to clinch a spot.

Roy Halladay's masterful complete game shutout was his first shutout of the season. Yes, as unbelievable as it sounds, that was his first shutout. In eight complete games, that's the first time he's blanked his opponent for nine innings this season. Last season, he completed nine games with four shutouts. He allowed six hits and one walk while fanning seven.

The offense continued to sputter; the first two batters of the game accounted for its only run. Shane Victorino led off with a double, and Placido Polanco drove him in with a single up the middle. The Phils finished with just four hits.

Today, they're faced with the tough task of a day-night doubleheader against the Marlins today. Rather than making a September call-up to start one of the games, as many anticipated, Kyle Kendrick will take the ball in Game One.

Kendrick (7-6, 3.29) will face the Marlins' best pitcher this season, Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.64).

KK is 6-2 in his career against Florida with a 4.60 ERA. He's appeared in 30 games this season, 13 of which have been starts.

Sanchez is 3-7 in his career with a 5.24 ERA, but he's pitched some really good games against them. He's 1-1 with a 0.86 ERA in his last three starts. This is his fifth start of the season against the Phils, and he's yet to pick up a decision against them; an indication that he keeps his team close. The Phillies just saw him on September 4, when he allowed two unearned runs on six hits and three walks over six innings.

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