Phils RF Hunter Pence winds up his swing against the Braves. He homered in the 5th. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
That magical switch that I talked about yesterday is officially on.
And hopefully, no one goes near the damn thing for another month.
The Phils blasted the Atlanta Braves, who are clinging onto a second straight Wild Card berth by only one game, in a 7-1 route. Their 101st win tied the franchise record set in 1976 and 1977. A win tomorrow and this team stands alone.
Charlie Manueal also tied Gene Mauch’s Phillies franchise record of 645 wins. He will easily beat that record either tomorrow or very early next season. Mauch reached that number in 1,331 games. Manuel did it in 1,133.
Roy Oswalt was on his best stuff in a very long time. The right-hander, who will be the Phillies number 4 starter in the post season, pitched six shut out innings. He allowed only three hits and a walk, and struck out four batters in his final start of the regular season.
Oswalt’s fastball was hitting it’s usual 93-94 MPH. His final pitch, a swinging strike out to Dan Uggla to end the 6th, was 95 MPH of fury.
The bats exploded again, with homers coming from the lead off-through-three spot in the order. Chase Utley’s homer in the 1st inning started things off for the Phils, who were all over Derek Lowe like Andy Reid in a buffet. Utley finished the night 2-for-4 with that home run.
Hunter Pence also homered in the 5th to give the Phils a 6-0 lead. But the big offensive game came from Jimmy Rollins, who went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs score and RBIs. His solo homer in the 7th punctuated the Phillies 7-0 win and restored his role as the team’s catalyst.
One good sign for the Phils came in the 7th when reliever Antonio Bastardo came on in relief for Oswalt, pitching his first 1-2-3 inning since September 2. Hopefully that dominance shown for a majority of the season remains.
Joe Blanton will get the start for the Phils tomorrow in a bull pen game. He will go about three innings and Cole Hamels will pitch two or three innings in relief before giving way to the pen.
2B: Ruiz (23). HR: Utley (11), Pence (22), Rollins (16).
WP: Oswalt (9-10). LP: Lowe (9-17).