Phillies pinch-hitter Wilson Valdez slides into home safely in the seventh inning. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Cole Hamels due with his lack of support Friday night with a 1-0 win. But Roy Halladay struggled as the Phillies offense gave him just enough to pull out his 17th win of the season as the Phillies won 5-4 over the Brewers.
All four runs Doc allowed were by way of a solo home runs. Those were his only four mistakes in his seven innings of work. Brad Lidge closed out the ninth for his 20th save on the season.
Homering for the Brewers were Prince Fielder, Alcides Escobar, and Corey Hart twice.
Fielder and Escobar homered in the second inning to make it an early 2-0 game. But Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth went back-to-back in the bottom half to quickly tie the game up at two.
But Milwaukee answered in the top of the third with a solo shot by Hart. The Phillies answered again when Chase Utley drove in Jimmy Rollins on an RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
Hart hit his second solo homer of the game off Halladay in the top of the seventh. But like every good team, the Phillies answered for a third time, this time taking the lead and holding it.
With the bases loaded and one out, Placido Polanco hit a fly ball to left field. The ball was caught but Ryan Braun’s throw got away from catcher Jonathan Lucroy to allow two runs to score and give the Phillies a 5-4 lead.
Ryan Madson pitched the eighth and Lidge held fort in the ninth to give the Phillies their fourth straight win and eighth in their last nine.
Howard had two hits on the night and Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-3 with a run scored.
Halladay and Hamels both know what it’s like to not get any offensive support. Along with Roy Oswalt, the Phillies have a 1-2-3 punch rivaled by only a very select group of teams. It’s that kind of pitching that wins playoff games for teams.
But the Phillies do have one thing that those other teams lack and that is an offense that can light up any pitcher. Once it gets firing at all cylinders again, you may as well crown the Phillies.
I worry not for the Phillies. This team is too good to not be the world champions. Bring on New York.
HR: Howard (26), Werth (20).
WP: Halladay (17-10). LP: Loe (3-4). S: Lidge (20).