33 games in 31 days: Game #17: The Phils clinch a playoff spot as their ace, Roy Halladay, throws a complete game shutout, as the Phils win, 1-0

Roy Halladay throws a complete game shutout at the Astros as the Phils clinched their fifth straight playoff spot, as the Phils win 1-0.

The Phils took the lead in the first as, with one man on, and with nobody out, Placido Polanco hits an RBI single, knocking in Shane Victorino, who had earlier doubled, giving the Phils a 1-0 lead, before moving up to second base on the late throw to the plate. The Astros tried to tie the game up in the second as they loaded up the bases, via a fielding error by third baseman Polanco, allowing Carlos Lee to reach first base, a single by Brian Bogusevic, sending Lee up to second base, and a bunt single by Jimmy Paredes, moving both runners up a base, and with nobody out, before Phils’ starter Roy Halladay pitched himself out of the jam. First, he got Jose Altuve to hit into a force out, 5-2, as Polanco threw home, forcing out Lee, as Carlos Ruiz touched home plate for the inning’s first out, while Bogusevic and Paredes would both move up a base while Altuve would be safe at first. Then, he got Humberto Quintero to hit into a 5-4-3 doubleplay, as Altuve is wiped out at second base, ending the inning. The Phils tried to add to their lead in the sixth as they loaded up the bases, with Halladay starting the inning off with a single, Victorino following with a walk, sending Halladay up to second base, Polanco then bunting into a force out, 1-5, as Astros’ starter Bud Norris made a good play on the ball before throwing it to third, beating Halladay to the bag, while Victorino moved up to second base, and then a single by Hunter Pence, moving up both runners. But Norris would deny the Phils by first striking out Ryan Howard, swinging, on three pitches, and then getting Raul Ibanez to fly out to center field for the final out. The Phils’ one run would then end up being all that they would need as Halladay kept the Astros under control, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning to get the win, as the Phils clinch a playoff spot for the fifth year in a row.

Roy Halladay (18-5, 2.34) gets the win as he pitched a complete game shutout, his first for the season, as he gave up six hits and a walk, while striking out seven. Bud Norris (6-10, 3.68) took the lost as he went seven innings, giving up a run on four hits. Wilton Lopez and Wesley Wright would combine for two scoreless innings, striking out four batters (two each) between them.

The Phils had just four hits in the ballgame, a double by Shane Victorino, a single by Placido Polanco, knocking in a run, a single by Hunter Pence and a single by Roy Halladay, as the Phils were put to sleep during the series. Hopefully they’ll wake up during tomorrow’s doubleheader.

The Phils (95-51, 1st) will now return home and will play a make-up doubleheader with the Marlins (67-81, 5th), with the first game starting tomorrow afternoon. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 2:35 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (7-6, 3.29), who is coming off a lost to the Mets on August 24, as he went only four innings, giving up six runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out a batter, in the Phils’ 7-4 lost. He will be trying to help lower the Phils’ magic number for winning the East. The Marlins will counter with Anibal Sanchez (8-7, 3.64), who is coming off a win against the Pirates on September 10, as he pitched a complete game shutout, giving up just one hit and three walks, while striking out eleven, in the Marlins’ 3-0 win. He will be trying to delay the Phils’ clinching of the East. The Phils will be out to take out their frustrations in Houston out on Sanchez and the Marlins.

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