Through his first six starts as a Phillie, all wins for the team, Pedro Martinez clearly showed that he still had something left at age 37. In number seven, he turned back the clock and electrified a packed Citizens Bank Park, working eight superb innings to come out on the long end of a 1-0 victory.
After allowing five baserunners through the first two innings, Martinez mowed the Mets down over the next three innings with a low-90s fastball, evil changeup and rarely used but effective curve. He surrendered a leadoff David Wright double in the sixth--then struck out Carlos Beltran and induced easy fly outs from Daniel Murphy and Jeremy Reed. In the seventh, going over 100 pitches, he worked around a one-out single and a two-out walk to preserve the lead. Incredibly, Charlie Manuel sent Martinez back out for the eighth--and he started the inning by striking out Wright for the third time in the game and getting a Beltran groundout. After a long battle, Murphy doubled to the wall in right-center--but with a 1-1 count on Reed and Martinez at 130 pitches, a breaking pitch bounced a foot away from catcher Carlos Ruiz and Murphy took off for third. Ruiz pounced on the ball and fired to Pedro Feliz, who slapped the tag on Murphy to end the inning.
The excellence of Martinez overshadowed Tim Redding's continued and ever more inexplicable ownership of the Phillies. The first three Phils hitters reached base, Jimmy Rollins coming around to score on a Chase Utley hit to the wall that, because of Rollins' late break, went only for a single. But Redding retired the next three hitters to escape without further damage, stranded Feliz after a leadoff double in the second, and then set down the next 14 Phils hitters. Redding's ERA for the season before tonight's game was 5.78; in three starts against them this year, he's worked to a 2.00 ERA through 18 innings,
Ryan Madson worked the ninth to earn his eighth save, allowing only a one-out single to another Phillie-killer, Brian Schneider. With the doubleheader sweep, the Phillies officially eliminated the Mets from playoff contention; with their 82nd win of the year, the club clinched its sixth seventh straight winning season. They now lead the Marlins, who lost earlier Sunday, by 6.5 games.