After only two hours and fifteen minutes of play on a drearily chilly and overcast afternoon, the Phillies completed a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets in the rubber game of their weekend series in Flushing. The win gives the Phils their fourteenth series win in their last sixteen series (including the one-game make-up "series" in Coors Field on September 2).
The Phils' lineup got off to a quick start against Mets pitcher Jon Niese, kicking off the game with a single by Shane Victorino (who, shockingly, seems to have begun employing a smart approach at the plate all of a sudden), a walk by Placido Polanco, and an RBI single by Chase Utley. But Niese came back to strike out Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez in succession, preventing any further damage.
Both Niese and Phillies' starter Roy Oswalt then settled into five-and-a-half ultra-efficient innings, featuring only five more batters than the minimum and exactly one extra-base hit. Thankfully, that one extra-base hit (a double by Polanco in the third) came around to score on a two-out RBI single by the red-hot Howard.
The Phillies added a third run in the seventh on a monster homer to center field by the intermittently-hot Ibanez. Meanwhile, Oswalt cruised to a complete game shutout. While not exactly dominant per se (he struck out six), he walked only one batter and recorded fourteen groundouts. The Mets never did end up getting any extra-base hits, and no Met baserunner reached scoring position all day long.
Oh, also, Ryan Madson didn't pitch today. Hooray.
Next up for the Phillies is a three-game series in Miami. Joe Blanton will open it up tomorrow evening against Shane Victorino's favorite Marlin, Andrew Miller. In the meantime, the Braves will attempt to maintain their first-place tie with the Phillies tonight on ESPN. What inane commentary will Morgan & friends come up with about the division race, and which team's fan base will be more annoyed by it? Only one way to find out!