Miller Time: Phillies 5, Brewers 3

Why run when you can trot? (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

Admit it: you keep waiting for reality to offer up something to substantiate your fears that this Phillies team, obviously great though it is, might stumble when the stakes are highest. You're worried, as you should be--you're a sports fan--that some talented foe might take advantage of relatively favorable matchups and a few lucky bounces and knock off the mighty Fightin's come October. And they might: short series, anything can happen, and all that jazz. But nothing over the last five days--when the Phils have played their two closest pursuers, record-wise, and won all five contests--has offered fuel for your fears. 

Tonight's contest against the Brewers seemed as likely to end in defeat as any Roy Halladay start could. Miller Park is a tough venue for any visitor, and the Doc entered the game with a 1-2 record and 6.41 ERA against the Crew, including an ugly loss in Philadelphia back in April. Milwaukee starter Shaun Marcum, by comparison, came into the game 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA in four career starts against the Phils, including a win earlier this season. An offspeed maven with superior command, Marcum nicely fits the profile of pitchers that frustrate the fastball-fixated Phils.

But whether from a hospitable impulse or a mental lapse, he came out tonight throwing fastballs, and they made him pay. With men at the corners and one out in the first inning, Ryan Howard got ahead 2-0 and deposited one high-80s heater into the second deck to put the Phils ahead 3-0. Marcum settled in after that, holding the Phillies off the board until they chased him with two more runs in the seventh to go up 5-0, but Howard's early blow--his third career homer off Marcum--gave the Phils a lead they would hold all the way through.

Halladay made sure of that, limiting the potent Brewers lineup to four hits and a run over his eight innings of work. Featuring a sharp curve early and his signature cutter all night long, Doc escaped one bases-loaded, one-out threat in the fourth by inducing a first-pitch double play grounder from Yuniesky Betancourt, then set the Brewers down in order the next two innings before yielding a run in the seventh on a Casey McGehee double, a groundout and a Betancourt sac fly. Halladay wound up striking out nine on the night, giving him 204 for the season. 

For those really determined to find something to worry about, thank Antonio Bastardo. Called on to finish off the 5-1 lead in the ninth, Bastardo allowed an 0-2 leadoff single to Prince Fielder, then walked McGehee. On came Ryan Madson, who got pinch-hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. to ground out on a super-close play at first.  Betancourt followed with a single to score Fielder, and McGehee came out on a Jonathan Lucroy sac fly. But pinch-hitter George Kottaras grounded out on the first pitch he saw, and the Phils had their 93rd win of the season. On September 9, please note. 

Fangraph GO!!!: 

20110909_phillies_brewers_0_20110909221749_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Good Phight

You must be a member of The Good Phight to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Good Phight. You should read them.

Join The Good Phight

You must be a member of The Good Phight to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Good Phight. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker