Let's get the negative out of the way first: with two outs in the ninth inning and Kelly Johnson on first, Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown made an ill-advised dive for a Miguel Montero line drive, misplaying a single into a double and costing Roy Halladay his fourth shutout of the season. That was it; that was pretty much the only thing that went wrong for the Phils as they extended their season-best win streak to seven on the strength of Halladay's routine excellence and Brown's sparkling debut.
The Doc did manage his eighth complete game of the 2010 season, on a fairly economical 114 pitches. He held the Diamondbacks to six hits, walked none, and struck out nine while improving to 12-8 and lowering his ERA to 2.21. Halladay did what he pretty much always does, working off a fastball that consistently sat in the 92-94 range, mixing in curveballs and changeups when necessary, and staying out of trouble: before Brown's misplay in the ninth, only once did an Arizona batter get past first base.
After months in which the lineup simply didn't score for Halladay, he's now made three straight starts in which the Phils plated at least six runs. He got all he'd need Wednesday in the second inning, when Jayson Werth led off with a double and scored on Brown's RBI double in his first big-league at-bat; two batters later, he came around to score on a Wilson Valdez groundout. Werth and Brown started the sixth inning with singles, then both scored as Carlos Ruiz won a nine-pitch battle with Arizona starter Edwin Jackson with a double to left that ended Jackson's night. Ruiz later scored on a Placido Polanco single. An inning later, Raul Ibanez led off with a single, Werth followed a Ryan Howard strikeout with his second double of the night, and Brown scored Ibanez on a sac fly. Ruiz finished the scoring with his second double of the night, plating Werth.
Werth, Brown and Ruiz, the Phils' 5-6-7 hitters, went a combined 8 for 11 with five doubles, six runs scored and five driven in. Ibanez, batting third again, went 2-3 with two walks. Over the seven games of the win streak, the left fielder has gone 11 for 24 with three doubles, a homer, and six walks--helping ease the pain of Chase Utley's continued absence, as well as the more recently hobbled Jimmy Rollins (still a day or two away from returning to the lineup) and Shane Victorino (placed on the DL earlier today).
The Phils seek their eighth straight win and twelfth straight at home Thursday as Kyle Kendrick faces newly acquired Arizona starter Joe Saunders.