Badly needing a win (as badly as any team can need a victory in the first week of April), the Phillies rode their big horse, Roy Halladay, into a matchup against Marlins ace Josh Johnson. Two aces enter, one ace leaves. Roy Halladay not only survived, but thrived. Josh Johnson did not. And the Phillies cruised to a 7-1 victory.
The Marlins threatened first, loading the bases in the first inning but failing to score, and struck first, scoring their sole run in the top of the second inning on an RBI groundout by Johnson. But from there it was all Phillies, starting in the bottom of the third. Juan Pierre reached on a one out single and "stole" second base, even though replays showed pretty conclusively that he was out on the play. The Phillies then strung together four consecutive hits to take a 3-1 lead before Freddy Galvis struck the big blow. With the sellout crowd chanting his name, Galvis lined a double down the right field line, driving in two runs to put the Phillies ahead 5-1. In all, the Phillies would tattoo Johnson for 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings, his second straight start allowing 10 or more hits.
The Phillies would tack on additional runs in the bottom of the fifth on a Shane Victorino groundout, and in the seventh on a Carlos Ruiz home run, just the Phillies' second home run of the season.
What else can we say about Roy Halladay at this point? It's a really special pitcher who can not only dominate baseball games, but who can do so in numerous different styles. There's the high strikeout "missing bats" game, like 2010's postseason no-hitter. Then there are games like tonight, where Halladay only struck out three but induced repeated weak contact with a filthy changeup and impeccable control.
The Phillies look to salvage the series tomorrow night behind Joe Blanton.