I get really excited every time that Roy Oswalt looks like Roy Oswalt. Fastball velocity, check. Change-up command, check. Swings and misses on his fastball, check. If tonight is any indication, Oswalt will be the number four starter in the playoff rotation. Lets just sit back and think about that. Oswalt has a career record of 157-92, has won an ERA title, led the league in wins and has won twenty games twice. He is the fucking number four starter.
Oswalt threw seven innings of shutout baseball tonight while striking out seven and walking no one. He has looked injury free for his last few starts. In 2008, the Phillies won the world series with Cole Hamels and a cobbled together rotation of slightly above average veterans. Again, this year, Oswalt is the number four starter.
The offense had a bunch of opportunities to knock Cardinal starter Jake Westbrook out of this game early. Westbrook escaped from major damage in the third inning leaving the bases loaded and seemed to be pitching with runners on base throughout his three and 1/3 innings of work. He exited the game with the bases loaded with one out in the fourth. Arthur Rhodes stranded the bases loaded as the Phillies missed out on an opportunity to blow the game open early.
The score was 3-0 when Michael Stutes relieved Roy Oswalt. Stutes is another young arm that Phillies would love to get turned around before the playoffs. He was tagged for two two out runs and gave way to Brad Lidge with two runners on base. Lidge got out of the jam with one pitch.
In a 3-2 game one misplaced pitch can delay a division crown for another day. The Phillies added six runs on aided by a hustle infield single from Hunter Pence and a grand slam from Raul Ibanez. Ibanez is closing in on twenty home runs and eighty RBI. How the hell this guy is anywhere near those numbers with the start that he had is beyond me. Six runs proved an insurmountable lead as Ryan Madson shut down the Cardinals in the top of the ninth.
This is simply the best baseball team that I have ever seem in this town. Fifth straight division title.
Rollins 4-5, Victorino 2-3 with a homer and Pence 2-3 as the top of the line-up woke up to smash the Cardinals and Tony LaRussa 9-2.