Aided by spectacular glovework, Roy Halladay improved to a league-best 4-0, going the distance in the Phils’ 2-0 shutout over Atlanta.
The hoop Ruben Amaro jumped through to bring Halladay to Philadelphia, which became a burning ring of fire when the city found out it would cost them Cliff Lee, is starting to be seen the way it was intended: as a gateway to years and years of prosperity. That’s the sentiment being felt in Philadelphia after another face-melter from the Phillies’ ace. Making 113 pitches – each with its own valid purpose – the right-hander improved to 4-0 with his 16th career shutout. Halladay has become the bullpen’s best bud (and friend to those with early bed times). “I got this,” is what he says to the Phillies every fifth day. “They were all down there eating peanuts," answered Charlie Manuel when asked if he had considered getting the bullpen ready for the ninth. With any other pitcher, the Phillies would have been clinging to a 2-0 lead, but with Doc, it's time to eat peanuts.
As if he wasn’t impervious enough, the defense put up an impenetrable force field. Shane Victorino robbed Troy Glaus of a homer in the second, Chase Utley and Juan Castro combined on an adrenaline-rush 4-6-3 and Ryan Howard made a crucial stab in the ninth. Overall, it might have been the big man's best defensive effort yet, as Howard also made an acrobatic stretch on a brilliant play in the 5th, in addition to reaching to complete the double play. Mix in a workman’s amount of timely hitting and this was Phillies baseball at its finest.