Roy Halladay (11-4, 2.57) tries to match teammate Cole Hamels for the league lead in wins (12) when the Phillies and Padres continue their wrap-around set this afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Beerleaguer: Terrific effort by the Phillies' offense to endure the heat and stay after the Padres' pitching staff in yesterday's 8-6 win. Ryan Howard's majestic pinch homer highlighted several big at-bats off the bench, including a huge Ross Gload double and later Carlos Ruiz's two-bagger off the top of the wall. The Phils are having one of their best offensive stretches of the season, beginning at the top with Jimmy Rollins, who got it started yesterday with a hard double to right. The Phils shortstop was on base three times yesterday and has been roping the ball all over the place. Chase Utley, who homered twice, is another reason the Phillies have climbed to seventh in the league in R/G (4.30). And what can you say about Michael Martinez that hasn't already been said? He's playing terrific defense as well, syncing up with John Mayberry at first on a bang-bang play. Big fan of the "new" Mayberry, too. I'd rather have him in the lineup than Dom Brown these days.
Meanwhile, the Phils lead in nearly all pitching categories, including R/G (3.32), which is also a nod to their steady defense. The bullpen has hit a rough patch; there was something predictable about Antonio Bastardo's bad outing yesterday (overdressed, overly warmed up, low-leverage inning). Nevertheless, enjoy this. With 63 wins, the Phils are clearly the class of baseball.