On one hand, this is exactly how you’d expect this Phillies team to clinch a playoff spot. On the other hand, this is not how you want it to happen.
The Phillies, now just five wins away from the century mark on the season, clinched a playoff spot with a 1-0 Roy Halladay masterpiece in Houston that avoided a sweep at the hands of a 100-loss team. For a team whose strength entering the season was its starting pitching, it’s apropos to enter the postseason for the fifth consecutive year this way.
Doc pitched with precision that held the Astros to six hits in a complete game shutout, his seventh complete game of the season. He sat down seven batter on strikes and issued just one free pass.
The man who never seems to need support from his offense got virtually none on Wednesday. Save a Placido Polanco RBI-single that plated Shane Victorino in the first, the Phillies showed no offense, a recurring theme the last three days. Four hits won’t often get the job done.
For a team you want to see surging as September closes out and playoff baseball returns to South Philly, your eyebrows have to be raised at this point.
Brett Myers, J.A. Happ and Bud Norris made the Phillies line-up look like, well, the Phillies current rotation. Four runs on 15 hits in three games against the league’s worst team playing out the string is worse than pitiful.
This isn’t how you want the Phillies closing out the season.
Granted, there are still two weeks left in the season. Two weeks to get the offense back on track and regain the timely hitting penchant players like Victorino, John Mayberry and others had going. You just have to hope a doubleheader against the Marlins on Thursday is what the hit doctor ordered.