Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies threw his major leage-leading seventh complete game against the Atlanta Braves Monday Night in Philadelphia. Greg Dobbs provided the majority of the offense for the Phillies, and the ace was allowed to complete the 3-1 victory.
Halladay only needed 93 pitches to get through all nine innings. Roy faced just 31 batters, throwing more than five pitches to only two of them. The Braves got only four hits, and struck out seven times. Halladay allowed only one base on balls.
“He pitched a super game,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He’s a horse.”
Braves pitcher Derek Lowe turned in an impressive seven-inning performance, allowing only two earned runs on six hits. He struck out six Philadelphia hitters, but allowed a homerun to Dobbs that saddled him with his seventh loss on the season.
“Lowe pitched another great game. Again we didn’t score any runs for him,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
It was the 10th win for Halladay, who always rides a stationary bike after his starts. Roy said after the game that he really broke a sweat in his post game workout while riding the bike and working out his arm.
“Just getting the blood moving,” Halladay said.
The defeat of the Braves was a big moral boost for the Phillies after dropping three of four to the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend. It is important for the Phillies to get as many wins in this series as they can to gain ground on the Braves. The Phillies are four games out of first place, and 17-23 in their last 40 games.
Chipper Jones gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first on a solo homerun on the first pitch from Halladay. Jones now has six homers this season.
Jason Werth singled to left field off Lowe with one out in the eighth that brought Dobbs to the plate. The slugger was reminded of his struggles at the beginning of the year when he was optioned to Triple-A for failing in his role early in the season.
“I feel good about my swing,” Dobbs said. “Seeing pitches on a daily basis helps. I feel confident. I feel in a rhythm.”
Now, Dobbs is looking to make a place for himself on the roster due to injuries to Chase Utley and Placido Polanco. He is 6-8 in his last four games, and 2-3 last night with the two-run homer off Lowe.
Juan Castro is another player seeing time due to injured players, and came in the game as a defensive replacement for Dobbs at third base. He added a RBI single in the eighth off reliever Johnny Venters to give Halladay a little more cushion.
MLB sportsbooks have set the Phillies as the favorite in the second game of the series behind Cole Hammels at -135 odds. The Braves will start Jair Jurrjens, and are slated as the underdog at +115. The over/under set for total runs scored in the game is set at 8 1/2.