--RHP Roy Halladay threw 30 shutout innings at the Nationals between Opening Day 2010 and through eight innings on Wednesday night at Nationals Park. When the streak was finally snapped when he was on the cusp of a complete-game shutout, Halladay showed off his true mettle.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner gave up hits to four of the first five batters of the ninth inning, turning a 3-0 lead into a 3-2 advantage. The Nationals had the game-tying run on second base and the go-ahead run on first with one out.
Halladay responded by using six pitches to strike out pinch hitter Matt Stairs and Ivan Rodriguez.
"There's a lot of determination in there," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Guts definitely come into play."
"I may be naive but I never felt in trouble," Halladay said. "I felt like it was just a matter of making good pitches. There was never a panic or a rush feeling. It was just a matter of making good pitches."
--2B Wilson Valdez has filled in admirably for injured All-Star 2B Chase Utley. Valdez, who has started nine of the Phillies' 11 games this season, is hitting .353 (12-for-34) and he played error-free at second base.
The 32-year-old Valdez, who emerged as the Phillies' go-to utility infielder last season when both Utley and Jimmy Rollins missed significant time with injuries, has hit safely in seven of his nine starts this season.
--C Carlos Ruiz has hit safely in six straight games. Ruiz extended his hitting streak by leading off the fifth inning with a single off John Lannan in the Phillies' 3-2 win over Washington on Wednesday night.
Ruiz's single sparked an inning that saw the Phillies put six of their first seven batters on base. They scored twice in the inning, seizing control of the game.
Ruiz is hitting .450 (9-for-20) during the six-game streak.
--1B Ryan Howard was hit in the right elbow by a John Lannan pitch in the fifth inning on Wednesday night. Howard said afterward that he had an X-ray and the results were negative. He expects to play in the series finale Thursday night at Nationals Park. Howard sprained his ankle on Aug. 1 in Washington and ended up missing three weeks.
--LHP Cliff Lee will try to lead the Phillies to their fourth series win to begin the season while also attempting to rebound from an off-kilter start in Atlanta. Lee allowed six runs on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings of a 6-3 loss to the Braves on Friday, in his second start of the season.
Lee has history on his side, albeit a small sample size. In two career starts against the Nationals, Lee is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Lee was originally drafted by the Nationals franchise, selected in the fourth round of the 2000 draft by the Montreal Expos.
BY THE NUMBERS
30 -- Consecutive shutout innings Roy Halladay compiled against the Washington Nationals before the ninth inning of the Phillies' 3-2 win on Wednesday night. Before Laynce Nix's one-out, RBI single in the ninth, Halladay had not given up a run against the Nationals since his first inning with the Phillies, on Opening Day at Nationals Park in 2010.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I may be naive but I never felt in trouble. I felt like it was just a matter of making good pitches. There was never a panic or a rush feeling. It was just a matter of making good pitches." -- RHP Roy Halladay, after taking a shutout into the ninth inning on Wednesday and striking out the final two batters with the game-tying run on second base and the go-ahead run on first to hold onto a 3-2 win.
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