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Chooch & Doc Always Play a Good Show in South Florida

Aug 4, 2010, 7:44 AM EDT

HalladratedThe last time Roy Halladay took signs from Carlos Ruiz in the Marlins' god-awful stadium, he pitched a perfect game. Doc credited Ruiz, commenting that he didn't think he shook him off once over the flawless nine innings. Last night, Roy was dealing again, striking out nine over seven innings while allowing just one run on five hits and… this can't be right… it says he walked someone. We'll have to check the tape on that. 

The gametime temperature was marked at 87 degrees, but it looked like a sauna. Doc was sweating profusely out there, but providing a good example to area youths by hydrating well, as you can see in the pic on the right. When Charlie came over to him the dugout to pull him out of the game, there didn't seem to be any disagreement by the ace. He had a nice lead based on the work of the makeshift lineup that took the field behind him, and especially his batterymate. 

Ruiz went 4-5 and was just a triple shy of the cycle. Ben Francisco, who added three hits of his own, opened the second inning with a homer, and Chooch followed it with a big-swinging bomb. The rest of the game was fun for Phils fans, but with Doc on the hill, it was over the moment Ruiz's shot left the yard. Chooch would add another RBI later in the game, and his night at the plate raised his average to .294 and his OBP to .395. Remember last Choochtober when he said he wanted to play that way all season?

Halladay would even help his own cause in the fourth inning. Call-up starter Sean West issued a free pass to Wilson Valdez, loading the bases, and Halladay lined one down the left field line, plating two.  

With Ryan Howard now joining the MIA ranks, and Jayson Werth going 0-5 while putting up a golden sombrero, a big night from Benny Fresh and Chooch did a lot to quiet the worries over what the latest injury would mean to the Phillies' pennant chase, even if it was only the first game without the Big Piece. Billy Wagner getting blown off the field by Jeff Franceour helped too; with the Braves loss, the Phils are just two games back of first place in the East. Hard to believe given the fact that Howard is the 15th player to hit the DL for them this season.

That lone Marlins run allowed was a solo shot from Dan Uggla, who did his best to atone for his sin against Halladay by comically booting three or four balls hit to him. Cody Ross also looked terrible in the field, something we've seen often from Phillies opponents lately, particularly the Rockies and Diamondbacks. It may not be the prettiest way to score, but there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of the four-out innings that are given to you. 

Chad Durbin came in to relieve Halladay, pitching two scoreless innings to keep the other bullpen arms off the goddamn field preserve the win. Durbin allowed three hits, but struck out four. 

Kyle Kendrick will face Anibal Sanchez tonight.