Just enough for Halladay as Phillies beat Nationals

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When he worked on NBC’s pregame NFL show in the 1980s, the late Pete Axthelm coined a phrase – MOTO – for games that appeared to be impossibly one-sided. It stood for Master of the Obvious, meaning that it usually took just a second to pick the winner and place a bet accordingly.

The baseball game contested in South Philly last night was a MOTO game.

Pitching for the first-place Phillies was Cy Young candidate Roy Halladay, who has been on a roll.

Pitching for the last-place Nationals was Jason Marquis, who has spent most of the season on the disabled list after having bone chips removed from his elbow and was 0-5, with a 14.33 earned run average and a .405 opponent’s batting average in his five starts.

In case you were wondering, the Phillies’ biggest margin of victory ever was a 21-1 win over the Reds in 2009.

Heh, heh, heh. Axthelm also delighted in pointing out how often the team that, on paper, had no chance, actually won. Or at least covered the spread.

Sure enough, the Phillies needed a few breaks just to squeeze past the pesky Nats, 1-0, last night at Citizens Bank Park.

Halladay allowed eight baserunners in the first four innings. He matched his season-high with three walks. And still raised his record to 16-8 and lowered his earned run average to 2.16.

Closer Brad Lidge converted his seventh straight save opportunity.

Full story: Just enough for Halladay as Phillies beat Nationals | Philadelphia Daily News | 08/21/2010