Doc Looks to Stop the Bleeding in Houston, Avoid First Sweep of the Season

Doc Looks to Stop the Bleeding in Houston, Avoid First Sweep of the Season

After taking the brooms to the Atlanta Braves last week, the Philadelphia Phillies are the last team in Major League Baseball that have yet to fall victim to a series sweep in the 2011 season. With a starting rotation featuring one "stopper" after another, its been thought that his team might never get swept. We'll find out today.

Standing between the Phillies and the same disappointment shared by 29 other clubs—Mr. Roy Halladay.

Halladay enters this afternoon's match up against the Houston Astros sporting a 17-5 record, 2.44 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. In his last start, a 5-3 victory over the Brewers, Doc surrendered just 1 run in 8 innings of work, K—ing 9 and walking 3.

Standing opposed for the Brewers, Bud Norris is the owner of a 6-9 record, 3.78 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.

Fortunately for those of the "let's not get swept by the freaking Astros" mindset, the Phillies have already gotten to Norris once in 2011. In his first start of the season, an April 3rd contest at Citizens Bank Park, the twenty-six-year-old right-hander lasted just 4 innings, after getting tagged for 6 hits and 5 earned. All 5 runs were scored via the long ball, with Ryan Howard going yard twice and then-starter Ben Francisco taking Norris deep to left.

If the Big Piece can get to a guy in April, surely he can do it during his favorite month of September. Right?

I mean...let's just not get swept by the Astros.

Manager Charlie Manuel's 9/14 lineup:

1. Shane Victorino, CF
2. Placido Polanco, 3B
3. Hunter Pence, RF
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Raul Ibanez, LF
6. Carlos Ruiz, C
7. Pete Orr, 2B
8. Michael Martinez, SS
9. Roy Halladay, P

First pitch is scheduled scheduled for 2:05 p.m.

"Sweep, sweep, sweep / It's all up to you, [Doc]."

Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68

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Instant Replay: No. 1 Villanova 78, Providence 68

BOX SCORE

Seniors Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins combined for 44 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists and No. 1 Villanova held off Providence, 78-68, in a Big East game at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.
 
Villanova extended a four-point halftime lead to as much as 20 points before hot-shooting Providence closed to within nine with five minutes left. Villanova then went on a 13-3 run to put the game out of reach.
 
Hart had 25 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Wildcats, and Jenkins added 19 points, four boards and four assists. Both shot over 50 percent.
 
Sophomore Mikal Bridges scored 15 points, matching his Big East career high, and also had three rebounds and three assists, and Jalen Brunson contributed 13 points to go with three rebounds and four assists.
 
Providence stayed in the game by shooting 13 for 26 from three against the No. 3 three-point shooting defense in Division 1.
 
What it means
Villanova improved to 19-1 overall and 7-1 and in first place in the Big East. The Wildcats have won five in a row since losing at Butler on Jan. 4.
 
Providence fell to 13-8 and 3-5 in the conference and 1-6 on the road. The Friars have lost six of eight since an 11-2 start.
 
Villanova is now 47-34 all-time at the Wells Fargo Center but 14-2 in its last 16 games at the South Philly arena.
 
Stat of the day
Providence shot better from three (50 percent) than two (44 percent). The Friars made 13 threes and just nine two-pointers.

Turning point
Providence trailed by just four at halftime at 35-31, but Bridges opened the second half with a steal and fast-break reverse layup and a jumper from the top of the key to start an 8-0 run that gave Villanova a 12-point lead. The Friars never got any close than eight points the rest of the game.
 
By the numbers
• Providence’s 50 percent shooting from three is the highest against ‘Nova since North Carolina shot 65 percent in the national championship game on April 4 in Houston.

• Villanova’s bench scored just two points.

• Providence’s 13 threes are the most by a Big East team against Villanova since Doug McDermott and Creighton had 21 in a 28-point win three years ago this week.

• Rodney Bullock led Providence with 17 points (3 for 5 from three), Jalen Lindsey added 14 (4 for 7 from three) and Isaiah Jackson came off the bench to score 12 (3 for 3 from three).

• Darryl Reynolds' last two double-digit rebound games have both been against Providence.
 
What's next
Villanova travels to Milwaukee for a Tuesday night game against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are 12-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big East with a game later Saturday at Creighton.
 
Villanova has won nine straight games against Marquette, since the Golden Eagles — then ranked No. 17 — came back from 18 points down to win 82-78 at the Wells Fargo Center in January 2012.