Before the top of the sixth began, Pete Orr forgot to look both ways when exiting the dugout and accidentally stepped in front of five racing sausages. He ducked between Polish and Italian but smacked into Hot Dog. The fans booed the sheepish Canadian, who smirked as an entire dugout burst into laughter.
These Phillies can do whatever they want. It doesn't matter who pitches, how many reserves manager Charlie Manuel pencils into his lineup, or how good the opposing team is. The Phillies win. And they are winning at such a remarkable pace that most of September will be rendered meaningless.
"It's a great pace," first baseman Ryan Howard said. "But at the same time, we know what the main goal is. All of this is fine and dandy."
But October is all that matters. The Phillies' magic number to clinch a postseason berth is three. It's nine for the division and best record in the league. There still are 21 games remaining.
In five days, they have systematically cracked the two National League teams viewed as the toughest impediments to another pennant. Two games against Milwaukee and challenging starters Randy Wolf and Yovani Gallardo remain, but the feeling around the majors is just about mutual. Right now, the Phillies are an unstoppable baseball dynamo.
Friday was dicey only in the ninth, when a fatigued Antonio Bastardo allowed the two batters he faced to reach base. Ryan Madson permitted both of those inherited runners to score but nailed down his 29th save of the season.
When Roy Halladay is staked to a three-run lead before he even throws a pitch, as he was Friday, that typically makes for an uneventful night.
"Roy was classic Roy," said Howard, who homered in the first inning. "You can go out and give him a lead early on and it makes things a little bit easier."
A season-high three walks will bother Halladay for four days, and they inflated his pitch count, but the damage was minor. The Brewers had smoked Halladay for 17 hits and 10 runs in his two previous starts against them. Friday was different.
Halladay said a rigorous study of video from his previous starts against Milwaukee helped. But, mostly, his stuff was just better.
"I felt like I could go to any pitch when I needed to," Halladay said, "and that's big against good teams."
The Phillies battered Shaun Marcum, a righty who had stymied them before Friday. Marcum allowed five runs in 62/3 innings Friday and walked four. It took him 18 minutes to record three outs in the first inning. He left an 87-m.p.h. fastball belt-high and inside, and Howard did what he normally does to balls like that. The majestic three-run blast landed in the first row of the right-field stands for Howard's fourth home run vs. a lefty in 2011. He put his bat down, admired the shot, and hopped to begin his 32d slow trot around the bases.
The lineup was without Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, but still flourished. Orr started for the first time since May 19, and not only did he mingle with sausages, he smacked three hits for the first time since Aug. 29, 2009.
Placido Polanco rapped his first extra-base hit since June 26, a span of 116 at-bats. It was a double, and he scored one of two seventh-inning insurance runs.
When it was over, everyone in the visitors clubhouse could snicker about the yellow slide and sausage encounter - which constitute drama these days. Orr was thankful no sausages were harmed, although Hot Dog ended up in the grass.
"I think I kneed him a little bit," Orr said.
There are only 21 days until the postseason, and for the Phillies, it cannot come soon enough.
Contact staff writer Matt Gelb at email@example.com or @magelb on Twitter.