For those of you who thought Roy Halladay was cooked, you were wrong.
Roy’s performance on Friday night was utterly brilliant, and it all came down to one thing.
For those of you who thought Roy Halladay was cooked, you were wrong.
Roy’s performance on Friday night was utterly brilliant, and it all came down to one thing.
“If we can just stay afloat until Howard and Utley come back…”
Gosh, I think I’ve even said it a few times myself. Unfortunatly we had to add another big name to that list.
To say that Roy Halladay is important to this team is really understating it. In his first two years in Philadelphia Halladay has won 40 games, and pitched more then 200 innings each time. However, Halladay and the Phillies have been bounced from the playoffs each season before reaching the ultimate goal.
Why do I mention that last part? … Because it could be worse.
Don’t get me wrong here. Losing Halladay is really going to be tough for the Phillies, but at the same time his injury could have been far worse then it was. He doesnt need surgury. He didn’t tear his labrum, he didn’t tear his rotator cuff. He’ll be stronger at the end of the season, and won’t have that wear and tear of a 200 inning pitchers come august and September. I’d love to have Roy out there today, but a healthy Roy is going to be huge in the stretch run.
They need to win as many division games as possible, as all the teams in the NL East are above .500.
The Phillies have been a second half team these last few years. Let’s hope that trend continues, because if the Phillies want to have any chance of making it to the Postseason, it’s really gonna have to.
I’m really becoming torn with this team. Are we coming out of the fog, or do we still stink? It’s so hard to tell. We have a game like Sunday night where we end up running over the first place Nationals, and then come Monday where we return to our battle to drive in runners in scoring position. All I can say about that is, Poor Roy.
The Phillies had a strange weekend in D.C. where they really won two games, but only came away with one, thanks to Joe West and his upset tummy. I’m sorry, but Major League Baseball needs to have some alternates available at a moments notice, because three obviously can’t get it done. However, there is nothing we can do about that but forget it, and move on.
Then we have this whole hullabaloo with Cole Hamels hitting Bryce Harper in the back. I’m a huge fan of Hamels, but how are you dumb enough to go and say that you did it on purpose? Avoid the question, or lie. Just keep it to yourself. As for Mike Rizzo, and all the stuff he said about Hamels, whatever… Let the players work it out on the field. Nobody cares what the GM thinks. Surprisingly this is the topic to which I have the least to say. I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as people say. If anything Hamels helped the Nats efforts to sell some more tickets, and create a rivalry. I can’t wait for the next series with the Nats (May 21-23). Mark your calendar, because this rivalry is just getting started.
I don’t know who the fans were that taunted Jayson Werth when he broke his wrist, but thanks for being so classless. Let other cities hate us because our team is good, we don’t need them to hate us because we cheer for a guy getting injured. Especially one that helped our city win its first championship in 28 years. I don’t get how some people can be so stupid. It’s totally cool to go and cheer your team in someone else’s house, but have some respect for the other people there, and the team. I couldn’t believe how some of the people around me were acting. Yes, I’m talking about you, Guy sitting next to me, who was throwing his trash in the flower boxes in left field. You and your drunk friend that had to go to the bathroom every half inning are the reason that people thing Philly fans are jerks. Nobody appreciated you, and your foul mouths. Especially the guy with his kids sitting right next to you. This was the first time that I think that I was actually embarrassed to be a Phillies fan. It made me really sad. I thought all the Nationals fans I encountered were really great, and I had a fun time, despite the loss.
I’m not writing as much these days because things in life are hectic, and I’m trying to enjoy some time being a fan (although the Phils are making it tough). Not to mention that I’m spending a lot more time at the park, and I’ve gone on the road with the team twice already which is fun, but tiresome. Thanks as always for checking in, and continuing to read my blog. I’ll be trying harder over the next week or so to get back in gear.
Tomorrow let’s get back to talking about actual games, and hopefully a “W.” Enough with the antics.
The Phillies are out in San Francisco and play tonight at 10:15. I hate these games out west, but this one I’m kinda excited about because of the pitching matchup.
Tim Lincecum is 4-1, with a 2.61 ERA and 65 K’s in his last 10 starts against the Phillies, but has been hammered in his first two outings this season (0-1, 12.91 ERA). Here’s hoping that the Phillies can tag him as well.
Lincecum has not looked good this season at all, with his last outing being the shortest start of his career. (2 1/3 innings, allowing six runs). I’m not sure if it’s a physical thing, or a mental thing because his fastball is topping out at 89-91 where it used to be in the 93-97 range, and he can’t be too pleased that the Giants have locked up Matt Cain to a long-term extension, and have not had discussions with his agent in regards to one.
Roy Halladay hasn’t faired very well against the Giants in the past, going 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA, but as you know is 2-0 this season with a 0.60 ERA.
This will be the first time that the two pitchers have faced each other in the regular season. They did face each other in the 2010 NL Championship Series, where Lincecum bested Halladay in Game 1, but Roy defeated him in game 5.
This should be a good one.
I’m pretty glad we won’t have to see that bearded idiot at all this season. I feel bad that he’s injured, but just the sight of him…
Also, keep an eye on Pablo Sandoval who has a hit in all 9 games the Giants have played this season.
I was wrong, and I’m very happy about that.
After going down 1-0 in the second I again began to wonder “Can they come back from this?” And come back they did.
The Phillies tagged Josh Johnson for six runs over 3 2/3 innings. They managed to rattle off 11 hits from the Marlins ace who is now 0-2 on the season.
That’s right 11 hits, and 14 total in the game.
Roy Halladay was again masterful. He escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first, and allowed just one run over seven innings. He had a few battles early that got his pitch count up over 6o in the first three innings, but Roy did his thing and made great work of the Marlins over the next four. Once the Phillies put up the 5 spot in the third, you could tell that Halladay was able to pitch a little more freely.
“I think I looked up in the third and I had thrown 60 pitches,” Halladay said. ”At that point, you’d be happy with six. After it’s over, you’re never happy with six. I think it’s satisfying when you go through a game where you’re scuffling to get through four or five innings because of the pitch count and you’re able to get through six or seven innings.
Halladay has the Phillies only two wins, and he’s allowed just one run and seven hits through his first 15 innings of work. That’s an impressive 0.60 ERA and 0.53 WHIP.
The feel good moment of the night came in the when Freddy Galvis came to the plate with chants of ”Freddy, Freddy, Freddy,” echoing throughout the park, and Galvis answered the call with a double to right field giving the Phillies a 5-1 lead.
Pretty cool moment for a rookie.
Galvis was a bit of a scape goat for the first four games of the Phillies season, but let’s remember that this kid is a rookie, and if you look up and down the lineup, nobody was really hitting much more then him. He’s now got two big hits, and leads the team in RBI. He’s really got a great glove, probably better then Utley a this point, and if you can get him to hit .235 or higher until Utley comes back, you’re getting much more then you ever could have asked for.
Back to those hits.
It should be noted that the Phillies 14 hits came from all over the lineup. In fact, every player in the starting lineup, with the exception Halladay had a hit. Ruiz and Galvis both had extra base hits, and six different players registered an RBI.
I really like this lineup. Good balance of power and speed. I’m still not sold on Jimmy batting 3rd, but it worked tonight. Mayberry still is struggling a bit, but I like him at first more then any of the other options that we have at this point.
All in all, a good clean game for the Phils, and a good game for Galvis who again looked sharp at second base.
Now that a few days have passed I’m ready to start dishing the blame. I’ll have to say that despite what everyone is saying about Ryan Howard I think that it is more of a collective issue. Let’s start at the top.
Charlie Manuel – Sorry Chuck, but I think a lot of this one is on you. I like that the players like to play for you, but this time things just went horribly wrong. After three games in a row where we couldn’t by a hit you leave the same lineup in? Polanco stays at third when he can’t even buy a hit? Did you even leave the dugout at all? Throw some things around and try to fire these guys up? I have always stuck by your side, but this time I honestly feel like you just stood by and watched. You’re the so called hitting guru, but you can’t seem to get these guys to hit. Maybe consider asking them to take a few pitches here and there. Crossing your fingers isn’t working. Next Spring better bring some answers because we’re all feeling pretty empty.
Cliff Lee – Cliff is honestly the player that I have the biggest issue with. Before his start last Sunday Cliff was 94-1 in games where he was handed a 4 run lead. That is huge, you have to hold that. For the average starter a 4 run lead is tough to hold, but for Cliff it is practically a mortal lock for a win.
Cliff was brought to Philadelphia to win in the Postseason, and that didn’t happen. So far he is 0-1 in his new tenure in Philadelphia. That can’t happen again. I’m glad that he took “Full responsibility,” but that does nothing for me as I sit here and watch the Cardinals lose to Milwaukee. Had he pitched like we expected him to do so we would have swept St. Louis right out of the playoffs.
“I take a lot of responsibility for this,” Lee said after the Game 5 loss. “I had a 4-0 lead and wasn’t able to keep it. If I did, we would have swept the series. I wasn’t able to keep a four-run lead and now it’s over.”
Cliff choked. No doubt about it.
Ryan Howard - I stand up for Ryno in many instances, but during a series is not time to mess with your mechanics. After game one I was expecting Ryan to just destroy the Cardinals, but he fell right into their trap. If they are going to throw you junk, then you need to just stand there and take that walks. That was something that I always admired about Pat Burrell.
I get that he was hurt, but he did himself, and the team zero favors by swinging at the crap they threw to him. I can’t even count at how many balls that were tight and inside that he swung at. You have to make them pitch to you. I have mixed feelings about him swinging at the 3-0 ball that he got towards the end of game 5. I know that people wished that green light had taken away from him at that point, but in a one run game one swing from Ryan can change the course of the game. It was a half decent pitch, so anything could have happened.
But Howard wasn’t the only one that didn’t hit.
Placido Polanco – Really when it comes to Polly the problem starts with Charlie Manual. I don’t get why we think that an injured Polanco is any better then Wilson Valdez or Michael Martinez. Polly went 2-19 (.105) in the NLDS… You have to think that Valdez could have done better then that. Polly is the best defensive choice we have at third, but with his injuries, his bad speed is gone, and he can’t run worth a damn.
Hunter Pence – Hunter had 4 RBI, but still only hit .211 in the series. He’s a .300 hitter all season long, and went cold by his standards in the playoffs. Offensively he’s a fine player, but defensively he leaves much to be desired in the outfield. I hope that we can make some end-roads with him over the winter and into Spring Training next year. I love the hustle, but he came up short in the end.
Carlos Ruiz – Behind the plate Chooch is always an All-Star, but standing at it, he had a terrible series. 1-17 (.059) in the NLDS is just terrible. Carlos had a really tough October. He needs to keep the ball out of the air, and work on going the other way a little more. He pulls the ball far too much.
Roy Oswalt – Roy had pitched to the Cardinals hitters more then any other pitcher on the Phillies staff from his time in the National League Central, but didn’t look like it at all. He’s likely never to pitch another game for the Phillies again, but I expected much more from him than we got.
I’m wondering what everyone else is feeling. Shoot me an email, or comment below.
Be sure to check out my work over at PhilaPhans.com
Roy Halladay hit a little bump in the road named Lance Berkman in the first inning, but after that settled in nicely and cruised through the next seven innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. Though Berkman’s homer was a big one Halladay only allowed just three hits in his eight innings of work. Berkman’s homer got to him, and Roy put it into overdrive.
“He was kind of like a Rocky movie,” Charlie Manuel said. “He got mad after he gave up the homer. That ticked him off and he hung in there and kept going. But he’s special. He’s everything that people talk about.”
Roy put up enough zeros for the Phillies offense to stage a comeback. And that they did.
As many people remember, the 2010 Postseason ended with Ryan Howard standing at the plate with the bat on his shoulder. 2011′s Postseason run started differently for the big man when Howard blasted a monster 3-run homer off of Kyle Loshe in the bottom of the 6th to give the Phillies the lead. Two batters later Rual Ibanez sent one over the right field fence too, ending Loshe’s night.
The Phillies hitters 1 through six went 13-25, (.520 average) scoring 11 runs. With that kind of production you have to like our pitchers chances in any match up.
Game Two is tonight with Cliff Lee going against Chris Carpenter. See you there.
Roy was not as sharp as usual, but he battled all the way through seven innings, giving up eight hits and five runs. He walked one and struck out seven. Halladay is the National League’s first 14 game winner and is on pace to win 20 games again. Doing so would make him the first National League pitcher to do it since his teammate Roy Oswalt did it on 2004 and 2005.
The Phillies are 19-4 in games that Roy Halladay has started this season.
The offense was lead again by the bat of Ryan Howard. Howard has now homered three times in two games, and his home today was his first off of a lefty since last September. Howard went 2-4 with four RBI. I want to touch on Hunter Pence’s effect on Ryan Howard in an article later this week. Be on the lookout.
The Phillies now move on to battle the San Francisco Giants after they took two of three from the Phillies last week. Since then the two teams have gone in pretty different directions. The Phillies swept both the Pirates and the Rockies in that span, and the Giants were swept by the Reds, and then lost 2 of 3 to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The pitching match ups are as follows.
Thursday: Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14) vs. Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80)
Friday: Vance Worley (7-1, 2.33) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (4-5, 3.81)
Saturday: Cole Hamels (12-6, 2.62) vs. Matt Cain (9-7, 3.10)
Sunday: Roy Oswalt (4-6, 3.79) vs. RH Tim Lincecum (9-9, 2.77)
I’ll have an article up tomorrow to preview the series a little more.
The heat wasn’t a problem for Doc Halladay on Sunday as he dismantled the San Diego Padres on Sunday 5-3. Halladay went eight strong innings, retiring the last 10 batters in order before handing the game to Antonio Bastardo for the save.
It wasn’t a total breeze for Halladay as he did surrender three runs early, but the Phillies early offense was enough to stave off the Friars.
Roy struck out eight, and probably the most impressive to me was of the eight hits he gave up, they were all singles.
I think it’s also worth pointing out that after sitting out yesterday, until his pinch hit home run, Ryan Howard has looked different at the plate. He showed a little more patience early today, and took the ball to the left side of the field. He did strike out twice, but he ran the count full in each at bat. I know that’s not much to go on just yet, but you gotta start somewhere.
The Phillies have won their 64th game, and their 5th straight. This is the 9th consecutive winning series for the Phillies who (after tomorrow) will face the other two top teams in the National League.
Cliff Lee pitches Monday as the Phillies try for the sweep that has eluded them for 9 straight series.
Trade Buzz -
There isn’t too much buzz yet as I post this entry on Monday morning. Maybe the most notable thing to happen in the last 24 hours (that has something to do with the Phillies) is that Carlos Beltran has quietly told the Mets that he would prefer to stay in the National League since he feels knows the league well. It’s assumed that he would prefer to go to a contender, and it has been rumored that he would prefer not to go to the Pirates.
I still don’t think that Beltran is a fit in Philadelphia because of what the Mets want in return. I think that B.J. Upton and Hunter Pence are probably more likely candidates to come to Philly.
I was surely glad to hear that Roy Halladay will “Absolutely” make his next start, but what was lost in all the hoopla around Halladay was how poorly the Phillies played in Chicago last night.
The Phillies looked terrible at the plate last night. Just terrible.
Where was the plate discipline? How is it that it took until the 4th inning just to get a hit? I’m sure that Rodrigo Lopez game planned for the Phillies, but did we game plan for him?
I was thinking the other day that the Phillies had been showing more patience at the plate, but they showed very little last night. Take a few pitches, please.
Side Note -
I just wanted to point out what a great teammate Chase Utley is. When he knelt down and pretended to tie his shoe last night to give Halladay extra time to catch his breath I thought to myself, “How awesome is this guy?” Class act.