It was nice to see the real Roy Halladay on Sunday. After struggling with heat exhaustion and the effects of a lingering stomach ailment in his last start, the Ginger Terminator was back to form, going eight innings in the Phillies 5-3 defeat of the San Diego Padres.
“I haven’t had a problem with that in the past,” Halladay said regarding his struggles during his last start. “It snuck up and got me. I wasn’t worried about it happening again. It wasn’t a concern. Getting back out and trying to be consistent and make good pitches was what I was trying to do.”
After throwing 91 pitches over just five innings, Halladay buckled down, needing only 116 total after retiring the side in order in his final three. On the day he gave up eight hits and three runs, though only two were earned thanks to the worst throwing first baseman possibly in the history of baseball — Ryan Howard’s errant toss in the fourth inning led to an unearned run.
Halladay ended up with eight strikeouts and only one walk. Yeah, he’s back.
“I felt like early on there were times we made good pitches and didn’t get the results we wanted and really it was just a matter of trying to stay aggressive and stay with our plan,” Halladay said. “I felt like I had good stuff from the first inning on but a couple pitches that were OK pitches that didn’t get results. Fortunately, later on we got some quicker outs.”
The Phillies offense also did its job in support of Halladay, at least early on, putting up five runs over the first three innings . In the first, Chase Utley reached on a walk and then went first to third on a Ryan Howard opposite field single, later scoring on Shane Victorino’s single up the middle. Raul Ibanez then laced a double off the wall in right to plate Howard.
Howard led off the third with another opposite field hit, this time a double., later scoring on an Ibanez single. Domonic Brown then singled, followed by a Carlos Ruiz double which knocked in both Ibanez and Brown. With the double Chooch extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Speaking of hitting streaks, Michael Martinez’ sixth-inning single extended his own streak to seven games.
The offense ended up with only one hit after the three-run third, but they could have had more if not more a fantastic homerun saving catching by Padres’ centerfielder Chris Denorfia, who robbed Raul Ibanez of what would have been a two-run shot.
Raul may have been impressed by Denorfia’s catch, but he saved the most praise for Halladay.
“You can’t tell the difference,” Ibanez said regarding Halladay’s pitch count. “His stuff, his poise and his tenacity on the mound is the same.
“The guy’s a gamer. You know that’s he’s going to grind and battle and if anything I knew he was going to have a stellar outing today because that’s him. That’s what he does.”
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