Halladay shuts down Mets

 Posted by at 12:04 pm
May 012011
Phillies ace Roy Halladay

Phillies ace Roy Halladay

May 1 Camden Courier-Post:

“Warming up in the bullpen before Saturday’s game, Roy Halladay didn’t feel sharp. His location was bad. His command was off.

Once the game started, however, there was no doubt Halladay was in total control.

It was the third inning before Halladay uncorked a pitch that hit catcher Dane Sardinha’s mitt outside the strike zone — a streak of 18 straight strikes to start the game.

“I’ve seen guys with great command,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “But Roy — to throw (18) straight strikes, I haven’t seen that too many times.”

Indeed, it was the best start to a game for any pitcher since 1991, but the number held even more significance when the game was over.

Halladay was exceptional, holding the Mets to seven hits and one run in a complete-game effort that gave the Phillies’ a 2-1 win — their 18th victory in the month of April, setting a new club record.

The irony for Halladay is that the game was so unexpected. His bullpen was lackluster. He’d worked with Sardinha behind the plate just twice before. His day appeared to be over in the seventh when Manuel nearly pinch hit for his ace.

But things had a way of working out just right for Halladay.

The same has been true for the Phillies‘ impressive April.

The season began under a black cloud as second baseman Chase Utley and closer Brad Lidge opened the year on the disabled list. Three more pitchers followed them to the DL over the next few weeks. The offense languished at times, including a stretch of 14 straight games in which they scored fewer than four runs.”

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