By Justin Adkins:
Roy Halladay pitched a couple shutout innings in his spring training debut Monday against his former team, leading the Phillies to an eventual 6-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Halladay had a strikeout while allowing two hits. The offseason rust was obvious as he allowed an actual base on balls, but otherwise the Ginger Express looked good.
“Just being in the game again is fun,” Halladay said after the game. “You can throw as many bullpens and you want but it’s always different once you get out there. It’s always fun getting back out there.”
Halladay understands of course that work has only just begun as he prepares for the 2011 regular season.
“There’s a couple things I want to try,” Halladay said, “but for the most part, the biggest thing is just getting back comfortable. … There were times today where I felt good, felt good about the pitches I made, and there were times I felt a long way from where I need to be. Overall, it’s about what I expected.”
It’s hard to imagine the reigning National League Cy Young winner actually needing to improve, but the fact that Halladay is never satisfied is part of what makes him great.
“I felt like there’s times I was really limited to one or two pitches during the course of a game,” Halladay said. “If I can just find a way to keep things more consistent, where I always feel like I have more than two or three options, obviously that would be ideal.”
Speaking of hard to imagine, it sounds like last year’s 21-game winner could get even better in 2011.
“Last year, I was trying to get to know a lot,” Halladay said. “Not only teammates, but getting to know [pitching coach] Rich [Dubee] and the other way, him getting to know me a little bit. And the same way with Chooch [Carlos Ruiz]. So I feel like we really established that part and I feel like this year Rich is able to help me a lot more because he knows me a lot better, he knows tendencies, and obviously just being comfortable in the clubhouse and knowing what I am doing on a day-to-day basis makes it a lot easier. Last year was fun, exciting, but this year is a little more normal.”
And normal for Halladay will hopefully lead to the fun and excitement of another Phillies World Series title.
In the victory, Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz contributed a two-run double in the second while third baseman Placido had a two-run single in the third.
The Phillies will send Cliff Lee make his own spring debut today in a matchup with the Detroit Tigers at Bright House Networks Field. Game time is 1:05pm. Follow the action in the PSC Gameday Thread here.
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