Doc Solid In Historic Win
- Updated: April 15, 2013
The roof was closed at Marlins Park today and the air conditioning was cranking. Roy Halladay could not have asked for better conditions for his third start of the season, as he looked to find some consistency.
Doc came into today sitting on 199 career wins, one short of a milestone.
He was the Roy Halladay we’ve been accustomed to today, keeping his pitch count down and working fast. Doc threw eight strong innings, allowing only one earned run on five hits.
The Phillies offense struggled throughout the series to score runs. Their struggles coming against a not so good Marlins club who came into today with a record of 2-9.
The Phillies would score just two runs on the day, the first coming in the sixth inning. Ryan Howard led off the inning with a double, and third baseman Michael Young followed with a single to score Howard from second. Two batters later right fielder John Mayberry, Jr. walked to put runners on first and second.
Marlins’ skipper Mike Redmond would pull starter Kevin Slowey from the game in favor of former Phillie Chad Qualls. Qualls would face catcher Humberto Quintero, and he grounded into an inning ending double play on the first pitch he saw.
It was one of three double plays that the Phillies hit into. In the second inning the Marlins got them on a strike out, throw out double play. Five double plays total for the Marlins defensively on this day.
The Phillies went just 1-7 with runners in scoring position on the day, and left a total of nine men on base. They had many chances today, and really all season to blow some games open and have failed to do so.
Too many men left on base and a lot of added pressure on the pitching staff.
Qualls would retire the Phillies in order in the eighth to make every Phillie fan cringe.
Qualls was 1-1 in 35 games for the Phillies last season with an ERA of 4.60. He allowed 18 runs in just 31.1 innings pitched.
The only trouble Halladay would face came in the seventh inning. He had retired 10 consecutive Marlins up to that point. He allowed a 1 out single to Justin Ruggiano, and then walked catcher Rob Brantley. 2nd baseman Chris Valaika then singled to left field and Ruggiano scored from second.
With the game still tied at one, Doc came back out for the eighth inning and retired the Marlins in order to finish a great start.
Temperature control notwithstanding, Doc looked much more comfortable today and more efficient. He had more movement on his pitches and did not miss spots as badly as he had in his last two outings. His velocity topped out between 88 and 89 miles per hour.
He was able to find a groove in the middle innings, working some quick frames including a six pitch sixth inning. He did not labor at all, a much needed breath of fresh air for both he and the team.
The Fightins would take the lead for good in the top of the ninth, where with one out, Laynce Nix would pinch hit for Halladay. He launched a prodigious home run to right field that landed in the upper deck, and gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead. It also put Doc in position to earn his 200th career win and first of 2013.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon came on in the ninth, and after a leadoff walk, retired the next three men to earn the save and preserve the win for Halladay.
The Phillies won their second straight series, taking two out of three from Miami. Cumbersome as it was, the win put the Phillies 1.5 games behind the Nationals for second place in the division behind the Atlanta Braves who have lost only once all season. That loss came at the hands of the Phillies.
The team travels to Cincinnati tonight to take on the Reds tomorrow from Great American Ballpark.
Cliff Lee, 2-0 on the year gets the start against Bronson Arroyo for the Reds.
Stats Courtesy of Phillies.com & Baseball-reference.com
Photo Courtesy of Philly.com