Halladay Looks Good Again

The two busses that carried the Phillies from Bright House Field in Clearwater to Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista left at 1:30 p.m. today.

Roy Halladay was not on board. He could not wait for the busses to make the 90-minute trek. He wanted to get to the ballpark earlier, so he drove himself and arrived at 2:15 p.m. instead.

“I just can’t sit at home on days I pitch,” he said during a 7-4 victory over the Braves. “I get fidgety. My wife can’t stand me, so she kicks me out. I try to get here a little earlier just to meander for awhile.”

Halladay, who will spend that time during the season studying a game plan, allowed three hits and struck out five in three scoreless innings against Atlanta. In two Grapefruit League starts, Halladay has allowed five hits and struck out eight in five scoreless innings. Halladay struck out the side in the first inning, including a nice curveball to get Brian McCann to end the inning. He retired the side in order in the third, striking out Nate McLouth and Martin Prado each for the second time.

“I felt like it got better,” Halladay said. “The last inning I felt like the command was better.”

Halladay threw 51 pitches, 33 for strikes. He allowed singles to Chipper Jones and Troy Glaus in the first inning, which left him unsatisfied. Yes, Halladay didn’t think he threw particularly well the first two innings – and he still looked good, catcher Brian Schneider remarked.

Braves manager Bobby Cox marveled at the two front-door cutters that got Prado.

“He can do it with every pitch,” Cox said. “There’s a guy that can throw 96 (mph) if he wants to. But he throws 89-91 and knows right where it’s going.”

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The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!

18 Comments

Halladay looks to be one of those guys that you have to get to early. Once he settles in he dominates. I can’t wait until opening day. He is just going to make the whole rotation better with his work ethic and attitude.

Probably because Halladay was pitching, MLB Network broadcast last night’s game locally. Halladay was his usual stellar self. Saw Werth’s HR aka Geico caveman :-) Nice to also see Francisco, Schneider and other bench players getting a start.

Todd you don’t have to repost you articles here. It’s very fun to see the candid shots of the players with a note.

phan: Your observation about getting to a guy like Halladay early is something I’ve also noticed with a lot of Aces. So many times, a team will have a guy on the ropes in the first inning, fail to score and not get another chance. Once they settle in, it’s over.
I could probably look up numbers for 1st inning vs. the rest of the game, but I’ve seen it too many times to bother.

karen: Halladay might have been a reason for MLB doing the game, but I noticed there weren’t a lot of night games either.
Tonight, they’re showing the Orioles/Pirates at 7, so who knows what their rationale is.
It’s baseball though, and that’s always good.

Hamels vs, Drabek today. Hamels went 3.2 innings and gave up another dinger to Bautista. Drabek went 2 innings, giving up 1 hit. Hamels is having a nice spring so far, throwing strikes with all his pitches with nice velocity.
I don’t know what to think of Mayberry. Another double and RBI today. His swing still looks a little long, but he is consistently making solid contact.

Another good Hamels outing. Mayberry could definitely be a solid contributor off the bench, I think. Hopefully he makes the 25 man

I would guess that either Mayberry makes the squad or they trade him somewhere. If he continues to hit and they can’t find a spot for him, he’s wasting his time in the minors, and there isn’t a lot of room in the Phils’ outfield for him.

phan: I’ll make that call.
Todd: Do you have Scott’s number?

There is the offseason surgery Eyre had that you have to consider. That may be why the Phillies only offered him a minor league deal.

muleman, with Romero not being ready for opening day, the Phillies are a little concerned about the fact that they don’t really have a solid lefty for the bullpen. Bastardo got knocked around a little in a B game, and they don’t have faith that he is the guy. If Mayberry keeps hitting he could be something they could move for a leftrhanded relief pitcher. Even when Romero gets back, they will need another lefty. Charlie likes to play the late inning lefty-righty thing.
Anybody missing Eyre yet? I am. All it takes is a phone call.

I think we’re also going to miss Chan Ho Park. I’ve said here before that I’m not a big fan of Baez, having seen him numerous times with the Orioles.

The bullpen is certainly a focal point. I find it fascinating that a large part of the success of Hamels, Blanton, et al is dependent on a bunch of guys like Bastardo, Contreras and Baez. At least they should get every fifth day off when Halladay is pitching.

I’m OK with Baez and I’ll wait and see on Contreras. Frankly, I don’t think Bastardo is going to make the team. Stark said yesterday that they have a minor league offer on the table for Mahay but he is not biting yet.

Long-time Jays/Doc fan here from Canada. You are exactly right about Halladay. Once he finds his “groove” it is all over. The best time to get to him is 1st or 2nd inning. After that, it is usally lights out. He actually gets stronger as the game goes on. The main thing to note about DOC is that he lets the ball do the work for him. He is primarily a ground-ball pitcher who exploits two devastating cutters to keep hitters from making good contact. Often, he will only have 2-3 strikeouts but will have faced close to the minimum number of batters. Every now and then he will fan 12 or more batters, but those days are rare. He does not try to strike guys out. It is all about making the ball do the work. I am really going to be rooting for him/phillies this year. With some good fortune, he may break 20 wins for you guys. The only thing that I do not understand is how he will react to the no DH rule. Doc likes to go the full nine innings, but he will have fewer opportunites to do that in the NL. Anyway, it may end up keeping him fresher for the playoffs. :-)

P.S. On a different note, i was watching the boring leafs/flyers game when I noticed that you philly fans were chanting USA..USA. Why do you do this when most of your players are Canadian? No offence, it just seems strange.

burt: I’d guess that the “USA” chant was a knock at Canada (via Toronto) over the Olympics and not the players themselves. Personally, I was disappointed in the Canadian women’s curling team, and rooting for them, but I suspect I won’t see curling for another 4 years, so I’ll have time to get over it.

Some of you who think that Mayberry has a legit shot to make the roster are delusional. They guy is marginal at best, plus the bench is obviously set. There is no way that they carry an extra hitter with how thin our bullpen is with injury risk and such. I think Bastardo gets the last spot out of the bullpen over Escalona and Mathieson and the like. He has the best arm out of the bunch and the best makeup as a bullpen arm, but I would give Mathieson some time, I think that eventually he will become a nice piece in the bullpen, maybe if someone goes down. He has a live arm but I think he needs a lil more time to get back to normal.

Some of you who think that Mayberry has a legit shot to make the roster are delusional. They guy is marginal at best, plus the bench is obviously set. There is no way that they carry an extra hitter with how thin our bullpen is with injury risk and such. I think Bastardo gets the last spot out of the bullpen over Escalona and Mathieson and the like. He has the best arm out of the bunch and the best makeup as a bullpen arm, but I would give Mathieson some time, I think that eventually he will become a nice piece in the bullpen, maybe if someone goes down. He has a live arm but I think he needs a lil more time to get back to normal. Also, I’m fine with Baez, he has closing experience and also, as they say…you are not at your best until a full year after you get Tommy John. Baez pitched last year still recovering from Tommy John, so I expect him to be fully healthy this year. I would have loved to have Chopper back with the team this year but he (maybe his agent) decided to play hardball with the Phils and we weren’t gonna sit on our hands and wait for him so we signed the next best thing on the market. It’s his fault (or his agent’s) that he’s not a Phil and I put zero blame on the Phils. They offered him a better deal than the deal he eventually signed with the Stankees.

There’s a better chance that they sign the likes of Mahay or Beimel before Bastardo makes the team, especially if Romero is not ready to start the season.

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