Let’s play one. Please.
Roy Halladay gave the Phils his third good start in three tries for the season last night, throwing a complete game as the Phils topped the Nats 3-2 to even the series at a game apiece.
The game was memorable for just how long Halladay pitched. He started the bottom of the ninth up 3-0 and we’ll probably never know how long Manuel would have let him go. We do know the answer was a long, long time. We know he didn’t pull him when the first two Nationals batters of the ninth got hits, bringing the tying run to the plate. Not when the Nats scored. Not on the third hit of the inning or the fourth. Not when Washington put the tying run on second or brought the winning run to the plate with just one out. Not when Halladay’s pitch count topped 120.
So it went on and on and got a little nutty. Ended well, though, cause whether you think Manuel made the right decision or not, Halladay added his own exclamation point, striking out the last two batters he faced on six pitches to finish things off.
The Phils are 8-3 on the year after beating the Washington Nationals 3-2 last night.
Halladay got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. Four of the hits he allowed came in the bottom of the ninth inning. He struck out nine and has a 1.23 ERA after three starts. He threw 123 pitches in the game. In 2010, Halladay threw 120 or more pitches in a start twice, throwing 121 on May 12 and 132 in his next start, which came on May 18. On the May 12 game he went just 6 1/3 innings. He’s averaged 112 pitches per start through his first three of 2011.
He got Ian Desmond on a ground ball to third for the first out of the first. Rick Ankiel was next and he flew to center. Jayson Werth struck out looking to end the inning.
Adam LaRoche was the first batter in the bottom of the second and he singled into right. Laynce Nix followed with a ground ball to first. Howard went to Halladay covering and Nix took second with one down. Danny Espinosa bunted Nix to third with the second out and Halladay struck out Jerry Hairston to leave Nix stranded.
Halladay struck Ivan Rodriguez out for the first out in the third. Pitcher John Lannan grounded to short for the second, but Halladay walked Desmond and Desmond stole second before Ankiel walked as well. Werth grounded to first to leave both men stranded.
Halladay had a 1-0 lead when LaRoche started the fourth with another single. Nix fouled out to Ruiz and Espinosa hit into a double-play to turn Washington away.
Up 3-0, Halladay threw a 1-2-3 fifth.
He needed nine pitches to throw a 1-2-3 sixth.
LaRoche popped to first to start the seventh. Halladay got ahead of Nix 0-2, but hit him in the foot with a pitch. Espinosa popped a ball up in foul territory between third base and home plate and Halladay made a nice running play to get the second out. Hairston struck out swinging.
Washington went in order again in the eighth. Alex Cora hit for the pitcher Doug Slaten and grounded to short for the second out.
Halladay had thrown 101 pitches through eight innings and started the ninth with the Phils still up by three runs. Ankiel led off and doubled into the gap in right-center. Werth was next and singled to left, moving Ankiel to third. Halladay struck LaRoche out swinging 3-2 for the first out, but Nix lined a single into right that scored Ankiel and moved Werth to third. 3-1. Espinosa was next and he hit a ball in the hole between third and short. Rollins made a diving play to field the ball, but didn’t have a play anywhere. Espinosa had an infield single, Werth scored and it was 3-2 with one out and men on first and second. Manuel left Halladay in to pitch to the lefty Stairs and Halladay struck him out on three pitches. Halladay struck Rodriguez out looking at an 0-2 pitch that was pretty, but outside, to end the game.
Glad it worked out, but that was crazy. For the record, I was hoping they would take him out after Ankiel and Werth both reached on hits to get things started.
The Phillies lineup against lefty John Lannan went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Rollins (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez.
Victorino started the game with a double to left. Polanco was next and reached on an infield single with Victorino holding second. Rollins hit a ball to third and the Nats turned the double-play. Howard struck out to leave Victorino stranded at third.
The Phils went in order in the second.
Valdez led off the third and reached on an infield single. Halladay bunted him to second and Victorino followed that with a walk. It put men on first and second with one out for Polanco, but Polanco hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.
Rollins started the fourth and hit a ball to short that Desmond didn’t handle for an error. Howard was next and grounded out to third, but Desmond ran into Rollins as Rollins took second and Rollins was given third on defensive interference. With one out and Rollins on third, Francisco hit a 3-0 pitch hard to short. Rollins was running on contact and scored as the play went to first for the second out, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ibanez flew to center for the third out.
Washington has been terrible defensively in the series.
Ruiz started the fifth with a single and Valdez walked behind him. Halladay bunted and the pitcher Lannan threw to third to force Ruiz for the first out. Victorino flew to right for the second out, deep enough for Valdez to take third. With men on first and third and two down, Polanco singled into center, scoring Valdez to make it 2-0 with men on first and second. Rollins was next and he singled with a soft liner into right, loading the bases. Howard was hit by a pitch, forcing Halladay home. 3-0. Francisco flew to center for the third out.
Lannan’s pitch hit Howard on the right wrist. He stayed in the game and X-rays after the game were negative. It’s not clear if he can play today or not. Lannan broke Chase Utley’s right hand in his major league debut, which came on July 26, 2007. He was ejected from that game when he hit the next batter (Howard) after breaking Utley’s hand.
Ruiz walked with one out in the sixth, but Valdez hit into a double-play behind him.
Valdez hits into a lot of double-plays. He’s on pace to hit into 44 this year, which might not even happen.
Polanco walked with two outs in the seventh. Rollins flew to center for the third out.
The Phillies went in order in the eighth.
They went in order in the ninth, too. With two outs and nobody on, Halladay hit for himself and popped to first. He had thrown 101 pitches in the game.
Victorino went 1-for-3 in the game with a double and a walk. The double was the only extra-base hit for the Phils.
Polanco 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
Rollins 1-for-4. Top three in the order go 4-for-10 with a pair of walks.
Howard 0-for-3 with an RBI and a strikeout. He has struck out just three times in his last 31 plate appearances and doesn’t have more than one strikeout in a game in any of the last seven.
Francisco 0-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 2-for-his-last-15. 200/294/333 since the end of the opening series of the year against the Astros.
Ibanez 0-for-4 and struck out three times. So much for his early season splits against lefties and his monster numbers against Lannan.
Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.
Valdez 1-for-3 with another walk. Two on the year.
Ex-Phil Jayson Werth was 1-for-4 in the game and struck out twice. 3-for-7 with a double, a home run and a walk in the series so far.
Cliff Lee (1-1, 7.84) faces righty Jordan Zimmerman (1-1, 3.18) tonight in game three of the series. Lee has made two starts on the year, pitching pretty well against the Astros in the second game of the year but getting hit hard by the Braves in his last start. Zimmerman has allowed two earned runs in each of his two outings. He went six innings against the Braves in his first start of the year and 5 1/3 against the Mets in his most recent.
Rich Dubee sounds less convinced than Blanton that Blanton’s troubles are all about pitching out of the stretch.