When you see a man as tough and stubborn as Roy Halladay leave a game early due to heat exhaustion, you can be sure that the situation was serious. Mid-batter in the 5th inning, Phillies staff rushed to the mound as Halladay appeared dizzy.
A very rough 3rd inning where Halladay was forced to throw 31 pitches apparently did him in. After allowing a hit to the pitcher, Halladay had the second batter struck out, but the umpire missed the call and issued a walk. That was the beginning of the end of Halladay’s day.
The Cubs pitcher, Rodrigo Lopez, did not run into the same trouble as Phillies batters seemed content swinging early in the count and getting themselves out. With only five hits in the game and the only run coming off a Jimmy Rollins homer, the Phils offense did Halladay no favors.
Even with two Cubs errors, the Phillies could not take advantage. And hitting against Lopez, their former teammate , one might think the Phils had a slight advantage. But as we have witnessed too many times this year, the offense is severely underachieving. And tonight, it cost them.
The real shame is that this team could not rally for Halladay, who was obviously very ill. Halladay had not left a game before six innings since June of 2009. The 63 road-game streak was the longest since Walter Johnson had 82 straight road starts of six innings or more from 1911-1915.
There was more bad news today as Placido Polanco revealed that his back is not getting any better. He finally opted to have a cortisone injection, which will surely keep him on the DL for a lot longer than expected.
The team should get Shane Victorino back tomorrow, which should help, except that he will send John Mayberry Jr. either back to the bench or the minors. Mayberry has been one of the team’s hottest hitters recently; he had two of the Phillies five hits tonight, including a double.
Game two with the Cubs is Tuesday night at 8:05pm; Cliff Lee will pitch.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography