The Roy Halladay we have all been waiting to see returned last night in an 8-2 win over the Cardinals. It began with his last start against the Marlins and then Friday night, he continued to improve in an impressive 7-inning effort.
The game was called due to rain after the 7th, so this will go in the books as a complete game for Halladay. He allowed only 2 runs, both solo homers.
But the really encouraging part was seeing Halladay get angry. Not the fiery red-faced, frustrated sort of anger; this was his old competitive fire, finally burning once again. He got mad in situations that most would just shrug off; for example, Ben Revere made another amazing catch in center field, but Halladay was visibly annoyed that the batter was able to hit the ball that hard, even though it turned into an out.
Halladay also had no issues trying to intimidate first-year major league umpire, Alan Porter, by staring him down or barking at him when he didn’t get the call he wanted. Porter had blown a fair/foul call the day before that put the Phillies in a hole, so no one was sad to see Roy giving him a hard time.
Seeing Halladay back to his old, grouchy self is a very positive sign. For some pitchers, this might mean the guy is getting frazzled; but for Halladay, being grouchy means he is on his game, ready to compete. When good is not good enough for the Doc, you know he is feeling confident.
Just as exciting as seeing Halladay find his mojo again was seeing the Phillies offense finally get some hits. The Phils busted out for 5 runs in the first inning, which was triggered by Chase Utley drawing a 2-out walk. And thank goodness someone walked, because I was getting beyond tired of hearing every single sports reporter whine about the lack of walks. Now they can all get back to whining about Ryan Howard…
Howard did not play last night due to a sore groin and he is day-to-day. Kevin Frandsen filled in at 1st base and drew the 2nd walk of the game for the Phillies and scored twice. Freddy Galvis started his second consecutive game in left field and made one of the weirdest diving catches you will ever see. His hand actually did a 360-degree turn on the ground, with the ball in the mitt. Of course, I cannot find a video of it anywhere…but it does look like we may have another outfielder. This guy looks like he can play anywhere…amazing.
So the real question tonight is will the Phillies offense come to play two days in a row? Cliff Lee hopes so; he takes the mound at 7:05pm tonight.
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography