We’re running out of adjectives to describe what Roy Halladay is bringing to the mound every fifth day. There’s no sense in showering him with the normal “amazing” and “ridiculous” and “awesome”, because we all now know exactly what he is. He is, in every sense of the word, a game-changer.
Tonight’s 2-0 victory quelled moans set in motion by the flailing bullpen. It also broke a three-game losing streak, although the starting pitching the last few games has been fantastic. In Tuesday’s loss, Ryan Madson and Jose Contreras were scorched in the late-innings, but when Roy Halladay steps on the mound, there’s a good chance he’ll be the closer that night. And for the second time in four starts, he was.
Doc got all the offense he needed in the 2nd inning when Raul Ibanez hit a ground-rule double to score Jayson Werth, who had doubled to begin the inning. Another tally would be added in the sixth, courtesy of Werth’s second double of the night. Two runs is plenty when you have a horse on the mound.
Defensively, the Phillies were on their A-game in Atlanta tonight, backing their ace. In the sixth inning, Chase Utley made yet another Utley-esque diving stab with the bases loaded and one out to save the inning, the shutout, the bullpen, and countless people in Philadelphia (and elsewhere) from freaking out. The play was that amazing. Ryan Howard made a few outstanding plays as well, even doing a split at first base to save a base runner from reaching. Perhaps the best of all was Shane Victorino’s home-run-stealing leap in centerfield, robbing a round-tripper off the bat of Troy Glaus.
Lost in all the Halladay Hoopla was that Placido Polanco took a pitch off his elbow and left the game in the 6th inning. Early reports are that he should be fine, it’s just bruised and sore. We’ll update his injury in the morning. Victorino also struggled at the plate once again, going 0-for-5, dropping his average to .210. Other than that, not much to complain about on a wonderful Halladay evening.