2010 Game Recaps

Red Sox Crush Halladay; Wakefield Stymies Phillies

Roy Halladay must have left his cape at the dry cleaners today – you know the one with the big “R” on it – because it was not his afternoon.  Boston, a familiar foe from his decade in the AL East, roughed up Halladay, making him look rather human in their 8-3 drubbing of the Phillies.

In his 5 2/3 innings, Doc allowed eight hits and six earned runs, while walking two and striking out just one batter. The last time Halladay struck out one batter or fewer in a game where he pitched at least five innings was June 3, 2006 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Yes, they were still Devil Rays.

Many will point to Halladay’s exorbitant pitch count in his last appearance against the Pirates (132 on Tuesday) as the reason for his struggles.  After the game when asked if overuse had anything to do with today’s less-than-stellar outing, Charlie Manuel said, “Not a damn thing.” Roy himself said the 372 pitches over his last three starts was not a reason for the Red Sox beatdown. “I just didn’t make good pitches, that was the bottom line,” said the Phillies ace.  “It’s got nothing to do with anything before today.” What was the factor?  How about a Red Sox team that has owned him throughout his illustrious career.

Kevin Youkilis torched Doc for a triple and his ninth home run of the year.  Torture is the word that comes to mind when looking at the Youkilis/Halladay matchup over the years.  The Red Sox infielder is now 21-for-56 against the former Blue Jay. Old pal J.D. Drew went 2-for-4 today, with both hits coming against the Phils starter. Lifetime, Drew is now 11-for-32 in their head-to-head battles.

So before you point to those 132 pitches against Pittsburgh, realize that pitchers have a bad day once in a while.  And for Roy Halladay, many of those during his career have been brought on by this Boston club.  Even during his Cy Young-winning season of 2003, the Red Sox blasted Halladay in three of his six starts that year.  He allowed five, six, and seven earned in those appearances, (dis)respectively.

Chalk it up as one of those rough performances that will make Doc a better pitcher in the long run. Halladay has said himself that a starter is assured five good performances and five bad performances in a given season; it’s what you do with the other 25 that will determine how good you are.  Over the first two months of 2010, Halladay has had two “bad” starts.  He’s got three left.

On the other side, Tim Wakefield sprinkled some magic dust on his patented knuckleball, deftly manuevering through the Phillies lineup for eight innings. He threw just 102 pitches and was stopped short of his first complete game shutout since July 27, 1997, saying he ran out of gas. The 43-year-old Wakefield carved through a Phillies lineup that less than 24 hours prior had been sapped by the mystery that is Dasiuke Matsuzaka.

The Phillies touched home plate three times in the ninth as Raul Ibanez doubled home Jayson Werth, and Ross Gload added a pinch-hit two-run home run.  Sadly, the crooked-run inning came far too late as Wakefield’s masterful performance was more than enough to give him his first victory of the season.

For the three-game weekend set, the Phillies managed just eight total runs, an injury to their starting shortstop, 19 men left on base, and two ugly losses. During this latest seven-game homestand, the Phils finished 3-4, but their offense produced very little.  The NL Leader in runs scored could only muster 15 runs following a 12-run outburst to begin the week against Pittsburgh. In three of those, they score one run or less.  For such a prolific offense, the bats were abnormally silent.

But as Charlie said in his postgame press conference over and again, “it’s part of the game.”  Indeed it is, however, as the Phils embark on a nine-game road swing to face three divisional opponents, they must wake up before the rest of the East catches up.

Here’s my postgame video with Ryan Lawrence of the Delco Times on the Halladay pitch count and the offense:



  1. Brooks

    May 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    The Phils looked terrible today. Wakefield is a waste – he has nothing at all to offer. His ball was consistently in the mid 60’s and all the Phils could do was pop up time after time after time.. When Dobbs fudged a tailor made double play ball, well that was it. Another 2 runs scored and it should have been 2 unearned runs. Dobbs has lost it, he is nowhere near the player he was 2 years ago. Whether it’s PH or starting, he has absolutely nothing to offer.
    Everyone seemed to hit the ball long and high, nothing solid. I left in the 8th and listened in the parking lot as the Phils finally scored some runs.
    How is it that the Phils Sally up when they play the AL teams??? For the past 3 years, they just look like sissies and it makes no sense whatsoever.
    Very disappointed in Doc’s performance. His fastball (which he threw 95% of the time) was down on velocity and did not have much movement.
    This, I was very sure was a victory. What a waste.

  2. Scott in D.C.

    May 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    The month of June figures to be pretty brutal …

  3. philsgirl

    May 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Interleague does suck for us historically, but especially with the pitchers we faced the last two days, it’s pitiful that we couldn’t score more runs. Considering we got shut out yesterday and Boston tends to do well against Halladay – and Jimmy is out again – why not at least try to get as close to our ideal starting lineup as possible. Someone remind me again why we rested Polanco and Ruiz with tomorrow off. Our runners LOB is such entirely frustrating lack of small ball against a mediocre pitcher. And we gave up at least 3-4 runs with poor defense (Vic, Dobbs, maybe Castro). While we’re at home with no DH nonsense and no Ortiz, the score of today’s game should have been flipped.

    Halladay may be our ace now but he’s not a god and is clearly not a game savior every time he goes to the mound; he’s got to be feeling the pressure of being the hub of the rotation both physically and mentally every time he’s starting. Hopefully a perceived dependency on him won’t take its toll, but for whatever reason, he didn’t look his part today. It would stink if the lack of a solid bullpen – yeah, aside from maybe Durbin and Contreras it’s pretty bad – kills our star starting arm, and it’s still early in the season. We never addressed the bullpen issue, aside from maybe some other mistake(s), and that for sure is gonna bite our buns.

    Today’s game was just very frustrating; I hate having to look over my shoulder at what Atl’s doing rather than just cheer what we’re doing. And it’s embarrassing to lose on national TV like that to Boston (for whom I have an intense dislike anyhow) when we *can* do better.

    Scott, I *hope* this doesn’t portend what we can look forward to in June…

  4. Brooks

    May 23, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Well put Philsgirl. However, I am not sure about Vic’s snag in deep right center was iffy at best. We have come to expect to see that catch made but, he leaped for the ball, it hit his glove and the wall at the same time. He did speed after the ball (not Ramirez-like) but it was a triple after all.
    So, I don’t know if putting some of that angst on Vic’s defense is warranted. Offense is another story… he, like every other Phil just let this mediocre pitcher handle them easily –

  5. Brooks

    May 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    BTW – I too don’t understand why Dobbs and Hoover were in the starting lineup with a day off tomorrow. If Cholly was really concerned about resting starters, why not put Benny in left?
    What a frustrating performance.

  6. Neal

    May 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Hamels has had a great May, Moyer has been remarkably effective, Blanton is Blanton. Kendrick is inconsistent. The bullpen is a bit of a problem. The loss of Madson was unfortunate and inexcusable. This team will get hot and roll to the division title by a bigger margin than the last three years. They’ll finish 8-10 games ahead of the Braves. One man’s opinion.

  7. Andrew from Waldorf

    May 23, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    It will be OK
    Roys innings have to be cut back and his pitches. We are playing for sept. That game with the 135 pitches that the phils lost 2-1 cost them today.
    The old man and Roy need hold back a little and wiat till it really counts in sept and oct.

  8. Neal

    May 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I will agree on the point made about Dobbs. His glovework, or lack thereof, is why he will never be an everyday player. Pinch hitting is a tough art. Those who succeed at it season after season generally have a better idea of the strike zone than Dobbs. He rarely walks or works the count and He is baffled by anything offspeed.

  9. George

    May 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    Loads of negativity here today.

    Anyone here ever try to hit a knuckleball? They may only move at 60, but they also move up, down, sideways, and diagonally, and very unpredictably. Also, if Wakefield is so “mediocre” why has he won consistently for Boston? He’s only 16 wins behind Cy Young and Roger Clemens for the all-time Boston win total. While maybe he’s not Niekro, he’s still no slouch.

    As for Matsuzaka, he’s wild, but he also tends to win. He was huge in Japan, and has had good games here, too.

    And how much “small ball” can you play when there’s nobody on?

    And the bullpen issue WAS addressed, even if so far it hasn’t worked entirely to some so-called fans’ satisfaction.

    As far as “why would Manuel rest Polanco and Ruiz when there’s a day off tomorrow: sometimes a REAL rest requires two days off. And with Halladay going, did anyone really expect the Phils to need all kinds of offense?

  10. teejvee

    May 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    George, everybody else seems to be able hit it. That’s why he isn’t even in their rotation.

    The more disturbing trends.

    They just can’t compete vs American League East teams. They just got played all over by the 4th place team using guys with ERA’s in Eatonville.

    The Phillies never seem to hit when Halladay pitches and he hasn’t been matched up against #1’s. And he does get hit around a lot.

    Howard has a high average but has been almost a non-factor in the cleanup spot.

    Ibanez looks finished. Nothing I’ve seen this year makes me think the second half of last year wasn’t a fluke.

    Dobbs looks finished.Period.

  11. Tony

    May 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I was at the game today and was more disappointed in the Phillies offense and Dobbs play than Hallday’s pitching. Dice-K prior to yesterday had an era above 7 and Wakefield coming in today was above 5. Obviously someone is hitting these guys. Wakefield’s best outing this year was 7 innings two runs against the lowly Royals. But the Phillies scored Zero(0) runs in 16 innings against these two.

    I have seen Jamie Moyer have some success against teams because he throws 3 different pitches at speeds that vary 65-82mph and works the edges. But a guy that only throws one pitch whose speed only varies from 65-68 should be torched, I don’t care where it moves. And by the way the movement was not that erratic, He didn’t throw a ton of wild pitches. From what I saw there was plenty of contact by the Phillies hitters today so it was not like they didn’t see what was coming. Lastly the very least you could do to a righthander pitcher that throws in the 60s is steal bases, I didn’t see that either.

  12. Choo Choo Coleman

    May 23, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    The Philles will have to face another magic dust veteran knuckler when they go against the Mets R. A. Dickey on Tuesday. How do you prepare to hit against a knuckleball pitcher?

    The magic is gone for Ibanez. he is currently and probably will remain for the balance of the year a dignified embarrasment and a glaring weak spot in the Phillies attack.

    As of this writing, the Mets are kicking the Yankees and C C Sabathia’s ass. Jason Bay has suprisingly hit 2 dingers.

  13. Brian

    May 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Halladay’s latest outings have been disappointing but this is baseball. As long as he does not do any chair kicking and break his big toe after losses like this and end up on th DL like Madson, the Phils should still be a contender. Still have to admit I miss Cliff Lee and wish he was not part of the trade deal to get Halladay. Though through this trade they got some prospects, one of which should be called up to the struggling bullpen is Aumont. Or let Aumont take Kendrick’s spot.

  14. Brooks

    May 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Tony makes the points; everyone else is hitting these characters and also, after seeing that crap Wakefield throws up there once, even twice, how does it not sink in what to change in your swing to catch up to this dirt? Everyone else has.
    When Howard was at bat, the shift was on and Utley on third base. Why didn’t he almost steal home? The third baseman was playing near SS – or course it didn’t help that Ryan struck the * out – all it would have taken was one of those stupid lazy fly balls or one of his patented hard shots to deep second base (everyone was hitting the ball directly at the fielders) but Chase could have been up the catchers butt before that 65 mph knuckle ball hit the catchers glove.

  15. shag beta sigma delta

    May 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Most of you are missing one big point in all of this, when Wakefield, and Dice-K are on Wake’s ball is actually ;knuckling, and Dice is throwing like he did yesterday, I’ll call it smartly wild, they are both tough pitchers, Wake is out of the rotation because he knuckle ball has been inconsistent and not moving. Today he was throwing it for strikes at times which makes it tough. I am not saying he should shut the phillies out, I am saying there are times when these guys are on they are real good. You really have to take this weekend’s game with a grain of salt. The Phillies have stunk it up in interleague play the last 4 years, and made it to the WS in two of them. This offense is streakie and always will be.
    It is tough losing JRoll again, they did great before without him, but there is a reason he plays in front of these guys. I’m not sure about Polonco resting, but I like Chooch getting a couple of days off, he is still nursing a bad knee. It is not the end of the world, come back and win the next series and you all will be back on the band wagon

  16. shag beta sigma delta

    May 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I do want to say one more thing, how do you not steal second everytime you are on first base against Wakefield, that was really the one dissapointment, other than the lose, about todays game.
    He has no move, it takes 5 seconds for his ball to get to the catcher, and 1/2 the time it is in the dirt or way outside knuckleing down, how is every walk and base hit not automaticly a man on second.

  17. mg52

    May 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    It was an odd decision to put Dobbs in there for another reason: his swing. It’s always been long and elaborate – not the kind that usually matches well with the junk that the likes of Wakefield throw. I could be wrong about that, but short swings might have made the difference against Wakefield, and Dobbs was unable to provide them.
    We should never panic too much. At least they only finished one under five hundred this home stand. But to those who say that this team is a September team or who are okay with the streakiness – there is always reason to want to see improvement. The Phils did NOT dominate last September. To their credit, they powered their way through the playoffs without having been hot going in. But the lack of clutch hitting caught up to them several times in the Classic. The point: there’s never any telling that any team will always be hot in September or will snap out of a losing streak the same way every year or are a power hitting team and always have been. That’s why they play multiple seasons – so that the outcome changes every year. We love these players because they care more about winning than anyone we’ve ever seen. Because they care so much, they’ll do anything to win, and it’s perfectly reasonable for us to hope that some small ball can be the way to do it against guys like Wakefield.
    Every game counts, every player matters. And that’s why we love this team and hope to see them do more up at Citi.

  18. mg52

    May 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I should correct myself: no one on this site is okay with the streakiness. Alls I want to do is say that this is a good club and we’re all good Phans, and we have the right to expect the best.

  19. therookie300

    May 23, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    What was wrong with Halladay’s earlier outing this week? The offense failed to show for him, that’s all.

  20. Nunzio Scholeri

    May 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Frustrating game, but I try to keep in mind that even with this disaster Roy only managed to RAISE his ERA to 2.22. When 2.22 is a big jump up, you are talking about a pretty good pitcher. The bats looked terrible today, though. And, as has been pointed out, why the frak weren’t they running?

    For that matter, why have the Phillies not been running all year? Has Davy Lopes lost his stopwatch or something? The Phillies have been so good with their running game, and this year it’s been nonexistent. Why?

  21. MikeB.

    May 24, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Manuel apparently was counting on Halladay to not give up that many runs to Boston therefore affording Polanco and Ruiz the day off from this game. I could not see Polanco getting the day off being that he is an experienced contact hitter who has faced Wakefield in the AL over the years and has a better batting stroke than Dobbs who has that long, free swinging stroke. Someone posted earlier in this thread that Polanco has a poor batting history against Wakefield but still, has the swing more conducive to being able to hit the flutter-balls that pitchers like Wakefield throw. Anyways, mute point now I suppose in regards to Polanco since nobody else did much against Wakefield at the plate. Polanco had day off on Monday.

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  23. Dave

    May 24, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I hate to say it, but after watching Halladay in his 10 starts, I’m not that impressed. Now don’t get me wrong…he’s a really good pitcher, but he’s not worth the $20 million we’ll be paying him. In a big game, I’d still rather have Carlton, Schilling or Lee. Hitters make too much contact against Halladay.

  24. George

    May 24, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Maybe if the Phils had stolen a few bases, the next batters wouldn’t have made outs. It still takes a hit to score a man from second, in case people have forgotten.

    Wakefield pitched well, Halladay didn’t. Get over it.

  25. Pat Gallen

    May 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Dave, can you tell us why Roy Halladay isn’t worth the money in your mind? Why aren’t you impressed by 4 complete games and 2 shutouts in less than 2 months? Do you see anyone else in baseball even close to that?

  26. NickFromGermantown

    May 24, 2010 at 9:00 am

    “Halladay may be our ace now but he’s not a god and is clearly not a game savior every time he goes to the mound; he’s got to be feeling the pressure of being the hub of the rotation both physically and mentally every time he’s starting. Hopefully a perceived dependency on him won’t take its toll, but for whatever reason, he didn’t look his part today.”

    Come on now. What do you think he felt in Toronto? While the pressure up there may not be as great, pitchers usually don’t perform 100% all the time. Just look at Cliff Lee last year. After he came in and put up some incredible wins after the trade, he slumped. Then he came back in the postseason and blew everyone away. Sometimes it just works like that.

  27. Dave

    May 24, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Hey Pat,

    Being that Roy is not a true strikeout pitcher and pitches more to contact, he relies on solid defense (which in all fairness to him he’s hasn’t gotten), but he also relies on balls not finding holes and gaps in the defense. A strikeout pitcher leaves less of a chance of balls falling in or defensive miscues because the percentages of balls in play are fewer. Let’s not forget that half of those complete games came against Houston and Pittsburgh and 1 of the shutouts came against an anemic Braves offense. Am I nitpicking? Maybe. I know yesterday was a terrible outing and even the best pitchers have a dud now and then. I hope that as the season plays out that he proves me wrong. Maybe after all the hype and comments by writers and Blue Jay fans on how unbelievable he is, I set my expectations a little too high. Maybe I’m just down after yesterdays game. Maybe it’s a combination…who knows.

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  29. The Original Chuck P

    May 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    The REALLY good: Cole Hamels

    We came into this season recognizing that a 1,2 punch of Roy Halladay and WS MVP Cole Hamels matched up with anyone… the question was which Cole Hamels were we gonna get? Well, Cole is piecing together a pretty nice season… 7 innings, 8 SO, 3 H and 1 BB against the Red Sox tells me that big game Cole is back.

    The Not-So-Good: defense

    Just doesn’t look crisp right now. Not having Jimmy out there hurts… Hoover is a solid defensive catcher but it just seems like the infielders aren’t on the same page. Boston had a much better defensive series than we did.

    The Ugly: Injuries and offensive woes

    Can we get guys back and keep them back? If Lidge rushes back and can’t stay on the roster for more than a week, I will be the first to call for someone’s head on that training staff. Whoever is signing these guys off as having a clean bill of health needs to be held accountable… we need Happ and Lidge and J-Roll but we don’t need them back for a week and then gone again. The offense has struggled but mini-slumps happen from time to time. We have gone 3-4 over the past 7 games… it’s not the end of the world. Doc will be fine and it’s not even worth mentioning (however, I do believe he deserved the Jeltz… he’s shouldn’t be exempt from criticism and he pitched a dud). He’s not superhuman but he has been terrific and will continue to be our ace.

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  31. Lamont

    June 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Sick and tired of the waiting. Wish Texas would just make their desicion public and get this all over with.

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