Three innings? No problem. Three more? Sure, why not.
Roy Halladay only had to go three innings to show himself and everyone else that he is ready for Opening Day. This Spring, Halladay has gone off. I absolutely hate the phrase ‘mid-season form’ and I don’t even think it’s fair to describe the way Halladay is pitching that way. He is just ready.
Doc’s ERA is about as low as my varsity batting average was high. After not allowing a run in three innings today, his ERA will top out at 0.42 for the Spring. In 21.2 innings pitched, the 2010 Cy Young winner allowed only one earned run. Batters were hitting only .182 off him this Spring. His whip was below one and he averaged almost a strikeout per inning. He is ready. And he knows it too.
“I feel good. I feel ready,” Halladay said after the game. “I’m happy with where every thing is right now and I’m anxious to get going.”
Halladay will have the chance to get it going in just five days throwing the home and season opener for the Phillies April 1st.
The Braves did manage to get a run around on reliever Michael Schwimer. He allowed the lone run in two innings of work and struck out two. Brian Rosenburg threw two scoreless innings and Jose Contreras pitched a perfect eighth inning for the hold. Jordan Ellis allowed a hit and walked two batters but did strike out two and battled through a scoreless ninth to close it out. Phillies pitchers allowed only five hits all game and struck out seven guys in the seemingly easy 6-1 victory.
Raul Ibanez hit his fourth homer of the Spring off Braves’ starter Kenshin Kawakami in the third inning. Kawakami pitched one more inning and was then dropped from Atlanta’s roster and sent to the minors. Ryan Howard had two hits, including his fifth homer. Howard is hitting .292 in the Grapefruit League. Shane Victorino and Ben Francisco, or Benny Fresh as Jay called him, also had two hits today.