In Doc’s Return, Phils Down Dodgers – Phillies Nation
2012 Game Recaps

In Doc’s Return, Phils Down Dodgers

The Phillies celebrated Roy Halladay’s return with a pitching-dominated 3-2 win over the Dodgers, befitting of the ace of aces.

Roy Halladay was back on the mound (AP)


– 42 days. 42 long days. While he was out, the Phillies went 15-27–the second worst winning percentage in baseball during that span. It was a long, dark road. But Roy Halladay finally returned to his rightful place on the mound tonight, and his results were positive.

– Halladay went five innings, striking out six and walking none. He ran into some trouble in the second, when four straight hits to start the inning led to a 2-1 Dodgers lead, and a jam with two on and nobody out.  But Halladay caught a break when Utley caught a bloop pop up and turned it into a double play. Suddenly there was just a runner on second and two outs. He struck out the next hitter to escape with no further damage.

– Halladay’s velocity on his fastball hovered around 90-91 MPH the entire outing, and he had excellent movement on his pitches. He ran a few deep counts, but, for the most part, he looked very solid. On an 80-pitch pitch count, Doc was only able to go five innings. Under normal circumstances, he probably could’ve gone another inning or two before being lifted. He gave the team an opportunity to win the game, and that’s all you could ask of him.


– The Phillies have a habit of making young pitchers with little experience look like Sandy Koufax. Tonight, they upheld that reputation. Stephen Fife, a 25-year old making his big league debut for the Dodgers, stymied the Phils’ bats for six innings. They’d muster just four hits and generally didn’t hit very many balls hard. Their lone run against the pre-rookie came in the first inning, but it was smooth sailing for him after that.


– The Dodgers bullpen would hold the Phillies hitless in the seventh inning, but a golden opportunity presented itself in the eighth when Ronald Belisario loaded the bases with a walk and two HBPs. Trailing 2-1 and with two outs, Hunter Pence strolled to the plate in what could very well have been the Phillies last chance to score some runs. He would not waste it. His single up the middle, which was the Phillies’ only hit in the final three innings, plated two runs. It was a fantastic job by Pence to stay within himself, and drive the ball back up the middle. He came through with a huge, game-winning hit.


– The bright spot of this game for the Phils was undeniably the pitching. Though the offense did enough to win, the pitching staff put forth a fantastic collective effort, worthy of a victory. With Roy Halladay unable to make it beyond the fifth inning, it was up to the Phillies bullpen to finish out the final four frames. A combination of Michael SchwimerJeremy HorstKyle Kendrick, Antonio Bastardo and Jonathan Papelbon worked together to hold the Dodgers scoreless.

– Manuel worked matchups through the final four innings, but his most intriguing move was allowing Kendrick to start the eighth inning. The eighth has notoriously been a trouble inning for the Phils this season, and management is clearly looking for someone to fill the role. Kendrick would get two outs before surrendering a hit and prompting Manuel to bring in Bastardo to face Andre Ethier. Bastardo struck him out, and Manuel reaped the benefits of playing matchups.

– Papelbon slammed the door in the ninth.

– Confession: I wrote that last sentence before the bottom of the ninth even started. Like so many times before during this season, Pap didn’t make me regret it. You have to love that kind of dependability.


– Tomorrow’s sweep opportunity will pit two left-handed aces against one another as Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw take the mound.

– The Phillies are now 1-38 when trailing after seven innings. It took 39 tries, but they finally got a comeback after the seventh inning.

– The Phillies have now won four games and two series in a row after losing their first game after the All Star break.

Click to comment


  1. Lefty

    July 18, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Hot Damn, now we’re having fun!

  2. Jaron B

    July 18, 2012 at 2:10 am

    I liked the confession. Great job all around, but yes, the offense needs to stop giving opposing rookie pitchers confidence and start hitting them around.

  3. Devin

    July 18, 2012 at 3:18 am

    Rookie pitchers tend to confound a lot of teams though.

    • George

      July 18, 2012 at 8:07 am

      Very true. Even some of the Phils’ rookie pitchers have done well: Kendrick in 2007, Happ in his first season. A lot of it is batters not being familiar with a pitcher’s repertoire, motion, and pitch selection tendencies. Some of those rookies come back down to earth the following season. Some of them even come back down the same season, when they’re forced to face the same team twice.

  4. Brooks

    July 18, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I think my last post (from Gameday) was important enough to me to repost here, this was in response to respected poster Chuck A who basically said “it’s over” –

    I certainly don’t disagree with you Chuck. But this was true grit Phillies baseball like we’ve been seeing since 2003. Who cares that the Dodgers virtually gifted that 8th inning to us with a walk and 2 hit batters – and that Pence hit the ball off his ankles (unreal) that somehow squirted through the middle – it was a come from behind win!

    Sit back for a second, Utley, Howard, Vic and Ruiz -and Pitiful Poly – I’ll say it, the “heart” of our lineup went 1 for 11 and the team only had 5 hits in all. The likes of Schwimmer, Horst (!?), Kendrick, Bastardo and Paps came in and shut the Dodgers down in the last 4 innings. It was gutsy, it was good watch, it was Doc doing his best Doc imitation and they won.

    Chuck, I’ll take good baseball for the remainder of the season, not this horsebleep we have been swallowing for the past month and a half and I will be satisfied enough to purchase another round of tickets for next year – playoffs or not (but if they play like this, they will be in the post season – just sayin’)

    • schmenkman

      July 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Brooks, just wondering if you would agree with this:

      If 1) Pence hits the ball hard and it bounces through the middle, then the Phils showed true true grit and played good baseball.

      If 2) Pence hits the ball equally hard but the shortstop reaches it and throws him out, then there is no grit, they’ve given up yet again, Pence has choked with RISP, and it’s another stupid loss.

      Not asking if you think that’s the proper way to view it, just wondering if that’s the way many fans (maybe even you) would view it.

      • George

        July 18, 2012 at 7:56 am

        The same question could be asked about Manuel’s bullpen management. Had Schwimer been inefficient, or Horst not done his job, or if Bastardo walked that one batter instead of striking him out, would fans be critical of Charlie and claim he used inexperienced guys in pressure situations, or that he should have had Papelbon go for a 4 out save?

        To some fans, it appears that when your players actually do their jobs, all’s fine. When they don’t, you’re an old fashioned, completely stubborn moron.

      • brooks

        July 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm

        It is a game of inches and luck is the driving factor. Is there anything that really determines luck?
        A lot of people believe that if your outlook is negative, that is the kind of luck you’ll have. Perhaps this “lucky” bounce will in fact alter the perspective of a few of the Phils key players who just could be pressing hard to change their “luck”.

  5. Chuck A.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Yeah…it’s a game of inches, a game of luck sometimes. Pence’s hit was sort of just that. And with those relievers, an inch (or less maybe) here or there with where their pitches end up and it’s an entirely different outcome.

    I think we need to give props to the team for a nice win and a nice little streak right now. They are playing well on some…not all…levels. It’s enjoyable to watch. But it’s also important to not get too excited. I’m all for playing each game like it’s the last game and taking it one at a time and seeing where it goes. But the chances of making the playoffs are still very slim and I would shocked if they made it.

  6. Manny

    July 18, 2012 at 8:32 am

    That’s 4 in a row!! This definitely feels like another team… Even when they were down it was fun to watch them (recall the play at home in which Howard was actually safe but called out). Kudos to Charlie for playing matchups (that was huge) and to Pence for his huge hit.


  7. Ian Riccaboni

    July 18, 2012 at 8:35 am

    @George – Really liked the BP management last night. Manuel used his surplus of lefties to his advantage and got Horst and Bastardo in there. It feels like he hasn’t played match-ups like that in a while. I do agree though that if a gust of wind takes a Schwimer or Horst ball out, everyone would have been flipping out about having rookies in there. Me? I loved it.

  8. schmenkman

    July 18, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I had to chuckle when the LA times’ story this morning started like this:

    “This is turning ugly.

    The Dodgers still can’t hit. And now, their bullpen looks vulnerable.”,0,3411160.story

  9. RatBastardNJ

    July 18, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Finally great games and I am asleep just as it gets exciting. Winning games is wonderful but how about doing it when we are back to 7PM EST. Just can’t make it after midnight and wake up early for the job. Today’s game is early so I hope they don’t revert to their old selves again Kershaw.

    Also, I am a central NJ fan here so I have to catch my games on MLB TV. Only get the home team feed so listened to Vin Scully for the past two evenings. Maybe I just don’t get it, but I find him annoying as all heck. He just doesn’t shut up at all and gives story after story. I am not a huge fan of our announcers but sometimes I like it when the announcers take a breath and let the game speak for itself.

    • SavannahPhilliesPhan

      July 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

      I AGREE!!! Vin Scully was monotone and boring!!! My secret RatBastard is to turn the sound off on the live version of MLB and Play the gameday version on another browser and use the audio from that to follow the game. Much better. Although I don’t know all the announcers in Philly there is a guy (older) who never stops laughing. Annoying!!! But still better than Scully. Is he for real with that yellow hair and fake tan??? Is that make up on his face??? I know people are vain but omg this guy needs a reality check.

  10. SavannahPhilliesPhan

    July 18, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Another comment…..why can’t fans just enjoy the fact that we are winning and trying. Trying is the optimum word here, instead of the constant malaise of the last 6 weeks or so. To me the fact that they came back in the 8th inning and finally got some additional runs, no matter how we got on base is huge. Remember alot of this is a state of mind and their mindset is turning from losing to winning….that’s a good thing!! And other teams took advantage of our problems and lack of good players to boost sweeping us or winning. Especially with a crappy inefficient bullpen we had, inefficient hitters and our main players on the DL, they were ecstatic to win over the Phillies… was a joke! It turns out that one of their bull pen pitchers had a bad day, why shouldn’t we capitalize on that and enjoy the win. Go Phillies!!!

    • schmenkman

      July 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      “…why can’t fans just enjoy the fact that we are winning and trying.”

      I agree with half of this. Absolutely we should enjoy and celebrate the win.

      But to go back to what I asked earlier, if the shortstop happened to be positioned a few feet over and was able to reach Pence’s grounder up the middle and throw him out, would we still be talking about how much they were trying to win?

      The point of course is not that they weren’t trying last night, but that they’ve been trying all along.

  11. Shloimy

    July 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I dont mean to be negative but the phillies only scored 1 run off of that triple A pither. I would expect more.

  12. Lefty

    July 18, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    When I was a kid starting little league, the coach told us this- It’s a round bat and a round ball…..

    If you played the game, you know the rest. It can be a very unforgiving and cruel game, it’s not always someone’s fault.

    That said, I do agree that JRoll does not run every ball out. I don’t know precisely why, but it’s not anything new, I think he may have stopped doing it after his first calf injury, but I don’t really remember. I’m trying to recall if Bowa used to get on him about it? I don’t know.

    He’s still a great shortstop, and a pretty good hitter, he just doesn’t hustle down the line on every batted ball. Anyone can see that he’s not Charlie Hustle. But he still adds a lot to the team. I do wish they’d bat Pierre lead-off instead of him, I think he could drive in more runs elsewhere. Just my 2 cents.

    • schmenkman

      July 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      I’m with you on Rollins.

      Regarding Pierre leading off, he certainly has gotten on base more this year (.351 to .317), but not since early May (PIerre .327, Rollins .336). So unless you entrusted Pierre (who many didn’t even think should make the team) with the leadoff spot since opening day, you would have missed out on any advantage he might have given you.

      Since the start of last year, their OBP is essentially the same (Pierre .336 vs. Rollins .329). The gap widens a bit, but is still not dramatic if you go back to 2010 (.338 vs. 327), and you would have to go back to 2009 to really see a difference between the two.

      So I guess my position on this is if it’s not going to make a big difference, and until they do have somebody who’s clearly a better fit in the leadoff spot than somewhere else in the order, leave Rollins where he is most comfortable.

      • Manny

        July 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

        Agreed all the way.

      • Lefty

        July 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        I think you missed my point, friend. It’s not that Pierre is so much better at lead-off, it’s that

        – to quote-
        “I think he (Rollins) could drive in more runs elsewhere.” Rollins is slugging .591 in his last 30 games, second only to Ian Desmond. I think it’s a waste having him bat behind the 8 hole hitter and pitcher.

        If Pierre will run out every ball, bunt, and be more of a threat (imagined or not) on the base paths at this point, I ‘d like to see him hit up top. In simple terms, if he’ll be a pest, a spark plug, a pain in the ass there, then I don’t care if the OBP is similar. I can only go on my own managerial experience, it’s just my way of doing things, it doesn’t make me right and Charlie wrong, I just wish he’d at least consider trying it.

      • Lefty

        July 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

        Shoot, went too fast again- Jimmy’s SLG is second only to Desmond among shortstops

    • George

      July 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      My two cents: Pierre can’t be placed in the leadoff spot on a consistent basis because he’s a platoon player. He doesn’t usually play against lefties, and there’s probably a reason for that.

      Manuel did try Rollins in different roles early this year, and he drove in far fewer runs than he has in the leadoff spot. It could be argued that he was in a horrible slump at that time, but it could also be argued that he wasn’t hitting because he was in unfamiliar territory. One could move him back to the three hole, but that would be fixing something that isn’t currently broken.

      With Rollins’ slugging % he has one other advantage over Pierre. He can hit double, triples, and home runs. Pierre can basically only hit singles, and has to steal a base or two to get in scoring position, which can be risky.

  13. johhny

    July 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Yes, a round bat with a round ball that you are asked to hit squarely!!

  14. Morris Buttermaker

    July 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    The thrill of victory. And the agony of reading about it the next day.

  15. Hollywood Boardwalk Hotel

    July 24, 2012 at 9:12 am

    We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with helpful info to paintings on. You have performed a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

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