Roy Halladay has thrown 58 complete games in his career. After tonight, that number climbs to 59. If it weren’t for those bastard Nationals players trying to hit the ball in the ninth innning, Doc would have shut them out. I swear some people don’t think about anyone but themselves. Doc gave up six hits and two runs while striking out nine in his third start of the year. Roy’s ERA ballooned to a staggering 1.23 after his outing and the Nationals broke a 1,000 inning scoreless streak against him with their failed comeback attempt in the ninth.
John Lannan opposed Halladay today. Lannan has started two opening days for the Nationals. If I understand the way that baseball works, it is customary for a baseball team to start the year off with their best pitcher. Using this information, I would asertain that John Lannan was the best pitcher on the Nationals during the years in which he started on opening day. No wonder they had to pay Jayson Werth all that money. The Phillies usually hit Lannan hard, but he kept the line-up at bay for the majority of the game. The Phils scratched their first run across in the top of the fourth when Ian Desmond shit directly into the bed. He allowed Jimmy Rollins to reach on a booted grounder and interfered with Jimmy as he rounded second on a groundout from Ryan Howard. Desmond led the league with thirty four errors last season, so his sloppy play at shortstop suprised no one. The Phillies scored two more runs with a Placico Polanco RBI single and a bases loaded bean ball against Ryan Howard. The way Doc looked through the first eight innings of this game, a 3-0 deficit looked all but insurmountable for the Nationals.
Doc ambled out to the mound in the bottom of the ninth with his pitch count hovering right around the century mark. He left the game throwing 123 pitches and leaving the winning run stranded on first base. God damn Rick Ankiel started the inning by smashing a double to right followed directly by a Jayson Werth single. I like Jayson better when he is not hitting the ball off of pitchers that used to be his teammates. This is just another example of a spoiled athlete who is letting his personal goal of individual success interfere with the Phillies shutting out the Nationals. Doc struck out Adam LaRoche, who up until this inning was the only National that hit the ball (he was 2-4 after the stikeout). Former Red Laynce Nix singled to drive in Ankiel and Danny Espinosa followed with an infield single to make the score 3-2 Phillies. At this point Doc struck out Matt Stairs on three pitches and punched out Ivan Rodriguez to end the game. Halladay made the decision that the Nationals had gotten close enough and he would shut the door after offering them a glimmer of false hope.
Harry Kalas would have loved to call Doc’s games and we would have loved to hear him do it. It was fitting to watch the best Phillie pitcher since Steve Carlton twirl a gem on the aniversary of Harry’s passing. We all miss you Harry.
Tomorrow the Phils attempt to win the series as Cliff Lee (it is still hard to believe that Halladay and Lee are in the same rotation) goes up against the young right hander Jordan Zimmerman.