The nightstand can no longer hold the empty cans of Iron City beer and there is no way to jam enough french fries into random foods to quiet the constant disquieting murmur of what Roy Halladay does to hitters, especially when the hitters play for your favorite team. Welcome to the terrordome Pittsburgh.
The hand wringing of the Philadelphia fanbase had reached epic proportions as the Phillies traveled across the state to PNC park in Pittsburgh. As players that have been good for quite some time are degenerating into piles of dust, only able to make appearances at memorabilia shows in local malls, we have all had to face the possibility that our favorite players will not be effective forever. How will this team score runs? Who is that old guy that kind of looks like Juan Pierre?
There is a very good reason why the Phillies are still considered a top contender to win the world series; Roy motherfucking Halladay. There was some talk about Roy being injured/old after he failed to generate adequate velocity and gave up some runs in some spring training starts. Eight innings, two hits and five strikeouts. The only hits that Halladay gave up were to first two batters of the game. He proceeded allow two more base-runners by striking them with a thrown baseball just to prove his dominance. I still have a difficult time rationilizing that this guy is on the Phillies.
We all got our first chance to see Jonathan Papelbon pitch in a real baseball game. I have a difficult time liking any baseball player who wove himself so completely into the fabric of Boston sports. First impression, he is the real deal. The lead-off batter in the ninth was Alex Presley and he was so ridiculously overmatched that it looked like he didn’t belong in the major leagues. Papelbon should be fun to watch.
Awash in the glow of Roy Halladay, it is pretty easy to look past the fact that the offense did nothing to engender any confidence. Ty Wigginton scored on a Carlos Ruiz sac fly to score the games’ only run. Ruiz was the offensive star of the game going 3-3 with the only RBI. It was also nice to see Ty Wigginton and John Mayberry Jr. contribute offensively as they both got key hits prior to Chooch’s sac fly. Some of the offensive offensiveness was due to the effectiveness of Pirate’s starter Eric Bedard, but only scoring one run brings back terrible flashes of last years’ NLDS.
Freddy Galvis looked like he was attempting to help us deal with the loss of Wilson Valdez by hitting into a pair of double plays. He did turn a nice double play in the first inning helping get Doc out of a jam, but he did not have a good major league debut at the plate.
In summation, Roy Hallday was great and the offense did just enough to scratch out a win. It is Cliff Lee’s turn on Saturday. Hopefully the offense can make the next game a little less terror inducing.