Now that’s the Roy Halladay we’ve come to know and love. Doc has battled through injuries and uncharacteristic inconstancy all season, but none of that was evident in the win against the D-Backs tonight. Seven innings of shut-out baseball was a welcome sight, especially given the rocky road that’s been 2012. On a day when the team announced Carlos Ruiz was being put on the DL with plantar fasciitis the team, and more imporantly the fans, needed something to feel good about.
Enter Doc Halladay.
Halladay’s end line was vintage Doc, 7 innings, no runs, five strikeouts, and a lot of weakly hit balls. It’s easy to look at the box score and see that he had a solid outing, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Since his stint on the DL Roy has been working on the arm slot of his release, which can have a significant affect on his location and movement. It may be too subtle a difference to pick up during the motion, but the results were plain as day. His cutter jammed hitters, his curve had a sharp bite, and he was painting the corners on both sides.
It’s easy to take for granted what Roy Halladay meant to the Phillies the last two years. In 2011 he led the NL in ERA+ (164) while logging 233IP. In 2010 he threw 250IP with an ERA+ of 167. Workhorse doesn’t begin to do him justice. But with consistently dominant performances, any shred of him being human on the mound was shocking, almost unthinkable.
This year Halladay has been human, leaving fans to wonder whether or not they would see that superhuman pitcher again. Well folks, tonight Doc Halladay was the pitcher who wowed Phillies fans in his first two seasons in pin stripes. Its an encouraging sign for Ruben Amaro, who is betting all his chips on the Big-3.
Roy Halladay wasn’t the only encouraging sign form the 3-0 victory. It may be one game, but Ryan Howard had two hits and even went the opposite field on one! Two singles could be just what the Big Kid needs to finally get over his current funk.
And if you turned off your TV before the bottom of the 8th you missed Dominic Brown knocking in Kevin Frandsen with two outs to add an insurance run for Paps. Brown is playing under a microscope, so every at bat he has will be under scrutiny. The best thing he can do is to keep his head down and keep coming through in small spots like these to ease the pressure.
A 3-0 win on August 4th may be just an afterthought once the season is over, but tonight could mark return-to-form for two key Phillies.