Apr 30, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee (left) and catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) talk with starting pitcher Roy Halladay (34) in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Roy Halladay Destroys All Momentum, Gets Blasted By Cleveland 14-2

Perhaps the only good part of the game was when the Phillies sacked Zack McAlister in the end zone for a safety.

Last night in Cleveland, Halladay showed us something. What he showed was not good, but it was something that everyone should remember from this point forward.

When Roy Halladay takes the mound, you simply don’t know what you’re going to get.

Halladay was bludgeoned by a Cleveland Indians lineup that came into the game with only eight home runs at home all year.

Last night, they hit seven.

SEVEN HOME RUNS. That’s about three weeks’ worth for the Phillies.

Three of those long balls came against Halladay, who struggled with his fastball location all night and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. He gave up eight earned runs on nine hits, which raised his ERA to an unsightly 6.75.

Perhaps what was most disappointing was that Halladay had pitched so well over his last three starts, posting a 1.71 ERA in 21 innings, holding opponents to a .118 batting average with 16 Ks and just 5 BBs.

This was very different from that.

There was hope that maybe Halladay had turned a corner, that he had figured out how to use his stuff. And there was the assumption that when his old pal Carlos Ruiz returned behind the plate, Halladay would feel even more comfortable.

Yet, things went very, very wrong right from the start.

So, what the heck happened?

“I think it was a combination: I wasn’t real sharp and we ran into a hot team,” Halladay said after game, per the Daily News’ Ryan Lawrence. “Especially when they’re swinging like that, you have to be pretty sharp.”

The Indians had scored 19 runs in their last two games, both victories over Kansas City, so perhaps there is a little bit of truth to that. And, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki points out, the Indians are hitting .395 (45-for-114) with 11 homers, 32 RBIs and 33 runs scored in their last three games. They entered the night with a .764 OPS, which was the third-best mark in baseball.

So, they are legitimately hot. However, this is also a team that came into Tuesday night’s game with a 10-13 record, good for 4th place in the AL Central. This is not the Atlanta Braves.

It was interesting that, in the first inning, when Halladay gave up two, two-run home runs, he and Ruiz went away from the strategy that had worked for Roy in his last three starts.

Of the 32 pitches he threw in the inning, 23 were fastballs or cutters. In his previous three starts, Halladay had been relying more on offspeed pitches – changeups and curveballs – and having success.

“We threw a lot of fastballs . . . the plan with a lot of them was to pitch inside to them,” Halladay said. “They’ve been getting a lot of balls away from them, they’ve been doing a lot of damage, so we were really trying to pitch inside to them as much as possible and it’s a fine line with them right now. It’s got to be black .

“We were going to pitch inside as much as possible and go hard as much as possible. I think we threw very few curveballs and very few changeups. We were really trying to pound them and get off the barrel as much as we could, but like I said, you really had to be spot-on today.” – per Ryan Lawrence.

Perhaps Ruiz thought he could coax Roy’s old stuff out of him, that he could bring the old Roy back somehow. Maybe that’s why they went away from the things that made him successful the last three times out. Maybe they also gave too much respect to Cleveland’s lineup. Whatever the reason, Halladay’s sixth start of the year was a complete and utter disaster.

So, what to make of Roy Halladay? What the heck do we have here? Will anyone ever feel confident about a Roy Halladay start ever again?

I’ll avoid using the Forest Gump line. But the truth is, no one knows what they’re going to get when Halladay takes the bump anymore. It might be really good, like his last three starts, or it might be really bad, like Tuesday night and his first two starts of the season.

Roy Halladay is a complete and total crap shoot.

As if the assault on Halladay weren’t enough, Chad Durbin and Raul Valdes continued to show why they have no business being on a Major League roster last night, accounting for the final six runs of the game in their 3 1/3 innings of work. Each reliever gave up two home runs, ballooning their ERAs to 7.00 and 7.98, respectively.

Simply put, Cholly sacrificed them on the alter of Cleveland last night.

Offensively, the Phillies got home runs from Delmon Young (in his first at bat as a Phillie) and Chase Utley to account for their two runs.

It wasn’t enough.

Where It All Went Wrong

In the first inning, an inning in which Halladay has struggled so much during his career. He came into last night with a 4.01 ERA in the first inning over his 16 Major League seasons. Last night was a continuation of the trend. Two-run dingers by Carlos Santana and Mark Reynolds put the Phils in an early hole from which there was no recovery.

Hero

Delmon Young??? Am I really going there??? I guess I have to, don’t I? Aside from Utley’s homer, Young was the lone bright spot last night, hitting a home run in his first at bat as a Phil, while also adding a double in three official at bats as the team’s DH. STOP RUINING NARRATIVES, DELMON!

Villain

This could really go to any Cleveland Indian holding a bat last night, but we’ll specifically mention Ryan Raburn, who hit two home runs, giving him four for the season. In 66 games for Detroit last year, he hit one home run. However, he did hit 15 and 14 in 2010 and 2011, so it’s not like we’re talking about Ben Revere here.

TBOH’s Thoughts

 

 

 

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