For a little while there last night, Roy Halladay was looking like a bona fide #3 or 4 starter for a Major League team.
In the fourth inning, I asked people what they thought of Halladay’s night so far…
@FelskeFiles Rocky first inning. Solid since. Not Roy Halladay solid, but I will take this as a 3/4 pitcher.
— Karilee Jeantet (@kjeantet) September 13, 2013
So, that was encouraging. Then, the fifth inning happened…
In all, Halladay gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in the Phils’ 10-5 win over the Padres last night, taking the final two games of this three-game series. Since his return to the rotation, Halladay is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in four starts. In 21 1/3 innings, he has allowed 18 hits, 13 runs (12 earned runs), 14 walks and five hit batters with 14 strikeouts.
And while Halladay probably deserves more time to come back from shoulder surgery before passing judgment on his MLB future, the Phils don’t have that kind of time. There are just 16 games left. If Halladay pitches every fifth day from here on out, he will get three more starts in 2013. And it’s unlikely he’s going to be able to change a lot of minds in just three starts.
Halladay’s biggest problem is his control. For most of last night’s game, he seemed to have some idea where the ball was going. But in the fifth, it completely vanished.
“It’s tough and obviously you’re under the microscope right now and no matter what you do the negatives are going to be brought to the forefront,” Halladay said. “Me personally, I’m trying to focus on the positives and let you guys worry about the negatives.” – quote per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki
Yep. I’ll take care of that. Not to worry, bud.
Here’s the deal with Halladay. He’s a huge question mark. No one knows what he’s going to be next year. And while there is certainly a chance he’ll come back in 2014 and be an effective pitcher once again, it’s just as likely, if not more so, that he’s going to be exactly this next season.
The Phillies are a team with a lot of question marks as it is. It doesn’t make sense to keep another question mark on the team when there are more certain options out there. Or, at the very least, there are other question marks out there with more upside and youth than Halladay.
Still, the Phils won thanks to an offensive bludgeoning of San Diego starter Tyson Ross, scoring six times in the first inning en route to a 10-run game. Which, if you’ve watched enough 2013 Phillies baseball, you know has been a rarity this year.
The Phillies beat the Padres, 10-5. Score at least 10 runs for just the fourth time this season.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) September 13, 2013
By comparison, the 2007 Phillies scored 10 runs in a game 17 times.
The Phils’ 1-4 hitters (Cesar Hernandez, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz) went a combined 9 for 13 with 10 RBIs and 6 runs scored. Freddy Galvis and Kevin Frandsen both added two hits. The only starter not to record a hit was Cody Asche, who will now be taken out behind the shed and beaten with a wet reed.
And let’s not lose sight of the work of the bullpen last night, pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings, with five strikeouts and no walks. Particularly impressive were the final three relievers, Ethan Martin, B.J. Rosenberg, and Jake Diekman, all of whom are likely securing for themselves a spot in next year’s bullpen.
Of course, another win means another hit to their quest to finish among The Bottom 10, pushing the Phils to the 13th worst record in the Majors, 1 1/2 games out of the Bottom 10:
You people can have your “exciting” American League Wild Card race. But for me, THIS is where the REAL excitement is.