Last night, the Phillies won a baseball game against the Marlins, 6-4. So why do we all feel so sad this morning?
Roy Halladay may have pitched for the final time at Citizens Bank Park as a Philadelphia Phillie.
Oh. Yeah, that. Not that anyone seemed to notice.
“Honestly, I did not think about that,” Halladay said after the game. “It’s not out of lack of respect for the fans or anything like that. I just didn’t think about it. I don’t let myself look that far ahead.”
“It did not dawn on me,” Chase Utley said. “I hope that’s not the case.”
Apparently, the fans didn’t realize it either, as only 28,872 fans attended last night’s game against the Marlins, the second smallest crowd of the season.
It was a sad send-off for a pitcher who, even though he had only two truly great seasons with the team, will be remembered as one of the best ever to pitch for the organization.
Last night, Halladay was a bit better than in his previous starts since returning from shoulder surgery, going six innings and giving up one run on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 6.71. Halladay was a bit more aggressive last night, concentrating on throwing more strikes, even though his fastball topped out at only 88 mph.
Roy will be a free agent after the season and has two more starts before the year is over, but both will be on the road, which made last night’s outing in Philadelphia something special, even if it was a bit sad and depressing.
Keep in mind that even though Halladay’s start last night was better than his previous ones, the Marlins are among the worst offensive teams in the Majors, last in the NL in runs per game (3.21), batting average (.231) and OPS (.627).
So as the Phils evaluate whether or not to re-sign Halladay to a free agent deal this off-season, they’ll have just two more starts in which to do it. And based on what we’ve seen since his return from surgery, it’s hard to see Halladay being able to get Major League hitters out with the stuff he’s throwing up there right now.
It’s always sad to see a once-great player/pitcher look like a shell of himself. Halladay’s decline has been swift, and yet excruciatingly long at the same time. Last night, Phils fans got their last look at the pitcher who threw a perfect game against these same Fish and threw only the second playoff no-hitter in MLB history.
You could understand if they didn’t recognize him as the same guy.