Doc Goes the “Distance,” Phils Shut Down Cards, 8-2
These are more intimidating to write when actual things have happened.
Apr 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies fans cheer as Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay (34) leaves the field after pitching the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The Phils raced the scheduled rain. Doc took the mound with far less regalia than the past few weeks; partially because his last start wasn’t a disaster, partially because plenty of more important things to discuss this week.
And, against a team that wasn’t the Marlins, he hit his spots, he induced ground balls, he hit 92 mph with measured consistency, he threw 1-2-3 innings, and best of all, he shouted at Matt Carpenter for trying to squeeze a walk out of him. If someone got a hit, he appeared furious. He’s still 0-for-9 at the plate with nine K’s, but that matters so little somebody would only include it because the backspace button is all the way over there.
Six strikeouts through seven innings, only two hits and two earned runs allowed (pair ‘o dingers from Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday). He gets a complete game, too, as it was canceled due to the opening of the heavens.
Earlier this year, Ruben Amaro stupidly said, “I don’t care about walks. I care about production.” CSN Philly analyst Ben Davis made similar sentiments prior to the game. This sort of ignorant spew is probably one of the main reasons the Phillies will probably stall out over the next few years.
But in the first inning tonight, we got to see just how unproductive walks are. After not walking in four straight games, the Chase Utley drew a walk with two outs. Seemingly innocent, just prolonging the inning. Certainly not being productive.
Apr 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley (26) heads to first base after drawing a walk during the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Turns out, Utley started a five-run scoring effort, all with two outs. Every example of a walk’s value had a turn: John Mayberry doubled, and because a walk allows you to be on base, you are more likely to score. Because Utley hadn’t just shrugged and gotten out, Kevin Frandsen was able to hit after Mayberry and reached on a throwing error by Ty Wigginton (Get on, see what happens). Then Ben Revere tripled. Then Humberto Quintero doubled.
It was 5-0 at the end of the first inning, all because of a walk.
Quintero finished the night 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and Jimmy Rollins had a two-hit night as well. Freddy Galvis couldn’t summon a hit, but socked one pitch pretty hard and had a couple of stellar defensive plays in left.
Did I mention Ryan Howard was out with a sore groin? Michael Young hit clean-up, and it was all too easy to identify this change as the explanation behind an extended inning with two outs. As small a sample size as it is, it is all too easy to see RyHo striking out on three pitches after Chase’s walk, or, if he did get on base, end the inning with his lack of momentum on the bases.
Whatever. Doc’s ERA is back down to 6.04.
When it all went right
Chase’s walk, man. This ain’t a science fair project. You get it.
DOC DOC DOC DOC DOC DOC DOC DOC D
Carlos Beltran, your consistent ownership of Doc’s fastball is quite obnoxious.