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Roy Halladay delivers his second straight strong start

Apr 20, 2013, 11:23 AM EDT

Roy Halladay Getty Getty Images

After tossing eight innings of one-run ball against the weak-hitting Marlins last Sunday for his 200th career victory, Roy Halladay had his second straight strong start last night in a tougher test against the Cardinals.

Halladay allowed two runs over seven innings as part of an 8-2 victory. The game was called in the seventh inning following a 35-minute rain delay, so Halladay was credited with his 67th career complete game.

Halladay gave up just two hits on the night, in the form of solo homers from Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday. The veteran right-hander walked two and struck out six while throwing 59 out of 109 pitches for strikes. According to Brooks Baseball, he averaged right around 91 mph on his fastball and topped out at 92.95 mph. He was still hitting 92 mph in his final inning of work. Halladay also generated 11 swings-and-misses, though the majority of them were with his curveball.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Halladay said after the game that he feels like he is finally getting comfortable with the changes he made to his delivery during the offseason.

“Tonight was about as good as I’ve felt,” he said. “I still need to be more consistent, but I feel good where I’m at. I feel like it’s coming together the way it should. I’ll continue to work at it until I get more consistent.”

Halladay struggled during spring training and gave up 12 runs in 7 1/3 innings over his first two regular season starts, but he has allowed just three runs in 15 innings over his last two outings, improving his ERA from 14.73 to 6.04 in the process. We may never see a return to his ace-like form, but if anyone can figure out how to be successful with diminished stuff, it’s probably Halladay.

  1. aceshigh11 - Apr 20, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Halladay is too savvy a pitcher to not find a way to adjust. He may never be the Doc of old, but he’s got a few more years of baseball in him.

  2. historiophiliac - Apr 20, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Holliday!

  3. proudlycanadian - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Good for Doc. This outing is further evidence that it is premature to make projections based on early games in the season.

  4. jwbiii - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Weather angle?
    4/3 @Atl 60
    4/8 NYM 72
    4/14 @Mia Dome 72
    4/19 StL 74
    Nope.

    Prone to slow starts?
    4/2013 ERA 7.63
    4/2012 1.95
    4/2011 2.14
    4/2010 1.80
    4/2009 3.75
    Nope.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      A lot of data not to wrap that thought into something.

      It’s liek you started to make a point and then

      • jwbiii - Apr 20, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        I was looking for a reason for Halladay’s poor first two starts. First thought: He’s spent most of his career pitching in a dome. Maybe he doesn’t pitch well in cold weather. Hypothesis rejected. Second thought: Perennial slow starter. Hypothesis also rejected.

        I could have done the work and posted nothing, but I thought posting that he hasn’t pitched in cold weather this season and that he does not have a history of pitching poorly in April would be more interesting.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 20, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        Fair enough – and yea, it is a head scratcher, so I am right there with ya. That was good data, so thnaks for posting – and enduring snarky replies :)

  5. mungman69 - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Hey: he’ll take it.

  6. mgflolox - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Roy Halladay is one hard-working, competitive sonuvabitch. He’s also an extremely smart & savvy pitcher. If anyone can turn it around he can.

  7. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Honestly, I still think he looked better against the Marlins, though last night was certainly good. The ony cause for concern was a lot of 3 ball counts, and one of his walks was on 4 pitches. But on the other hand, he was never missing by much at all, so it’s not like he was wild.

    We shall see – come May, a lot will be clear.

  8. Kevin S. - Apr 20, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Hopefully he keeps this going. Baseball’s better when Halladay’s pitching well.

  9. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 20, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Miracle Max: Whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do.
    Inigo Montoya: What’s that?
    Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Billy Crystal cameos the best cameos.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 20, 2013 at 7:28 PM

        Yes, that was his best, but let us not forget his cameo in Spinal Tap “Come on lets go! Mime is money!”

  10. spudchukar - Apr 20, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Uh, not to put a damper on Halladay’s success last night, but closer analysis would show that he still has a long way to go to regain a semblance of his old self. Granted he limited the Cards. But especially early on he struggled. St. Louis helped him immeasurably. A number of 3-1 counts where the Red Birds, hitters flailed at ball four.

    He is a gutsy, tough-nosed, dude, but much of his success was due to guile, not overwhelming stuff. Hopefully, he can garner enough of his old self to return to one of the elites, but he wasn’t challenging hitters, and it is tough to pitch that way. As the game progressed he improved, but had the Cards not taken bats with them in the initial innings, the night may well have turned out different.

    • evanwins - Apr 20, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      There it is! The Wet Blanket Nay-Sayer. At least you had the stones to put it in writing unlike all the other ones snickering but not willing to commit in writing.

      Where are they all? There were like 80 comments when he was “Over” and “Done”. Now, nothing.

      Olney had 5 straight days of his podcast about how Halladay was never going to pitch well again. Where’s his big mouth?

      When it was Miami, it was “It’s only Miami”, now it’s the offensive powerhouse the Cards and it’s still not good enough for a lot of people.

      I’m not saying Halladay is ’10 Halladay, but he isn’t 1st 2 starts of 2013 Halladay either. Hope he keeps it up and gets even better…And shows all the “experts” how stupid they really are.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 20, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      Flailing at Ball 4 on a 3-1 count?

      I went back and looked – he had 8 3-1 counts. He got a swing and a miss or foul ball on 7 of them, and Holliday homered on the other. So yes, the Cards did swing…..but sorry, getting strike 2 in that spot over and over is not the other team “flailing”, it is good situational pitching

      • spudchukar - Apr 21, 2013 at 2:15 AM

        It would be good situational hitting if the 3-1 pitches were strikes, but they weren’t. Which makes the “flailing at ball 4″ comment accurate.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 21, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        So a good line-up – ALL eight times – was very patient to get the count to 3-1….then suddenly lost patience? Every single time? Listen to yourself.

        Actually, don’t listen to yourself. Check the pitch chart for the game. http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxg.aspx?playerid=1303&position=P&season=2013&date=2013-04-19&dh=0 Halladay threw 45 balls out of the strike zone, yet had 50 pitches called a ball. That doesn’t allow for your phantom “he swung at ball 4” pitches, now does it?

    • bleedgreen - Apr 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      See, here’s the thing. Not saying you particularly, but people keep moving the goalposts. After he had success against the Marlins, it was ‘Oh, its just the Marlins. Wait till he faces a real line up in the Cards, and then we’ll see.’ And now that he had success against the Cards its ‘Well, the Cards let him off the hook completely.’ I wonder what its gonna be after his next good outing. ‘Oh, just wait till it gets hot out.’ or ‘Oh just wait till he has to play an AL team with a DH.’

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