Let's not get all crazy about this. Roy Halladay's complete game* victory was only seven innings because of the rain. His FIP was 5.957 and his xFIP was 3.62. His line on the night was 109 pitches, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 2 hits (both dongs, hence the poor FIP) and 2 runs allowed. The BABIP against was .000, which, uh, isn't sustainable. He had difficulty finding the strike zone consistently.
This was not 2011 Roy Halladay.
Still, it was a win, and a much-needed win. The opponent was not the Miami Marlins. One-tenth of the way through the season, and the run differential was already at -29 after 16 games. It was never going to be -290, but I was starting to wonder.
Ryan Howard was out. Domonic Brown was out. The team has been finding runs as easy to come by as superpower victories in central Asia.
So what happens? The Phillies come out bombing, scoring 5 runs in the first inning. I was cleaning out my gutters from the tip-top step of a metal ladder in advance of a coming thunderstorm after drinking several beers, and I did a double-take at the box when I came inside to check on the game. Had I fallen, broken my neck, and gone to baseball heaven?
Nope. The Phillies just started to get a little batted ball luck. Team BABIP over a season is a big number that eventually circles around if it's been really out of whack for a while. It seems like that was in full effect tonight, though I do not want to deprive fans of the sense of moral superiority that comes with the home team victory.
Our lifestyles are validated; our values are the cause. The superiority of our culture caused this win. We win or lose as a community, as fans -- it's not just statistical noise over the course of a year. There is a narrative that we can impose each day as we tack side to side along the course of the fickle wind that propels our 2013 Phillies to mediocrity.
To be sure, there were moments of brilliance today: Ben Revere flying around the bases with...AN EXTRA BASE HIT; Freddy Galvis with an outstanding catch; Ben Revere with...an outstanding catch (I could get used to these). John Mayberry hit the ball, and the name of Humberto Quintero's rose was: "single, double, and 2 Arby Eyes."
The game essentially ended in the first inning, when Halladay sent the Cardinals down in order. The Phillies came up and promptly made two outs. That final out was nearly impossible for normally effective Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia to obtain. Chase Utley walked. Walked! Michael Young hit a single, putting Utley at third. John Mayberry drilled a double, driving in Utley and leaving runners at second and third. Kevin Frandsen reached on a two-base error by old "friend" Ty Wigginton, scoring two runs. Ben Revere then drilled a triple, scoring Frandsen. Humberto Quintero doubled, driving in Revere, but was stranded when Halladay whiffed, looking. The game was effectively over at that point.
Fangraph of Metropolitan Statistical Area Pride: