For what might be his final start at Citizens Bank Park, the Marlins gave Roy Halladay an extraordinary gift.
They swung early.
In at-bat after at-bat, the Marlins swung early and often. Enough so that it was tough to tell if Halladay had actually improved since his last start, or if the Marlins were just terrible. I could try to dig into his velocity and the number of 3-2 counts, but I don't want to do that. Roy Halladay won tonight at Citizens Bank Park. If that was to be his last start at CBP, where he pitched the second postseason no-hitter in baseball history and broke seemingly endless faces, he finished the way he started. Just like on April 16, 2010, his first start at Citizens Bank Park, he won against the Marlins. Tonight was his 203rd career win.
Ok, so it wasn't exactly the same. Or even a little bit the same. The difference between then and now is both massive and stark. Both Halladay and the Phillies have changed drastically. But a win is a win. Halladay went six innings and gave up one run on four hits and three walks. He notched two strikeouts. He's not the Doc of old, but it's silly and borderline delusional to expect that player to make another appearance with the Phillies. He's not the Halladay he once was, but tonight he was enough. And in this Phillies season, enough is all I really want, and all anyone can reasonably ask of him.
But if you want too much, the Phillies certainly have something for you. Chase Utley continues to be just pure fucking awesome on a cracker. For the second night in a row, he hit a three run home run off an advertising sign in left field. He ended the night 3-for-4 with 4 RBI. 4 RBI AGAIN, JUST LIKE LAST NIGHT. MLB won't let me embed the clip of his home run because... I'm sure they have their reasons, though they're probably really stupid. So if you want to see Chase Utley's home run of greatness, click here. Click here and bask, bask in the glory that is Chase Utley. Bask and revel!
True to my pledge to focus on the positives when they win (like Darin Ruf's 2-for-3 night) and not the negatives, I'll just casually mention that the Phillies made two outs at third base tonight in consecutive innings (the second and third). BJ Rosenberg allowed two runs in the eighth inning, though they were the first runs he's given up since he was recalled from Lehigh Valley. That's 13 games and 12 1/3 innings, most of which were completely scoreless (except at the end there).
Honestly, I feel like the Phillies wait until I'm recapping a game to bring out Jonathan Papelbon. They wait because they want me to suffer and make me write about him. Or probably not. But it feels that way because I cannot stand him. Lights On Papelbon made the game more interesting than it had to be, turd face that he is. Three hits and one run didn't blow the save, so he "earned" it. Or fell into the save by not being a massive, ridiculous, stupid mess.
He's being paid so much money. SO MUCH. It's best not to think about it. Or to drink heavily.
The Phillies won tonight. They have 11 games left. If you're conflicted about this, you're not alone. It's been that kind of season.