Roy Halladay took the mound on Thursday evening, hoping to show the team (and possibly the league) that his arm has recovered from mid-season surgery to remove some bone spurs, which were hampering his pitching. While he did show signs of life by striking out 6, his pitch location and speed were still not up to what fans (or Halladay himself) are accustomed to.
Were it not for his other teammates – especially “Chooch”, he might not have had the opportunity for the win. Halladay’s line stats for last night: 4 hits, 5 runs with 5 walks and 6 strike-outs over 4 1/3 innings of work. He has yet to record a pitch over 90mph since his return, and his accuracy is still not where he’d like. At one point, he walked five straight batters. He gave up a home run in the first inning, but showed slight improvement.
Phillies fans and the Phillies brass are still wondering what will happen to the former Cy Young winner once the season is over. It’s still debatable whether the Phillies will offer him a new contract once his current one expires at the end of the season. While Halladay himself has stated he’d like to stay in Philly, his future is largely in his hand – or rather his arm – at this point.
For a second time in as many nights, the Phillies proved very capable of playing a bit of small-ball to generate runs when the big bats were silent. The first inning they plated 6 runs, while batting around, while chasing Tyson Ross in the process. “Chooch” went 3 for 3 with a double and 3 RBIs. Galvis continues to show why he could be the Phillies’ future, going 2 for 3 with a triple. Jimmy Rollins also went 2 for 3 with a triple.
Phills manager Ryne Sandberg continues to garner support from the Phillies fans, with his whole-team approach to the game. On Wednesday night, he asked Galvis to do a suicide squeeze play, and it was successful! Galvis managed to drive in a run on the play. This style of play may not be as whiz-bang from what Phillies fans are used to, but it has given the fans some hope for the future once this season is over.
The Phillies managed to take 2 of 3 from the Padres, and in the process remain 20 games out. While that may not appear very pleasing, the way this team has been playing (at times) has been refreshing. Seeing them play small-ball is something they should have been doing last season, when Ryan Howard was tabled with his ankle problems.
With a little over two weeks in the regular season, what the fans are seeing is potential; potential hope for the future of this team, and for the fans. Tonight, Kyle Kendrick takes the mound against the Washington Nationals in game one of their last 3-game match-up of the season. Kendrick is still trying to show he is still a starting pitcher, and the young call-ups will be trying to show why they should get a shot during Spring Training next year.