Following a rough start to the year, Roy Halladay appears to
have recaptured his Cy Young form.
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to the Pittsburgh
Halladay takes the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies looking
to continue his dominance of the Pirates as these clubs play the
third of four Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
After compiling an uncharacteristic 14.73 ERA in losing his
first two starts, Halladay (2-2, 6.04 ERA) has posted a 1.80 ERA
and limited opponents to a .143 average in recording back-to-back
wins. The two-time Cy Young award winner gave up two hits – both
solo homers – and went the distance in Friday’s rain-shortened 8-2,
seven-inning victory over St. Louis.
“Today was as close as I’ve felt to where I want to be. When I
stay within myself and execute the mechanics the way they should be
done, I feel good where I’m at,” he said.
“I always felt I was going in the right direction. Once I got a
chance to pitch deeper in games, do more bullpens, I felt I was
able to take some of that over into the game.”
Halladay has to like his chances of keeping things going versus
Pittsburgh (11-9). The right-hander, who’s won three consecutive
starts in the series, has gone 4-1 over six career matchups against
the Pirates while compiling a 0.98 ERA – his lowest mark against
He’s made things difficult on several of their hitters,
including Andrew McCutchen (1 for 10), Neil Walker (1 for 9), Clint
Barmes (0 for 8) and Pedro Alvarez (0 for 5).
Halladay, though, could find himself in a pitchers’ duel with
Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 0.56). Scratched from his previous start due
to a strained hamstring, Rodriguez faced the minimum while throwing
seven innings of one-hit ball Friday in a 6-0 win over Atlanta.
“When you see a guy twirling like he did today, there’s not any
team that’s going to put up much against him,” manager Clint Hurdle
said. “It wasn’t just the strikes but the location of the strikes.
It was like he was throwing darts.
“I don’t know if we can afford to throw him every 11th day, but
that was pretty special.”
The left-hander is 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA against the Phillies
After dropping Monday’s series opener 3-2, Pittsburgh bounced
back with a 2-0 win the following night. Jeff Locke threw six
strong innings and Gaby Sanchez hit his second homer.
The Pirates opened 1-5 but have since won 10 of 14, including
four of their last five while allowing six total runs.
Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin extended his hitting streak to
eight games with a single Tuesday. He’s batting .444 with two
homers and six runs scored over that stretch.
McCutchen, though, hasn’t been very locked in of late. He’s
hitless in eight at-bats in the series and is batting .120 in his
last seven road games. McCutchen is a career .193 hitter in
The Phillies, who went 26 for 62 (.419) with runners in scoring
position over their first eight home games, have since gone 5 for
34 (.147), including Tuesday’s 0-for-5 effort.
“I think they’re trying, maybe a little bit too hard,” manager
Charlie Manuel said. “But you have to get it done. … We have to
improve our game.”
Cleanup hitter Ryan Howard left two runners on base Tuesday, and
has one RBI in his last 11 games. He is 4 for 12 with a homer
lifetime against Rodriguez.