Hard Luck Continues for Halladay

JIM HURLEY'S HANDICAPPING NOTEBOOK

ROY HALLADAY, AND HIS BACKERS LOSE ONCE AGAIN

Roy Halladay carried a 3-0 lead into the 6th inning Wednesday afternoon in Cincinnati. A 3-1 lead into the 7th inning. And, a 3-2 lead into the 8th inning. Considering the game was being played on a gorgeous hitting friendly afternoon in a good home run park against gopher ball prone Aaron Harang of Cincinnati, Halladay should have been:

  • Sitting on a 5-2 or 6-2 lead in the 8th rather than a 3-2 lead.
  • Sitting on the bench watching his bullpen get the job done, so he would haven't to end the game with nearly 119 pitches thrown.
  • Sitting on a dozen wins or so for the season instead of the nine he carried into the game.

Halladay tired in the bottom of the 8th, allowed a two-run home run to Jay Bruce, and what looked like a comfortable victory turned into another hard luck loss.

Of course, it's hard to say "hard luck" when a guy allows 13 hits and 2 home runs. Note that Halladay had 10 strikeouts with no walks, and should have been granted a lot more run support. He got out of jams until he ran out of gas. With limited backing from his offense, that meant another loss.

Here's the run support Halladay has received this year, in order of his appearances. Note the occasional explosion, surround mostly by very small numbers:

11-2-8-2-1-10-7-3-1-3-1-3-0-3-1-9-3

There are four games at 7 or more, and you just don't have to be Roy Halladay to win those games. Amazingly, EVERYTHING ELSE is at 3 or less. That means Halladay has to allow 2 runs or less to get the victory. Even Roy Halladay isn't good enough to do that on command. He did win a 1-0 perfect game in Florida though. Poor run support basically demands perfection of Halladay wants to get a win.

Given the numbers above...a 9-7 won-lost record for the season is fantastic. There are four sure things, then a 5-7 mark with limited run support. Halladay deserves much better!

He also has to avoid the temptation to try and do too much. He's allowed seven home runs in the last four games, after allowing only three all year before that. When every pitch seems like life and death, it's easy to wear yourself down at the worst possible times.

Philly's late loss means they drop the series two games to one in Cincinnati. They've been in a bit of a tailspin in recent weeks, and are now dealing with some key losses to injury. The good news is, they play a four-game series with Pittsburgh starting tonight! The Pirates are the cure that fixes all ails. Should the Phils struggle this weekend, you should probably just stick them on your go-against list for the foreseeable future.

Here's a stat rundown of that Phillies loss Wednesday afternoon, and other afternoon action. Games are presented in rotation order...

CINCINNATI 4, PHILADELPHIA 3
Total Bases + Walks: Philadelphia 13, Cincinnati 21
Starting Pitchers: Halladay 8 IP, 5 ER, Harang, 6.1 IP, 3 ER
Vegas Odds: Philadelphia -150, total of 8
NOTEBOOK: Note the statistical rout for the Reds (and how TB+W turns a baseball score into a football score). Maybe if Halladay had allowed his homers early, and Harang had allowed his three-runs hot later, you wouldn't get the feeling that Halladay has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Cincinnati moves to 44-35 on the year, still neck and neck with the Cardinals at the top of the NL Central. Philadelphia falls to 41-35, which isn't the end of the world...but isn't where they expected to be right now either.

HOUSTON 5, MILWAUKEE 1
Total Bases + Walks: Houston 19, Milwaukee 12
Starting Pitchers: W. Rodriguez 7 IP, 1 ER, Bush, 6 IP, 2 ER
Vegas Odds: Milwaukee -145, total of 9
NOTEBOOK: You just never know what's going to happen when two losing teams are playing in a double getaway game. Both have road games scheduled Thursday Night. Both played like they had planes to catch. Note that both of these starting pitchers had been struggling this year. Wandy had been throwing batting practice in recent starts. Bush had a home ERA over 5.00 for the season. Yet, we had a pitchers duel in great weather until Houston broke the game open late. A rare series victory for the Astros. And, an embarrassing way to start the post-IL period for the Brew-Crew. You can't talk about getting back into the divisional race then lose a home series to Houston. Let's pay attention to the Astros at high prices. They've been treading water in a way that makes money lately if you rule out their games vs. powers like Texas.

ARIZONA 4, ST. LOUIS 2
Total Bases + Walks: Arizona 17, St. Louis 17
Starting Pitchers: Enright  5 IP, 1 ER, Suppan, 5.2 IP, 3 ER
Vegas Odds: St. Louis -150, total of 9.5
NOTEBOOK: The Cardinals have to be embarrassed that they lost a game like this to lowly Arizona. Yes, it was Suppan on the mound, and St. Louis knows he's going to be a dice roll this year. But, they were facing a guy nobody had heard of on a team everyone can beat! Tough to fall back out of first place with a result like this. Particularly when it looked like the Reds were going to lose to Philadelphia earlier in the day. The good news for St. Louis is that Milwaukee is coming to town. Arizona will go home to deal with the red hot Los Angeles Dodgers.

PITTSBURGH 2, CHICAGO CUBS 0
Total Bases + Walks: Pittsburgh 13, Cubs 7
Starting Pitchers: Lincoln 7 IP, 0 ER, Gorzelanny, 5 IP, 0 ER
Vegas Odds: Chicago -190, total of 9
NOTEBOOK: The wind was blowing in from center, but the total was still nine because weak pitchers were on the mound. This shows you how powerful an influence in Wrigley when the wind is blowing in! We usually tell you to take Under 7 with good pitchers. Two mediocre ones just had a 2-0 pitcher's duel. Given the paucity of scoring in get-away games or other weekday afternoon spots in recent seasons...you have to assume that Major Leagues are just party animals on weeknights. Their vision is too blurry to see the ball. It's been a very low scoring day thus far given the vulnerability of pitchers on the mound.

LA DODGERS 8, SAN FRANCISCO 2
Total Bases + Walks: Los Angeles 24, San Francisco 11
Starting Pitchers: Padilla 7 IP, 1 ER, Sanchez, 5 IP, 4 ER
Vegas Odds: San Francisco -125, total of 7.5
NOTEBOOK: LA has been breathing fire since blowing the Sunday Night game vs. the Yankees. That could have been a "punch in the gut" game that kept them down on the ground for a few days. Instead, they got right back up and embarrassed an old rival on the road. We mentioned all through IL play that the Dodgers got the short end of the scheduling stick. Their sweep in SF was a quick reminder that the Dodgers are still one of the best teams in the National League. And, if Padilla is going to be effective in his return from the Disabled List, they just got a little bit better.

SAN DIEGO 13, COLORADO 3
Total Bases + Walks: Colorado 13, San Diego 24
Starting Pitchers: Francis 3 IP, 8 ER, Richard, 7 IP, 2 ER
Vegas Odds: San Diego -135, total of 6.5
NOTEBOOK: The Padres rested their best player today, and still won a blowout! Please take these guys seriously. We've been telling you this for weeks, yet the Vegas moneylines still treat them as a flash in the pan that's about to turn into a pumpkin. Yes, they're in a tough division. And, yes...young teams often don't know how to handle pennant races. Wait for them to start losing before you worry about that stuff!

In the only American League game Wednesday afternoon...

MINNESOTA 5, DETROIT 1
Total Bases + Walks: Detroit 10, Minnesota 17
Starting Pitchers: Oliver 6 IP, 2 ER, Slowey, 6 IP, 1 ER
Vegas Odds: Minnesota -150, total of 9
NOTEBOOK: This was more of a pitcher's duel than it seems on the scoreboard, with the Twins scoring three unearned runs on the afternoon. Minnesota takes two of three in the series, and extends its lead in the AL Central to 1½ games over the Tigers. The Twins are now 25-14 at home, as they continue to enjoy a "new stadium boost" in 2010. Detroit falls to 16-25 on the road, which is in the class of Kansas City and Cleveland rather than a true contender. Minnesota stays at home to start a weekend series with Tampa Bay Thursday Night. Detroit is back home Friday for what they hope is a gift series against Seattle.

That wraps up our look at early Wednesday action. Back tomorrow to discuss more baseball. To sign up with the best baseball service in the country, call JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK at 1-800-323-4453. Game day releases and club packages can also be purchased here at the website with your credit card.

Don't sit in the stands jabbering on your cell phone...GET IN THE GAME!

21
Nov

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