In 13 starts this season prior to Tuesday night, Roy Halladay had allowed more than two earned runs in just two of them and allowed a total of three home runs on the entire season. Tuesday night, he matched his season worst six earned runs allowed with four of those runs scoring in a trio of Yankee homers that doubled his season total.
I’d like to know who saw that coming.
Halladay cruised through the first on ten pitches, eight of them strikes, then got Robinson Cano to ground out on an 0-1 count to start the third, but Nick Swisher followed with a single and everything went to pot for the Phillies’ ace after that.
Jorge Posada drew a four pitch walk and Brett Gardner tattooed a hanging slider into the right-center-field gap for a two-RBI triple (aided slightly by Shane Victorino bobbling the ball at the wall). In the third, Curtis Granderson led off with a solo homer, and after Mark Teixeira flew out, Robinson Cano doubled to right-center on the first pitch he saw. That brought Swisher back around and on a 2-0 count, he cracked a two-run homer to give the Yankees a shocking 5-0 lead over Halladay with one out in the bottom of the third.
Halladay settled down a bit with a 1-2-3 fourth, but with one out in the fifth, Teixeira snuck a 1-2 pitch just inside the foul pole down the right-field line, hitting a ducking YES cameraman in the back with a solo home run of his own. The Yankees made some noise against Halladay in the sixth as well, loading the bases with two outs but failing to push across another run.
CC Sabathia, meanwhile, didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning, though things got dicey at that point. Utley led off the fourth with a bouncer that Sabathia stabbed at with both hands, deflecting the ball enough to give Utley a hit. Placido Polanco followed with another single and on a 1-2 count, Sabathia hit Ryan Howard to load the bases. Jayson Werth and Raul Ibañez followed with RBI singles.
With the bases still loaded, two runs in, and no one out, Ben Francisco hit a would-be double play ball to a far-ranging Mark Teixeira in the second-base hole. Teixeira could have come home with his throw to try to get the slow-footed Howard on what still might have been a close play, but he opted instead to start a 3-6-1 double play, trading Howard’s run for a pair of outs. Only Sabathia never broke for first base and the Yankees had to settle for a single out as Howard scored to cut the Yankee lead to 5-3.
Sabathia picked himself up by getting the next two men out, but then got into more trouble in the fifth when with one out, Utley singled, was replaced by a Polanco fielder’s choice, Ryan Howard drew a five-pitch walk, and both runners move up on a wild pitch. That last might have been a blessing as it allowed Sabathia to turn a 2-0 count on Werth into an intentional walk, after which he got Ibañez to ground out to leave the bases loaded.
That was the end of the excitement. Sabathia retired the last seven men he faced and David Robertson and Chan Ho Park each tossed a scoreless inning, a Robertson walk to Ibañez being the only blip, as the Yankees padded their lead against the Philadelphia bullpen by plating a pair of hit-batsmen on a two-out Francisco Cervelli single in the seventh.
Yankees win 8-3 as the Phillies drop the one game in this series they had to have. With the pitching matchups favoring the Bombers the next two nights, suddenly a sweep is not out of the question. Then again, as Halladay proved on Tuesday night, anything can happen.