After giving up a single to start the second inning, Halladay didn’t allow another. In fact only one other ball left the infield while Halladay was on the mound and that happened in the top of the eighth on a fly out.
Surprisingly, the Cardinals did get to Halladay early on, taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, when Rafael Furcal singled, Albert Pujols walked on four pitches and Lance Berkman crushed a first pitch breaking ball from Halladay.
However, from there, the expected narrative unfolded, until the bullpen ran into a little bit of trouble in the ninth. In total, Halladay went eight innings, allowed three runs, struck out eight and enjoyed some help from Ryan Howard as the Phillies beat the Cardinals 11-6.
Anatomy Of An Eight Pitch At Bat
With one out and runners on first and second in the sixth inning, Ryan Howard came up to bat with his Phillies down 3-1 . Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse had thrown fewer than 60 pitches at the time, and no batter had really worked him over to that point.
Pitch after pitch that Lohse sent Howard’s way, he appeared more and more fatigued. While Howard could easily be criticized for some incredibly ugly swings, one of which I couldn’t tell if he was late on the pitch before or early on the next one, he somehow kept making contact and staying alive.
By the seventh pitch, I wondered if Lohse had even thrown Howard a single strike at that point. He hadn’t, but then . . .
Lohse left that change up high in the strike zone and Howard capitalized.
The Most Important Play Of The Game
See above. Howard’s three run home run not only put the Phillies in the lead, it also increased their probability of winning by 44.8%.
The Biggest Disappointment Of The Game
After getting to Halladay early in the previous inning, Skip Schumaker led off the second with a single. However, instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to exploit a suddenly human looking Halladay, Jon Jay grounded out, Kyle Lohse struck out and Rafael Furcal grounded out. The three batters combined to reduce their team’s probability of winning by almost 5%.
The Shamsky Award
Named after Art Shamsky, who single handedly increased the Cincinnati Reds’ chances of winning by 150.3% in a losing effort during a game in 1966, The Shamsky Award is given to the player on the losing team who contributes the most to them winning.
Lance Berkman’s home run in the first inning meant that he contributed 22.5% WPA to his team in a losing cause.
The Aggravating Thing That The Managers Did
There was a lot of scorn tossed Tony LaRussa’s way for leaving Lohse in the ballgame to face Howard. I’m not typically one to stand in that particular manager’s corner, but I wouldn’t have even considered pulling my starter in the sixth inning after he’d thrown less than 60 pitches and had two weak singles on either side of a Chase Utley strike out.
The Statistics You Won’t Believe
The last home run that Roy Halladay gave up prior to the first inning dinger that Lance Berkman hit was to Lance Berkman.
Halladay’s 2.20 FIP was the lowest in the league again this season. He also had the lowest walk rate in the National League. During the regular season, only Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks had a higher WPA for his team.
Shane Victorino’s .372 wOBA and 5.9 WAR were both career highs, and raised his isolated power number by more than .020 over last year.
Ryan Howard had almost a .300 difference in OPS between facing right handed and left handed pitchers.
Carefully Selected Quote Cliche Of The Game
From Baseball Prospectus, tonight I’ll go with Roy Halladay’s perspective:
My job is to keep it close and good things are going to happen. I just wanted to win the game. I was throwing my normal game like I pitch to any other team. I thought I was throwing a lot of strikes.
Or maybe, this would be better considering his recent quotes.
Such stuff as dreams are made on.
Stray Observations Of The Game
There was never really a whole lot of worry for the Phillies despite the Cardinals early lead. However, the lineup kept swinging at first pitches and making Kyle Lohse look much better than he reall is. The first batter to battle him was Howard, and after that it all came undone for the St. Louis starter.
Chase Utley’s base running was incredible in the seventh inning. It’s such a lazy phrase, but in Utley’s case it’s probably accurate to call him a complete player.
I can’t believe I was so critical of the Lance Berkman signing this offseason. Looking at his numbers prior to last year and even with his age I probably should’ve seen this for the bargain it was.
I think Philadelphia might be a little bit in love with Hunter Pence. Enormous ovations seem to erupt whenever he’s involved in a play.