Halladay hits bump, takes first loss
Phillies ace tagged for five runs in seven innings
SAN FRANCISCO -- Roy Halladay eventually emerged from the back of the visitor's clubhouse at AT&T Park, drenched in sweat more than 30 minutes following Monday's loss to the San Francisco Giants.Halladay works out after every start. But he is so deadly serious about his craft that one wonders if he punishes himself a bit when he is not near perfect like he had been in his first four starts with the Phillies. Halladay allowed 10 hits and five runs in seven innings in a 5-1 loss. "You learn from it and move on," Halladay said. "You take something out of it. You take the positives and try to correct the mistakes and move on. There's nothing you can do about it now other than learn from it. You do that, show up tomorrow, work hard and go out and be aggressive next time." Halladay did not pitch terribly Monday. He certainly lacked some of the sharpness he had in previous starts, but the Giants also hit some pretty good pitches. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he thought Mark DeRosa's two-out single in the first inning, which led to two runs, "loosened guys up and sent some confidence throughout the lineup. We had some good at-bats against one of the best pitchers in the game." "They hit some good pitches and I made some poor pitches that cost me," Halladay said. Halladay had dazzled in his first four starts for the Phillies. He went 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA to join Cliff Lee (4-0, 0.82 ERA in 2009) and Lee Meadows (4-0, 0.23 ERA in 1919) as the only pitchers in Phillies history to win their first four starts with the team with an ERA under 1.00. Halladay also had been 6-0 with a 0.53 ERA in his last six starts, dating to last season with the Toronto Blue Jays. But he couldn't pitch perfectly forever. Somebody finally got him. It was the first time Halladay had allowed five runs since he allowed eight in six innings Aug. 24 against the Tampa Bay Rays. "I've got to give him credit," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "He puts some balls down in the strike zone and they hit them and found holes. Some of them were hit good. That's kind of how it went." Halladay kept the Phillies in the game, but the offense couldn't bail him out. The Phillies had runners on first and second with one out in the first, but did not score. They had the bases loaded with one out in the third, but did not score. They had runners on second and third with no outs in the fifth, but scored just once. They had runners on first and second with one out and the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh, but did not score. They were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. The Phillies have lost six of their last nine games. They have hit .221 with a .613 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in that span, averaging just 3.1 runs per game. They have hit just .171 (13-for-76) with runners in scoring position. "Bottom line: They outplayed us," Manuel said. "We had guys all over the bases and we didn't knock nobody in. We couldn't get a hit when we had to. That's kind of how the game went. Halladay was still pretty good, but at the same time we weren't very good because we couldn't get any hits. We had runners all over the place." Manuel had no explanation why the offense has struggled recently with runners in scoring position. "They're making outs with guys on base," he said. "What the hell? That's all you can say. Hey, if you're trying too hard, don't try hard. Be under control. Stay focused on what you're doing. That's all. Bottom line is they were sitting there for us and we didn't get a hit."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.