Phillies SP Roy Halladay (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
There is something strangely off about Roy Halladay.
Yes his ERA is a blistering 1.95 but it’s the uncharacteristically high number of walks he’s thrown so far this season that has Doc feeling a little but under the weather. Through five starts (and a 3-2 record), Halladay already has thrown 10 walks, nine coming in the last three games alone.
In fact, Halladay walked three straight batters for the first time in his illustrious career over a week ago, a feat one would never imagine the masterful Halladay could pull off.
The reason for this can be related to Halladay’s small drop in velocity early on in the season. Doc has said that as he gets older it takes him a little longer to get stronger.
That’s where his brilliance gets thrown front and center. Halladay has relied more on his deception and forcing hitters to swing at balls out of the strike zone than his usual mindset heading into each game of daring hitters to hit his pitchers.
All this does is create a few extra chances at walking batters and a raised pitch count. But Halladay is good enough at his own craft that he can get by and minimize any damage that he creates with an extra base runner or two per game.
Cause for concern? Doubtful, especially when Halladay’s best performances of the season are yet to come.
Halladay will need to be at his best tonight as the Braves will certainly be throwing their best at Philadelphia in return.
Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.00) has had a ton of success against the Phillies so far in his young career. In seven starts, Hanson is 1-2 with a 2.33 ERA against the Phillies.
Hanson’s allowed just nine earned runs in 36 1/3 innings of work against the Phils. Four of those nine runs have come in the last five starts against the Phillies.
Kratz up– The Phillies announced late last night that catcher Erik Kratz has been called up from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. This morning, it was made known that Jim Thome will go on the DL retroactive to this past Saturday.
Kratz made his Major League debut in 2010 and has played a little bit the last two seasons. In 42 plate appearances, Kratz is hitting .150 (6-for-40) with no homers and one RBI. He’s hitting .333 this year in Lehigh with three homers and nine RBIs.
*This is the third straight day with this line up.
Blog of the day: Over at “Crashburn Alley” they have a guest blogger today talking about the possible trade candidates for the Phillies over at third base. Anthony Rodin names a handful of candidates the Phillies could potentially get including David Wright (oh not, not that again) and Boston’s stud Kevin Youkilis. The first question that will always be asked when a trade is brought up is “do the Phillies even have anyone left to trade or that’s worth trading?” Rodin covers all of that, check it out.