Phillies’ Halladay Sets Tone for Another Winning Season of Baseball

March 10, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

In 1972, the Phillies Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton went 27-10 and won the Cy Young Award on a bad Phillies team.

The team went 59-97, but on every fourth or fifth day when Carlton pitched, the Phillies were a different team and played like champions.

Fast forward to today, as another Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay took the hill against the Atlanta Braves in pre-season action Tuesday night. Halladay pitched three scoreless innings, giving up three hits, striking out five and walking none.

The Phillies won the game, 7-4.

Now this is preseason, but it ain’t 1972.

The Phillies are three-time National League Eastern Division champions, back-to-back National League champions, and have been in the last two World Series.

Their big offseason splash was the trade for Toronto ace Roy Halladay and the departure of another Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee to Seattle.

This Phillies team is loaded, especially on offense and anything less than another NL East crown and a trip to the National League Championship Series would be considered an off season.

Halladay, for one, has not disappointed.

His cut fastball is nasty, approaching the plate like a fastball, only to befuddle the batter as the bottom drops out.

He made Braves’ catcher Brian McCann look like a double-A callup on a curveball that McCann was way out in front of.


The big question to me is what to do with Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth.

Werth’s two-run home run in the second inning should be a sign of what could be a monster season.

Domonic Brown is hitting .412 this preseason and John Mayberry Jr. hit a two-run single in the sixth to break the game open, 7-4.

Brown’s progression in particular could spell the fate of Werth, who could be playing out the final year of his contract.

If Werth has a monster first couple of months this season, the Phillies would have to make a serious offer to re-sign him for at least three years.

The All-Star break will be too late.

Werth turns 31 in May and three years might be too much for the Phils to commit to long term.

Werth, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, and newcomer Placido Polanco will pace the offense.

Roy Halladay will set the pace for the pitching staff.

The Braves, Nationals, and Mets all made off-season moves to strengthen their clubs.

The Marlins did little, but kept a young and talented nucleus intact.

Last night’s win against the Braves was great to watch on MLB Network and felt awfully familiar to Phils’ fans: take an early lead, fall behind by a run or two, then in the last four frames crack the game open and win going away.

Injury, luck, fading and rising stars always play a part in any baseball season.

It should be a fun ride for Phillies fans. Get your popcorn …

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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