With all of Philadelphia and most of the baseball world watching, Roy Halladay turned in a very confusing, abbreviated start Wednesday in Atlanta. He threw 40 pitches in a three-run first inning, but did strike out nine batters over 3.1 innings while getting his fastball up to 92 mph. The result of the game was a lopsided 9-2 loss. For the second straight game, the Braves hit 3 homers.
Halladay became the first pitcher in the history of baseball to strike out nine or more batters while lasting just 3.1 innings.
It was also the first start of his career in which he struck out at least nine, walked at least three and gave up at least two homers. That's how un-Doc-like this performance was.
The positive signs were the velocity, the strikeouts and the 16 swings-and-misses he induced through just three innings. The negatives were an overall lack of command (again) and the homers to Justin Upton and Evan Gattis. Halladay walked Dan Uggla twice and Freddie Freeman once, and also threw a wild pitch.
The Phils fell behind 7-0 and scored their two runs in the seventh on a Chase Utley double. Utley has driven in five of the Phillies' seven runs this season on a single, double, triple and homer.
The situational struggles continued. Through two games, the Phillies are 4-for-21 with runners in scoring position and have stranded 17 runners. Erik Kratz was the goat of the game, grounding into a double play and striking out twice. He stranded six men by himself.
But ... it's just one loss. The Phillies are 0-2. So were the Giants last year and the Cardinals the year before. Both won the World Series. In fact, 7 of the last 16 teams to start 0-2 made the playoffs.
So all hope isn't lost. They won't face Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton everyday.