Since starting the season with a 14.73 ERA through two starts, Halladay has a 1.71 ERA and .114 opponents' batting average his last three times out. He's coming off a one-hit performance against the Pirates in which he again turned to his curveball to do the work in two-strike counts.
On the season, opponents are 1-for-25 with 17 strikeouts against Doc's curve. The cutters have become a thing of the past -- Halladay now uses the pitch as often as he uses his changeup.
Halladay hasn't faced the Indians since 2009, and the only member of that team still in Cleveland is shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. He has seen some of these Indians over the years, though. Jason Giambi is 22 for 72 (.291) with four homers and seven walks. Nick Swisher has five extra-base hits off Halladay in 20 at-bats.
His counterpart is 6-foot-6 righty Zach McAllister, who has a 3.52 ERA and has averaged close to 8.0 K/9 since being traded to Cleveland from the Yankees in 2010 for Austin Kearns. (Good trade...)
McAllister walked five batters his last time out but doesn't typically struggle with control. He comes right at hitters with a 92-94 mph fastball that he's thrown 73% of the time this season. He also has a slider that comes in at about 78, and he doesn't fully trust his changeup, so he tends to stay with the fastball when ahead against lefties.
The Phillies are rolling right now, offensively and pitching-wise, and need to keep the momentum this week against two bad teams. The Indians are 10-13 and not pitching well, and after these two games come four at home with the woeful Marlins, who just placed Giancarlo Stanton on the DL Tuesday.
At the very least, this should be a 4-2 week for the Phillies. That would put them at 16-16 as they head out west for three at the Giants and four at the Diamondbacks.
As bad as April may have appeared, the Phillies are a mere game behind the Nationals and just 4.5 behind Atlanta, which snapped a four-game losing streak on Monday.