In his first start since being placed on the DL, Roy Halladay pitched pretty well for the Philadelphia Phillies. He lasted six innings, threw a total of 94 pitches, walked two, struck out two and yielded just two earned runs on four hits. Overall, Halladay’s start was good but not spectacular and if nothing else he could have been a tinge lucky.
Entering the 2013 season, the expectation for Halladay was pretty high because simply put, he was playing for a new contract. After last season’s struggles and having missed the entire month of June, it seemed unlikely that Haladay was going to reach the innings required to vest an additional contract year. As a result, Halladay, at 36-years-old, looked set to become a free agent.
The Phillies, as much as they would love to bring Halladay back, are in a position of strength when it comes to starting pitching. Obviously, none of their minor league arms can even come close to the ability of the two-time Cy Young award winner, but it is quite possible that Halladay is long gone.
For that reason, it was entirely important that Halladay pitch again in 2013 following his rotator cuff surgery. According to doctors, Halladay’s surgery had the potential to turn the clock back a few years which, if accurate, would have him back pitching to the level he was at when he won his NL Cy Young and threw a perfect game.
Had he not pitched in 2013, the Phillies would have just been going off of good faith. The fact that Halladay was able to start against the Arizona Diamondbacks was a huge step for him to show other teams what he has left.
But is it possible that Halladay’s start today offered deceiving stats?
In the third inning, with two outs and a runner on first, the Diamondbacks might have looked to mount a rally. And if not for Roger Bernadina, they very well might have. After timing a fly ball perfectly, Bernadina reached over the wall to pull back what would have been the 10th home run given up by Halladay this season.
And had that ball gone for a home run, the Diamondbacks would have tied the Phillies at 4-4 and we might be talking about a different story when it comes to Halladay’s first start. So while he may have been good, Halladay certainly had some luck on his side too.
And you know the saying: better lucky than good.