Halladay stifles Bosox bats, in 4-1 victory

(Posted by Mike Frohwirth)

In a preview of World Series Game 1, Phils' ace Roy Halladay outdueled his Boston counterpart, Jon Lester, and the Phillies rode a three-run sixth inning rally to a 4-1 win. The economical Halladay delighted another sellout home crowd, permitting only a single run, over seven and two-thirds innings. In his final Spring start, Halladay worked methodically through the Sox lineup, allowing only five hits. Halladay was replaced in the eighth inning, when he had reached ninety-eight pitches, by Ryan Madson. Madson finished up for the save.

The Phillies bunched four singles, and a pair of walks, in a three-run sixth inning, knocking a tiring Lester from the game. The key hit was a two-run single by 3B/CF Josh Barfield. The Phillies' offense was quieted by Red Sox pitching for most of the game, but the sixth inning outburst was more than enough support for Halladay.

Misc. Game Notes

  • The game may not have actually featured the 2011 World Series Game 1 matchup, as the Red Sox could be forced to start Clay Buchholz or John Lackey in Game 1, depending on how many games it takes them to defeat the Yankees in the ALCS.
  • The Phillies did not get their first hit until the fifth inning, when Roy Halladay lined a single to right field. Though best known for breaking the faces of others, Halladay almost broke his own face earlier in the same at-bat, fouling a ball off his nose.
  • Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino and leftfielder Raul Ibanez collided pursuing a fly ball in the fifth inning. The ball fell for a triple, and an injured Victorino was forced to leave the game. Victorino sustained a cut over his left eye, but should not miss any time. Ibanez was not harmed by the diminutive Hawaiian.
  • The Red Sox' only run scored on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly. Rightfielder Ben Francisco made a strong throw on the play, but catcher Brian Schneider was unable to control the short hop. Home plate umpire initially called Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie out on the play, but reversed his call when the ball rolled up the third base line.
  • The Red Sox left the bases loaded against Halladay in the sixth inning, when infielder Ryan Khoury was retired on a hard liner to left field.
  • Halladay will throw one more side session, in preparation for his Opening Day start.
  • On several occasions, the Phillies did that weird thing where you hold the bat almost horizontally and try to tap the ball for a short distance. The ESPN broadcast team reported that this maneuver is referred to as a "bunt." Hopefully, the Phils won't utilize this technique too often in the regular season. If Shane Victorino is called on to "bunt", with two runners on, in a game that actually counts, Charlie Manuel will be receiving a rather harshly-worded email.
  • The game was played in a mere two hours and twenty-two minutes, as Halladay and Lester worked quickly, and the two teams' offenses were largely silenced.
  • Newly-acquired 2B Luis Castillo is expected to be in the lineup on Tuesday.
  • The game was televised nationally, by ESPN. It was refreshing to watch an ESPN game, without Joe Morgan involved in any way, shape, or form.
  • This DirectTV commercial was featured during almost every commercial break. Like a great album, this commercial gets better with every view. You will notice something new, every time. Epic Win, indeed.