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Sunday reading: Roy Halladay, Austin Jackson, Javier Vazquez and Brian Cashman

Off yesterday's Mets game, I wrote about Roy Halladay, who righted the Phillies' universe for a day. If any other pitcher had thrown a 118-pitch complete game in a 10-0 blowout, I might've thrown on my "pitch-count police" hat and called out Charlie Manuel.

Not for Halladay, though. He's the most durable pitcher in the game, and he has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Now, if Halladay pitches deep in the postseason this year, as CC Sabathia did last year, the equation would change in 2011.


I wrote about Halladay partly because he is such a central figure now in the Mets-Phillies rivalry, but also because I didn't think it was fair to draw any grand conclusions about the Mets and Mike Pelfrey from one game. If Jose Reyes and Alex Cora make those plays in the fourth inning  - and Cora's play on Jayson Werth was particularly tough - then it might've been a different game.

Speaking of which, did you see how easily Chase Utley would've been doubled off second base if Cora had held onto the ball? Because Cora didn't catch the ball, Utley scored easily, while Ryan Howard - who was properly far more cautious at first base - made it only to second.

"I thought it was going to drop in," Utley said after the game, smiling, "just like it did."

--Bob Klapisch wrote about Halladay and his leadership by example.

--Daniel Murphy could wind up back in the minor leagues when he comes off the disabled list. It could make more sense to just have Murphy replace Frank Catalanotto at the major-league level, but I wouldn't see sending Murphy to the minors - to work on other positions - as an egregious mistake. The bottom line is that the Mets already might have received more from Murphy - in that glorious 2008 run - than they ever could have expected, prior to that point.

--David Wright had some words with home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa.

--Bad day for the Yankees, with Javier Vazquez getting hammered again and Curtis Granderson getting injured. The headline on Anthony Rieber's column is dramatically misleading, as Rieber does anything but contend that Vazquez "can't make it in New York." Rather, Anthony includes some observations from a scout that indict the quality of Vazquez's stuff.

The question then becomes, what is wrong with Vazquez's stuff? If it's not a physical thing, then is it a mechanics? That's what the Yankees contend. If so, then the Yankees should skip Vazquez's next turn, which would come Friday in Boston, and have him work with pitching coach Dave Eiland on those mechanics. If Vazquez truly isn't hurt, then he seems to be stuck in a vicious cycle, in which poor mechanics fuel poor results, which in turn diminish his confidence - and back to the mechanics.

Thursday's off day allows the Yankees to go with Phil Hughes, Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in Boston, assuming those three get through their next starts healthy.

--My Sunday Insider is nowhere to be found on our website, but I wrote about Austin Jackson's hot start with Detroit. And given yesterday's happenings with the Yankees - an awful Vazquez and hurt Granderson - it's not a stretch to say that, here on May 2, Brian Cashman's 2009-10 offseason has turned out very poorly so far. Nick Johnson has a respectable on-base percentage but terrible slugging percentage.

In Detroit, meanwhile, Jackson's teammate Johnny Damon hit a walkoff homer yesterday. And on the other side of the field at Comerica Park, Hideki Matsui has stayed healthy with the Angels, although his numbers are down from last year.

Of course, it's folly to get too worked up over anything on May 2. We'll just continue to monitor.

--David Robertson had a bad day, and with Mark Melancon up now, Joe Girardi figures to be proactive in shaking up his bullpen hierarchy if people aren't performing.

--Mike Lupica writes that baseball should pull out of the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix, if this immigration law comes to be. I mentioned in my Sunday Insider today (I swear, it's in the newspaper) that I understood why MLB was waiting to comment until all of the dust clears. But if the law does make it through all of the hoops, then yes, I agree. The 2011 Midsummer Classic's locale should be changed.

UPDATE, 8:49 a.m.: The great Lizzie Nielsen of has put my Sunday Insider up on the site. The squeaky wheel has received its grease. Thanks, Lizzie.

UPDATE, 7:23 p.m.: The good news is that the headline on Anthony Rieber's column has been changed to something that actually reflects the column. The bad news is that I misspelled the great Lizzy Nielsen's name. Sorry, Lizzy.

Nice night here at CBP. See you tomorrow morning.

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