Yankees batters have rare rocking of Halladay
It was called by many a "World Series rematch." But in truth, last night's Phillies-Yankees game was as similar to 2009 World Series Game 6 as the weather in early November is to that of mid-June.
Hideki Matsui wasn't the Yankees designated hitter last night and Johnny Damon didn't play leftfield. Alex Rodriguez wasn't at third base because of injury. Jimmy Rollins is on the disabled list.
It was 73 degrees at game time. On Nov. 4, when the Yankees won title No. 27, it was 47 degrees when Andy Pettitte threw the first pitch to Rollins.
And, most importantly, the Phillies aren't scaring anybody right now. The two-time defending National League champions lost for the 10th time in 14 games as the Yankees won the series opener at Yankee Stadium, 8-3.
The Phillies lost with Roy Halladay on the mound. Their imported ace - a proven Yankees-killer during his days with the Blue Jays - allowed three home runs after giving up one in his previous 64 innings.
But pitching generally hasn't been the Phillies' problem. They went into last night a startling 12th in the NL in runs and a respectable seventh in ERA despite playing their home games at tiny Citizens Bank Park.
The Yankees held the Phillies to five singles. It was the 12th time this season Philadelphia has been held to five hits or fewer.
"I don't know why we are not hitting as good as we can," manager Charlie Manuel said. "That's the way it goes. That's the way we've been playing."
The Phillies (32-30) were in first place in the NL East until Memorial Day; now they are third behind the Braves and Mets.
"It's never easy," Manuel said. "Winning's never easy. It's way harder than people think it is."
Halladay, who came in with an 8-4 record and 1.96 ERA, allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings with two walks and five strikeouts. It was his worst outing since May 23 at Boston - his other interleague start - when he gave up seven runs (six earned) in 52/3 innings in another 8-3 loss.
Halladay was traded by the Blue Jays to the Phillies in December and quickly agreed to a three-year, $60-million contract extension. He has been everything the Phillies could have hoped for and even threw a perfect game at Florida on May 29.
But last night, Halladay was less than perfect as Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira all took him deep and kept the Phillies in a funk.
"I think everybody's concerned," Halladay said. "We hate to lose. But I think we are all aware of what's going on and are trying to do our best to get out of it."