Halladay, best of the new era

On the anniversary of the day the greatest right-handed hurler in Phillies history died, there was one question on everyone’s mind: Is Roy Halladay the modern-day Robin Roberts?

“Not that many people can stack up to him,” Halladay said. “Obviously, it’s a tremendous compliment.

Those are the types of players that everybody aspires to be as good as.”

The two aces have similar mechanics, baffling hitters with a slight flick of the wrist. They share that same old-school philosophy of finishing what they started. Halladay had thrown back-to-back complete games before Thursday. Roberts once threw 28 in a row.

“To this day it amazes me how guys did that,” Halladay said. “For me, it’s about just wanting the ball, just wanting to compete.”

Halladay (6-1, 1.61 ERA) did just that against the Cardinals. The Phils ace went seven strong innings, allowing one earned run and striking out nine on 119 pitches. When he loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, Halladay came right back by striking out Matt Holliday. After giving up an RBI single to Albert Pujols in the seventh, he talked Charlie Manuel into keeping him in the game.

“He’s our top pitcher. I wanted to see where he was at,” said Manuel, referring to the visit. “He said, ‘I can get this guy, I want him.’”

Then, Halladay chucked a deceptive curveball and forced an easy groundout.

“He gave me a chance,” Halladay said. “That makes you want to get out of jams even more.”

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