If you glanced at the Phillies starting infield against the Washington Nationals, you would think that it was a Grapefruit League game
While going with Hector Luna (a minor league call-up) at first, Mike Fontenot (released by the Giants during the spring) at second and Freddy Galvis (a minor leaguer prior to this season) at short, the Phillies needed a big game from Roy Halladay — especially when the club’s best hitter, Carlos Ruiz, got thrown out of the game in the third after arguing a call with home plate umpire Gary Cederstrom.
They didn’t get it. The Nationals beat the two-time Cy Young Award winner and the Phillies, 5-2. The Phillies, who have lost four straight games, staked Halladay to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Luna double in the second. However, Halladay gave up a four-spot and the game in the third inning.
The big damage was done by Philadelphia’s latest public enemy, Bryce Harper, who drilled a Halladay curve for a two-run triple. The rookie phenom also scored.
“The one to Harper was a bad pitch and it cost me,” Halladay said. “They were swinging early. You can take advantage of that if you’re making good pitches.”
Halladay, who won 11 straight against the Nats, dating back to 2002 when the club was the Montreal Expos, also gave up home runs to Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel.
“The one to Desmond was a pretty good pitch,” Halladay said. “The one to Ankiel was not in a good spot.”
Halladay (4-4) gave up nine hits and five earned runs in six innings. He struck out six. The Phillies have now lost six of Halladay’s last seven starts. Doc is 1-4 with a 4.75 ERA during that stretch. Halladay has given up five home runs over his last 28 innings after not allowing a homer in his first 40 innings of the season.
“I have to do better,” Halladay said. “We have to do better.”
The Phillies left nine on base and were 1-7 with runners in scoring position.
“You score runs by hitting the ball hard,” Charlie Manuel said. “We’re not doing that now.”
It was especially difficult without Ruiz, who is hitting .344. His ejection surprised Manuel and Halladay.
“I didn’t see anything wrong with what he did,” Halladay said. “He didn’t turn around [at the ump]. He didn’t get in his face. He didn’t use obscene language. He said the pitch is a strike. He said it a couple of times. I’ve never seen one [an ejection] like that before and it’s unfortunate since he’s our best player and he gets run out of the game for saying the pitch is a strike. We needed him.”
That was so apparent since a healthy portion of the starting lineup looked as if it was designed to open a game in Clearwater in March.
Baseball 101 for Women
It’s easier to score tickets for a Phillies game than it is for female fans to land ducats for the club’s annual Baseball 101 for Women class.
“We were on five different phones dialing hoping to get through,” said Lynne Martin, of Lumberton, N.J. “We got through just in time. It sold out quickly, like it usually does.”
The 12th Baseball 101 session, which attracted 140 women Tuesday, has sold out each time it has been presented at Citizens Bank Park. Martin hit the ball off a tee in the batting cages near the clubhouse, threw a baseball in the bullpen with her friend Barb Hoopes, of Haddon Township, N.J.
“This is my fourth time and Lynne’s first time,” Hoopes said. “I love it. We do something different every year. This year we got to go in the Phanavision booth to see how that works and that was really interesting. It was wonderful hearing Charlie Manuel, who came in to speak with us. We got to hear from the coaches. It was amazing.”
Hoopes intends to return next year for the 2013 version of Baseball 101 for women but will she continue to catch the last-place Phillies?
“Absolutely,” Hoopes said. “I’m not a bandwagon jumper. We have two six packs of tickets. They’re having trouble right now but look where the St. Louis Cardinals were last year [10.5 games out with a month to play]. They made the wild card and won the World Series. I’ll always come out for this and Phillies games.”