Roy Halladay speaks like most starters after making their spring training debut. He just doesn’t pitch like them.
The Phillies’ ace stressed that he has some things to work on, but Halladay looked awfully sharp yesterday after pitching two innings against the New York Yankees.
Aside from giving up a home run to Alex Rodriguez, Doc was throwing darts. Halladay gave up a run on two hits in two innings. He also struck out three, walked none and faced nine batters.
“It was good for the most part,” Halladay said. “I was really happy with location. It was good getting the regular arm slot. I feel good but I have a little ways to go.”
Halladay worked on the cutter, changeup and sinker. The change fooled Robinson Cano and Justin Maxwell. However, Rodriguez clubbed the sinker for his first spring training homer of the season to right center.
“I didn’t think it was going out, but he hit it well,” Halladay said. “It was a sinker that was supposed to be in.”
Halladay figures to debut his curveball during his next start. The Yankees earned a 7-4 win, but part of the story was a gusty 20-mph wind, which made most fly balls an adventure. The Phillies committed four errors, including two from Michael Martinez, who botched a pair of double plays. If Martinez continues to play subpar defense, that could open the door for Kevin Frandsen as the utility player.
Domonic Brown, who had considerable trouble in the outfield last season, muffed a fly ball to left field for an error. The Phillies’ former top prospect tripled and singled.
“I’m just going to try to do the best that I can,” Brown said. “I feel good swinging the bat.”
The Phillies’ offense picked it up with 12 hits. Hunter Pence’s power stroke is in full-effect. The rangy right fielder slammed his second Grapefruit League homer in as many games. Pence drilled a Freddy Garcia fastball over the left-field fence. Garcia gave up four hits and two runs in two innings. Garcia struck out two, walked none and faced 10 batters.
Veterans Scott Podsednik and Juan Pierre each had hits and looked good as they battle for the Phillies’ fifth outfielder spot. Freddy Galvis, Jimmy Rollins’ heir apparent, chipped in with a pair of hits.
Pitchers Joel Piniero and Phillipe Aumont had rough outings. Piniero gave up three runs and three hits in two innings, while Aumont yielded three runs on four hits in an inning. The 6-foot-8 Aumont is an intimidating figure armed with a plus fastball. If he could develop a nasty streak (perhaps new closer Jonathan Papelbon could help with that), Aumont could become an intriguing reliever. Joe Savery impressed with a pair of strikeouts and could battle Dontrelle Willis for the second left-handed bullpen slot.