We're back with another edition of Live Cheese, where every game we offer you friendly neighborhood running commentary, analysis and notes. Check back throughout tonight's game against Marlins righthander Josh Johnson and feel free to post your own thoughts. It's like a color commentator who you don't have to listen to, and who will read your ridicule.
9:07 p.m. (Phillies 6, Marlins 1, bot 6th) - We've reached the point of the night where I have to decide the direction I want to go for the story that will run in tomorrow's paper. Right now, I'm leaning toward focusing on Roy Halladay, because nights like tonight are what impresses me most about him. Early on, it was clear he did not have his sharpest stuff. He was struggling to locate pitches. His velocity wasn't great. He was getting deep into counts. But now you look up at the scoreboard and you see the Marlins with one run and five hits through six innings. Many other major league pitchers, even good major league pitchers, might have given up a crooked number before the Phillies were able to break out for five runs in the bottom of the third. Not Halladay. At this level, the majority of athletes have the talent to be great for one night. But Halladay is great every night. At 95 pitches, it looks like he'll pitch the seventh.
8:29 p.m. - (Phillies 5, Marlins 1, top 4th) - Freddy Galvis seems to have conquered the hearts and minds -- the rookie second baseman cracked open the game in the bottom of the third with a bases-loaded double off of Josh Johnson. During the at-bat, run-starved Phillies fans chanted "Freddy! Freddy!" at the light-hitting 22-year-old, who had his first hit as a pro on Monday, a two-run double. The Marlins had walked Carlos Ruiz to get to Galvis with two outs in the inning. Galvis, a switch hitter, made them pay.
8:09 p.m. (Phillies 3, Marlins 1, bot 3rd) - One of the big reasons the Phillies gave Juan Pierre a roster spot was his ability on the basepaths, and you saw it here, as the speedy left fielder scored from second on a sharp ground ball from Placido Polanco that caromed off of Josh Johnson's foot and into the hole at short stop. Pierre started things off with a one-out single to right, then stole second, although replays show that Jose Reyes likely tagged him out before his hand reached the bag. Regardless, he was ruled safe. Jimmy Rollins add an RBI single and just like that the Phillies have a lead. Hunter Pence then adds an RBI single on a 3-1 curveball after fouling back a belt-high 3-0 fastball from Johnson.
8:02 p.m. (Marlins 1, Phillies 0, bot 3rd) - Roy Halladay averaged 4.3 three-ball counts per start last season. He has three through his first three innings of work tonight. Halladay has thrown 59 pitches, 38 for strikes. The Phillies bullpen looks like it is going to get some work tonight.
7:50 p.m. (Marlins 1, Phillies 0, end 2nd) - According to the MLB rulebook, the correct call was made at second base when Hunter Pence collided with Omar Infante as Infante tried to field a one-hopper off the bat of Shane Victorino. Rule 7.08 states that "any runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not." Victorino remained at first on a fielder's choice. He eventually ended up at third base after a single by John Mayberry Jr. and a stolen base, but Freddy Galvis grounded out to end the inning.
7:35 p.m. (Marlins 1, Phillies 0, middle 2nd) - Halladay already at 37 pitches through two innings. As @Mushi1029 notes on Twitter, Josh Johnson threw just nine pitches against the Phillies in the bottom of the first. Johnson entered the night with a hit and a walk against Halladay, and now he has his first RBI. Halladay still struggling to command his pitches. Omar Infante had two HRs on Monday and now he's added a double off the wall to set up Miami's first run. Halladay fell behind 3-0 before surrendering the double.
7:22 p.m. (Phillies 0, Marlins 0, middle 1st) - Roy Halladay was not sharp there in the first inning, which is something we are not used to seeing. According to pitchFx, he hit 91 with his first pitch of the night but sat 88-89 the rest of the inning. He also struggled to locate his pitches, missing up in the zone a couple of times. With runners on first and second and two out, he was ahead of Logan Morrison 1-2 but threw three straight balls to walk the bases loaded. He then got Gaby Sanchez to ground out to end the inning. Still no score. It will be interesting to see how Halladay bounces back.
PRE-GAME: It is chilly at Citizens Bank Park tonight. As far as I have seen they are not predicting any meaningful rain, which means that you can expect a lengthy delay in the sixth inning. The temperature is reading 48 degrees right now. That's all I've got.
Here's a comparison of the Phillies' offense through four games:
|Thru 4 games 2012||1-3||145||8||26||4||1||8||10||29|
|Thru 4 games 2011||3-1||157||22||44||10||2||22||15||26|
|Thru 4 games 2010||3-1||183||32||52||20||4||29||28||18|
|Thru 4 games 2009||1-3||152||16||28||11||2||16||19||18|
|Thru 4 games 2008||2-2||156||22||35||14||6||22||16||26|
|Thru 4 games 2007||1-3||171||17||38||14||4||17||22||36|
|Thru 4 games 2006||0-4||148||13||36||17||5||13||8||28|
|Thru 4 games 2005||1-3||161||20||38||7||2||19||18||26|