Thursday, July 31, 2014
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One pitching trend to watch

There isn't much to say because a lot of it has already been said. It's Game 5. It's Halladay. It's Carpenter. It's the entire weight of a city's expectations on nine innings (or more) of baseball.

One pitching trend to watch

Roy Halladay will start Game 5 of the NLDS against Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay will start Game 5 of the NLDS against Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

There isn't much to say because a lot of it has already been said. It's Game 5. It's Halladay. It's Carpenter. It's the entire weight of a city's expectations on nine innings (or more) of baseball. 

And you could study the largest sample sizes possible to make predictions or statements, but none of that matters in a decisive game. It's the smallest of margins and things will happen that defy previous trends.

But one particular stat jumped out when combing through the various splits and numbers of Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter. Much, of course, has been made of Halladay's woes against the first batter of the game. During the regular season, the first batter reached base in 15 of Halladay's 32 starts. Leadoff batters in any innings hit .317/.343/.436 off Halladay.

And any baseball person would say, "No duh." Getting the first batter out is key. But when you inspect Halladay's numbers, it's even more conducive to success.

Here are opponents' numbers by out against Halladay:

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
0 outs 32 345 322 13 97 15 1 4 10 72 .301 .324 .391 .716
1 out 32 301 279 31 64 6 1 0 10 62 .229 .254 .258 .512
2 outs 32 287 271 19 47 6 2 6 15 86 .173 .220 .277 .496

Conversely, Carpenter is worse with more outs. First batters reached only six times in his 32 starts. And leadoff batters overall hit .217/.250/.291. But Carpenter has a tougher time finishing innings.

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
0 outs 34 326 308 19 71 6 1 5 11 61 .231 .259 .305 .564
1 out 34 345 309 35 84 15 2 3 25 61 .272 .330 .362 .693
2 outs 34 325 304 40 88 12 1 8 19 69 .289 .335 .414 .750

So if Halladay is consistently recording the first out without damage, it's a sign things could go very well for the pitcher given his history. Then again, maybe a Cardinal lashes a two-out solo home run and the Phillies lose, 1-0. Anything can happen because it's Game 5.

One last tidbit: Halladay is 45-18 with a 2.59 ERA in 84 career games started with an extra day of rest. In 2011, he was 7-1 with a 2.29 ERA in 10 starts with an extra day.

He'll pitch Game 5 with an extra day.


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Matt Gelb Inquirer Staff Writer
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