New Castle News


April 6, 2012

Happy Halladay: Phillies’ pitchers blanks Bucs on opening day

PITTSBURGH — If only Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies had gotten this 1-0 win last October.

Halladay was nearly flawless for eight innings yesterday and the Phillies showed off their pitching from the start, opening a new season by edging the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Missing injured stars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, the Phillies scored the lone run they needed on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Ruiz in the seventh. New closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his first National League save.

“It was a good game for us,” Halladay said. “It went the way we wanted and Papelbon came in and got his feet wet and got that out of the way. All in all I think it was a good way to do it.”

For Halladay and his teammates, it was a familiar score with a different winner. Their season ended last year when Halladay lost a 1-0 decision to Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals in the deciding Game 5 in the first round of the NL playoffs.

The Phillies start this season as the favorites to win their sixth straight NL East title.

Making his 10th opening day start, Halladay didn’t argue when manager Charlie Manuel opted to bring in Papelbon.

“I understand at this point,” Halladay said. “A couple weeks from now I’m going to fight him.”

The two-time Cy Young winner sparkled, giving up just two first-inning singles while striking out five without issuing a walk.

Halladay was pulled three outs before getting a chance at his 21st shutout.

“We just didn’t get many pitches to hit,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.

The Pirates are hardly the Cardinals — who went on to win the World Series last year — yet starter Erik Bedard nearly matched Halladay pitch for pitch, giving up only one run in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one, though it wasn’t enough to keep Pittsburgh from losing its first season opener since 2006.

“I’ve done it before so it wasn’t a big deal but it was nice to get the chance to do it with a new team and it was nice to pitch well in front of the fans,” Bedard said. “Anytime you lose, you wind up disappointed. I wish I wouldn’t have been able to hold them off the board but they got one across and that made the difference.”

Ty Wigginton, filling in while Howard continues to rehab his left Achilles, singled with one out in the seventh and John Mayberry followed with a double to right.

Ruiz, who had three hits, sent a fading liner to right and Jose Tabata made the catch, but Wigginton slid under catcher Rod Barajas’ tag to give Philadelphia the lead.

It was just a run, but it was plenty for Halladay.

Hurdle has preached the word “finish” as Pittsburgh’s mantra for 2012 after the Pirates collapsed following a brief flirtation with first place last July. Pittsburgh could never get started, however, against Halladay.

Baseball’s best pitcher over the last decade gave up singles to Alex Presley and Jose Tabata to start the game, eerily similar to the two hits he allowed against St. Louis in that Game 5 last fall. The Cardinals, however, turned those hits into the game’s only run.

Pittsburgh — which brought in veterans Clint Barmes and Barajas to help kick-start one of baseball’s weakest offenses last season — didn’t get that close.

Andrew McCutchen, who signed a $51 million deal last month as the linchpin of the Pirates’ rebuilding project, grounded into a double play and Neil Walker flied out to end the first-inning threat.

That was the only chance the Pirates got against Halladay. Pittsburgh’s only two baserunners over the final eight innings came on hit batters.

“Nobody solves Roy Halladay,” Presley said. “I don’t need to tell anyone how good he is. He pitched a great game. He shut us down after the first inning.”

And Papelbon took care of the ninth. Manuel never hesitated to bring in the former Boston reliever despite Halladay’s dominance.

Halladay never threw more than 88 pitches during spring training and had 92 in eight innings. That was enough for Manuel.

“He hadn’t been stretched out,” Manuel said. “I figure if he went into the ninth and they took some pitches he was going to go to 105-112 somewhere in there. By three or four starts he’ll be wound up to go 115-120.”

Bedard tried to his best to keep pace.  Mixing speeds and locating his curveball expertly, the left-hander who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career worked quickly. His only bobble came in the seventh, but it was enough to prevent the Pirates from staying unbeaten all-time in opening day games against the Phillies.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Pirates Rockies Baseb_Fusc.jpg Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1

    Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • MANGINO.jpg Mangino finding new home at Iowa State

     The first time Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey saw Mark Mangino, the former Kansas coach and current ISU offensive coordinator stopped him in his tracks.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1

    Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Aloi.jpg Aloi's PIAA eligibility hearing postponed

    The wait continues for Nick Aloi. Aloi, who transferred from Ellwood City Lincoln High to Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School on Jan. 21, still does not know if he will get to play a full season for the Leopards’ basketball team

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7

    Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ManzielJersey.jpg Manziel scores as NFL’s top-selling jersey

    Second on Cleveland’s depth chart, Johnny Manziel already tops one NFL list.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huston.jpg Greg Huston: Pedro, Steelers' Training Camp and LeBron

    Pedro Alvarez’s throwing woes have not subsided after the All-Star break and he has become a defensive liability, especially late in games.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates.jpg Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsbur‘gh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC_Hoops.jpg Former Lady 'Canes stars reunite for tour of Europe

    Ryenn Micaletti and Abby Allen are headed to Europe. Micaletti and Allen — both members of the 2007 WPIAL Class AAAA girls basketball championship team — have joined forces with News Release Basketball to spend nearly three weeks in Germany and Belgium later this summer playing basketball and helping run clinics.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • pickle.tiff Pickleball players return

    Pickleball season is back, but some Neshannock Township residents said have no place to play.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Shoot For 2
House Ads
Photo of the Day