Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Halladay "loses" duel with Josh Johnson

Apparently Roy Halladay has to be perfect if he wants to beat Josh Johnson.

In a rematch from last season when Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Marlins, two of the best pitchers in baseball lived up to the hype, each mowing down the opposition and going deep into the game. In the end, an unearned run given up by Halladay was the difference as the Marlins edged the Phillies, 2-1.

Despite getting hung with the loss, Halladay was his usual dominant self, striking out 9 Marlins and giving up only 1 earned run. He basically made only one mistake, a walk to the opposing pitcher (Johnson) that set up the Marlins first run of the game. The second run was unearned after a Jimmy Rollins error allowed the first batter to get on base in the 8th inning, a play that triggered another Marlins tally.

The Phillies offense, which scored its only run on a Ryan Howard homer, couldn't be faulted for not producing against Johnson. While they had no problem getting guys on base in the early innings, they couldn't capitalize after Johnson bore down and went for the kill. If Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball, a case could be made that Johnson is right behind him.

The best thing about the Phillies is that, whenever they lose, they have another ace taking the mound in short order: Cliff Lee will look to follow up his 16 strikeout performance tomorrow in the series rubber match. It should only take a run or two from the offense to get a win.
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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