Commentary

Halladay doesn't have it in the Bronx

Tuesday's Yanks-Phils game was billed as a pitching duel, but that didn't quite happen

Updated: June 16, 2010, 1:40 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Fresh off taking a beating at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay spoke softly as he made a loud point. After tying a career-high by surrendering three home runs, Halladay wore a blank stare but made one thing purposely clear.

[+] EnlargeRoy Halladay
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesHalladay normally dominates the Yankees, but not on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

The shelling the Yankees put on his head wasn't just bad considering Roy Halladay's future Hall of Fame credentials, it was bad by any measure.

"It wasn't good by any standards," Halladay said after being a no-show for his heavyweight battle with CC Sabathia. "I didn't make pitches. I made mistakes."

In beating Halladay and the Philllies, 8-3, the Yankees did some dirty work for the Mets, who are just a half-game behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. The Phillies remained 3 1/2 games back.

The notorious Yankee killer, Halladay, took the loss and the blame. In giving up six runs (all earned) and eight hits over six innings, Halladay looked far from perfect as he allowed homers to Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira.

The problem? Halladay's cutter wasn't cutting and the Yankees sliced him into pieces.

"He wasn't as crisp as I've seen him in the past," Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long said.

In the past, Halladay has pretty much owned the Yankees, although it should be noted that of the nine times Halladay has allowed a home-run hat trick, the past three times (and four overall) have come against the Yankees.

Still, the story line going in, deservedly so, was Halladay's Yankee-killer numbers. He won 18 of his 24 decisions against the Yankees while wearing a Toronto Blue Jays uniform. In the past 26 years, only two other starting pitchers had ERAs of less than 4 with at least 100 innings against the Yankees, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Halladay clocked in at under 3 (2.84). Only Pedro Martinez (3.20) and David Wells (3.47) were even in shouting distance.

But on Tuesday, the Yankees were dialing long-distance. Impacted by what he and his manager, Charlie Manuel, thought was a tight strike zone from home-plate ump Lance Barksdale, Halladay grew agitated as he strained his neck watching long balls find the seats.

"You try to hold things in as long as you can when you are out there," Halladay said of his emotions. "At certain points, you let it go."

It was pretty understandable, considering what the Yankees did to him. As Halladay said, he never really gave his struggling team a chance to get out in front. They fell behind early, and then Sabathia sat on the lead.

Granderson started off the home run barrage. He'd had some success before against Halladay. In a small sample size -- just 12 at-bats -- Granderson had five hits (.417) against Halladay, including a home run.

The Yankees were already up 2-0 when Granderson went deep to lead off the third, thanks to a Brett Gardner second-inning two-run triple. On a 2-2 changeup, Granderson made it a 3-0 game, knocking a solo shot to right.

After Robinson Cano smashed a double, Swisher took his turn. Swisher, who is starting to look like an All-Star, first used Barksdale's strike zone to get ahead 2-0, and then he took one of Halladay's non-cutting 90-mph cutters and nailed a two-run homer. In the process, Swisher broke his bat.

Swisher said that was only the second time he had ever broken his bat on a homer.

Teixiera added his home run, an excuse-me fifth-inning solo shot that ducked just inside the right-field foul poll, next to the 314-foot sign.

Halladay was frustrated by his night. It was supposed to be Cy Young winner vs. Cy Young winner. But the way Halladay saw it, he was bad by any standard.

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

More from ESPNNewYork.com »

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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