Yesterday’s game wasn’t televised, so I was incredibly thankful that Philly.com allowed me to use the company jet (callsign: FLANKSTEAK ONE) to shoot on down to Clearwater after finishing my Saturday evening Wegman’s run. Here are my notes, key take-aways, observations, and recollections from Harry Leroy Halladay III’s first outing of what I promise will be a fun 2013.
- Ben Gibbard was on hand to sing the national anthem. Overwhelmed by the moment when introduced by the public address announcer, he sprinted- six string flung over right shoulder- out to the bullpen. Once arrived, Gibbard sang a heartfelt rendition of I’ll Follow You Into the Dark to Halladay. Roy didn’t notice him.
|Philly.com / Yong Kim|
- Doc was generally clocked in the 88 - 91 MPH, but my sources indicate the gun used was designed for balls thrown by normal humans, not genetically superior and metabolically optimized extreme mesomorphs.
- Clearly an emotional over-eater, Prince Fielder ate Michael Martinez after striking out against Roy in the second inning. Martinez returned later to play shortstop.
- Roy DEALING on the mound certainly inspired his teammates. After doubling, Ryan Howard tug-up and advanced to third on a deep fly by Darin Ruf.
- After dribbling out impotently against Roy in the first inning, reigning Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera sprinted straight through the first base bag (a rarity), headed out the right field gate at Joker Marchant stadium, and was not seen again the rest of the day. SICK BURN
- I’m told that color radio man Larry Andersen, while still mostly sober in the mid-innings, provided a glowing review of Roy’s outing--stating that Roy’s pitches looked crisp and that they had late, sharp movement. LA attributed this to Roy possibly demonstrating a more explosive hip turn (hello, the ladies) than in 2012.
- I caught up with Torii Hunter after the game, and asked his impressions of Halladay’s performance. The veteran outfielder was still a bit down after having feebly struck out:
“Where had I heard this wind before
Change like this to a deeper roar?
What would it take my standing there for,
Holding open a restive door,
Looking down hill to a frothy shore?
Summer was past and the day was past.
Sombre clouds in the west were massed.
“BUT RICK WHAT WAS THE LINE?!?!?!?!?!?!? WE NEED TO KNOW WE NEED TO KNOW TELL US ZEEEE DUBBBB ARRRRRR CUZ WE NEED TO KNOOOOOWWWW!!!”
I missed this. Check it: 2 IP (deftly), 1R (a cheap, extreme wind-blown, near pop-up by known testosterone juicer Victor Martinez), 2 K (both in So Cuttered fashion--Torii Hunter, who still hasn’t found his face; Prince Fielder- who is still morbidly rotund), Countless spirits lifted.