Saturday, July 2, 2011

2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps #60YOT-107 Roy Halladay

Phillies 5, Blue Jays 3
Game 84 - Saturday Afternoon, July 2nd in Toronto

One Sentence Summary:  Roy Halladay pitched a complete game victory in his first appearance in Toronto as a visiting player as the Phils won, 5-3.

What It Means:  The Phillies improved to 53-31 and they're now a season-high 22 games over .500.  They'll go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon as Cliff Lee tries to pitch his fourth consecutive complete game shutout.

What Went Right:  Halladay (11-3) received a lengthy, loud standing ovation when he first took the mound in the bottom of the first.  He didn't have his best stuff, but what he had was good enough.  He allowed eight hits and struck out eight.

The Phils gave Halladay the lead to work with three separate times and fortunately he managed to hang on to the last lead.  With the Phils trailing 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Carlos Ruiz doubled to start the inning, just missing a home run.  Fortunately, he'd come around to score when Chase Utley hit a clutch two-run home run to right field off Jays reliever Luis Perez.

There were some fireworks in the top of the ninth when Jays pitcher Joe Rauch and manager John Farrell were ejected by the home plate umpire.  I listened to the game on the radio and Scott Franzke described Rauch as becoming "completely unglued" after the Phils tacked on an insurance run in the inning.  Watching the ESPN highlights, I'd agree with Franzke's description.

Featured Card:  If you overlook the fact that the numbering prefix for this insert set is a bit ridiculous, I like the idea of Topps presenting its best cards over the past 60 years as reprints.  This is a reprint of Halladay's first solo card from the 1999 Topps set, and I thought it was fitting to post this today given Doc's emotional return to Toronto.  He appeared in the 1998 Topps set too, but he had to share his card with Matt Clement and Brian Fuentes.

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