Jays-Mariners: Doc Halladay Shows R.A. Dickey How It's Done
The Jays struggled with the knuckleball for most of the game, producing only one extra base hit off of R.A. Dickey. However, it proved to be important as Marco Scutaro would ultimately drive Eckstein home with a single up the middle.
A mistake made by the Mariners' center fielder Jeremy Reed would allow Scutaro to advance to second, but he was stranded there as Alex Rios and Vernon Wells failed to produce any hits.
The Jays also managed to score a run in the next inning on a fielder's choice by Rod Barajas with the bases loaded.
This would be all the Jays would need, as Roy "Doc" Halladay proved to be at his best. He was nearly unhittable, throwing nine innings of shutout ball, while only surrendering four base-hits, none of them going for extra bases.
He also struck out six hitters, giving him 106 on the year and putting him in fifth place overall, just two behind teammate A.J. Burnett. This is a rarity for Halladay, who, despite his greatness, is not a strikeout pitcher. He usually depends on inducing groundball outs with his sinking fastball.
Today, Halladay induced 16 outs via groundball. The 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner registered 22 first-pitch strikes among the 32 Seattle hitters he faced, and he finished with 115 pitches, including 84 for strikes, in the game.
It took him only two hours and 25 minutes to complete his league-leading sixth complete game, leaving him three ahead of second-place pitchers C.C. Sabathia, Ben Sheets, and James Shields. This was also Halladay's 10th career shutout, but his first of 2008.
All in all, it was a valiant effort, and it puts the Jays one game closer to their All-Star break goal of .500. With a 41-43 record, the Jays will only need to sweep the Mariners to achieve their goal, although tomorrow's matchup will be tough.
Jesse Litsch takes on Mariners ace Felix Hernandez at 8:05 PM EST on Rogers Sportsnet.
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