Game 58 Recap: Halladay Bests Bucs

McDonald could be anywhere from an average #2 starter to an average #3 starter.

The Pirates were thisclose to evening their record at 29-29. But Roy Halladay did what an ace is supposed to do: he stopped the Phillies four game slide as Philadelphia salvaged the finale of the weekend series.

The Pirates got to Halladay early and then not again while he was still on the mound. Xavier Paul singled to lead off the game. He scored on a two run bomb from Neil Walker.

Unfortunately, Bucs hurler James McDonald wasn’t sharp. Philadelphia scored once in the fourth without a hit. Chase Utley walked. He moved to second on McDonald’s second wild pitch of the game. Dusty Brown committed a passed ball to push Utley to third. He scored on a sac fly from Raul Ibanez.

McDonald’s control problems only got worse in the next inning. Halladay led off and was walked. McDonald also walked Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco to load the bases. He was pulled in favor of Chris Resop. Utley’s infield grounder forced Halladay at home. Ryan Howard lofted a sac fly that scored Victorino. Ibanez was walked intentionally to load the bases for Carlos Ruiz. But Resop hit him with a pitch forcing in another run. Domonic Brown was retired to end the inning. Philadelphia pushed across two runs without the benefit of a hit.

Halladay was the catalyst for a tally in the sixth against Evan Meek. He singled and moved to second on a ground ball out. Polanco’s single scored him, making it 4-2 Philadelphia. In the eighth with Jose Ascanio on, Utley, Polanco and Howard delivered consecutive singles to make it a 5-2 game.

The Pirates threatened in the eighth. Jose Contreras relieved Halladay. Josh Harrison doubled with one out and Andrew McCutchen singled him in. Antonio Bastardo relieved Contreras and gave up a two out single to Lyle Overbay before whiffing Garrett Jones.

Philadelphia tacked on two more in the ninth as they collected four singles against Daniel McCutchen with RBI knocks from Victorino and Howard to make it a 7-3 final score.

McDonald suffered the loss. He went four plus and gave up three hits and three runs. He walked five and struck out three. Halladay allowed six hits and a walk in seven innings. He was charged with two runs and credited with six strike outs.

The Good
Brandon Wood had two hits.

The Bad
McDonald’s lack of control.

The bullpen surrendered five runs in five innings, not including the two inherited runners that scored (albeit in a tough jam for Resop) in the fifth.

The Rest
This was McDonald’s first career decision against Philadelphia. Halladay is 2-1 against Pittsburgh. Zach Duke beat him 5/18/10 in his only loss to the Pirates.

Walker hit three homers in each of the first two months of the year and has two homers in June.

Daniel Moskos has yet to allow an earned run in his first eight innings of Major League action.

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