Halladay struggles, Phillies lose
PHILADELPHIA – On a night when Roy Halladay had no margin for error, he made more mistakes than usual.
Randy Wolf pitched six crisp innings, Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies 9-0 on Tuesday.
Halladay (2-1) gave up six runs and 10 hits in 6 2-3 innings. It was the worst start for the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner since he allowed six runs in six innings in a loss at the New York Yankees last June 15.
"I felt good. There were times early when there were a couple pitches that cost me that weren't where I wanted them," Halladay said.
Halladay was one out away from a decent outing, but first baseman Ryan Howard couldn't field Prince Fielder's grounder. Halladay departed trailing 4-0 after that RBI single, but the Brewers tacked on five more in the inning.
"Some days those balls are right where guys are and some days they're not," Halladay said.
Given the Phillies' recent offensive woes, Halladay knew he needed a dominant effort.
"It's not pressure," Halladay said. "You are trying to keep the game close. You realize your margin for error is smaller but any time that affects your pitching you're hurting yourself."
The Brewers became the first team to win a series against the NL East-leading Phillies this season. They'll try to complete a three-game sweep on Wednesday afternoon when Cliff Lee takes the mound for Philadelphia.
Wolf (2-2) allowed two hits, struck out five and walked three against his former team. The left-hander was Philadelphia's ace in the early 2000s.
Jimmy Rollins had a bunt single in the first and Shane Victorino hit a double in the third for the Phillies' only hits of the game.
Sean Green, Zach Braddock and Mike McClendon each pitched an inning after Wolf left.
Halladay tossed a complete game at Washington last Wednesday, needing 123 pitches to do it. He got an extra day rest because of a rainout, but still wasn't as sharp as usual.
Halladay retired the first two batters in the second before running into trouble against the bottom of the lineup. Yuniesky Betancourt doubled to deep right-center. With the pitcher on deck, Halladay fell behind in the count 3-1 to George Kottaras before grooving a fastball. Kottaras ripped an RBI single to right for a 1-0 lead.
The Brewers got another two-out run in the third when Braun hit an opposite-field shot to right.
Braun then made an outstanding play in the bottom half to rob Rollins of extra bases and save at least one run. With runners on first and second, Rollins hit a drive to deep left. Braun made a leaping, backhanded grab at the warning track after a long run.
"Off the bat, I didn't think he had a chance," Rollins said. "I hoped it would hook, but it stayed straight."
Braun got things started in the sixth with a walk. He moved to second on Fielder's single and scored on Mark Kotsay's one-out single.
Fielder chased Halladay with his hit in the seventh, and McGehee belted a three-run shot off David Herndon.
NOTES: A crowd of 45,408 was the 146th consecutive sellout at Citizens Bank Park, including postseason play. ... The Phillies placed LHP J.C. Romero on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right calf. Lefty Mike Zagurski was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. ... Brewers CF Carlos Gomez robbed Carlos Ruiz of extra bases in the second with a running catch on a drive to deep right-center. ... Halladay's ERA rose from 1.23 to 2.83.