Ultimately, it took a heat index in the triple digits to accomplish something that 63 teams couldn't over the course of more than four years. For the first time since 2007, Roy Halladay started a game on the road and lasted less than six innings Monday as the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the Chicago Cubs.
Halladay’s 63 straight road starts with at least six innings pitched was the longest such streak in the majors since the days of Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us the last pitcher to throw at least six innings in 63 or more consecutive starts on the road was Hall of Famer Walter Johnson. The Big Train did it in 82 straight road starts from 1911 to 1915.
Halladay took the loss Monday in Chicago, dropping him to 0-3 in his three career starts at Wrigley Field. It’s the first time in his career that Halladay has lost his first three starts at the same ballpark.
While the Cubs have always given Halladay trouble (he’s now 1-4 in 5 career starts against them), Cliff Lee, whom the Phillies will send to the mound Tuesday at Wrigley, has had nothing but success versus the Cubs. Lee is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in five career starts against Chicago. With a win Tuesday, he’ll be the first starter to win his first five decisions versus the Cubs since Jeff D’Amico in 2003.
In other MLB action Monday:
• One night after scoring no runs in their first 15 innings, the Boston Red Sox posted 15 runs Monday, one shy of their season high. An eight-run eighth inning put the game out of reach for the Red Sox, who have now scored at least five runs in an inning 17 times this year. That matches their total from all of last season.
• The Florida Marlins continued to roll, beating the New York Mets 4-1. The Marlins have won three straight and are now 15-9 under Jack McKeon. The win was Florida's 11th of July, more than doubling their June total of five.
• The Tampa Bay Rays luck didn't improve as the New York Yankees came back from a three-run deficit to hand the Rays a 5-4 loss, with the winning run scoring on a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth. Tampa Bay is now a season-high eight games out in the AL East and has lost three straight for the first time since the first week of June. Five of the Rays' last six losses have been by one run.