The Closer: Pair of Aces


Why Roy Halladay deserved better against the Marlins:

-The Marlins finished 0-10 against Halladay's off-speed pitches. A season-low 30.0 percent of these were in the strike zone, according to Inside Edge. However, 65 percent of them went for strikes thanks to a chase percentage of 42.0. 6 of Halladay's 8 strikeouts came on his off-speed pitches, which tied a season-high. 5 of them came on pitches out of the strike zone.

-Halladay threw a season-high 67 pitches in the outer third of the strike zone. The Marlins swung at 31 of them and missed on an incredible 14! The 14 swing-and-misses were the most Halladay has induced in that area in the last 4 seasons.

Why Josh Johnson dominated against the Phillies:

-Johnson threw a season-high 15 sliders in the middle third (vertically) of the strike zone, leading to a season-high strike percentage of 77.1 on the pitch. It didn't matter, however, as the Phillies were 0-6 against the pitch in that location and 0-10 for the game, including 3 of Johnson's 5 strikeouts.

-Johnson was lights out when he got ahead in the count. The Phillies finished 0-12 when Johnson was ahead. 7 of the 12 outs came off his slider.

Hitter of the Night

Brandon Phillips (CIN): 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3B

The Reds second baseman got his average above .300 (.301) for the 1st time all season after his big game Thursday. The Giants decided to attack Phillips with the fastball (18 of the 20 pitches he saw were heaters) and the plan didn't work. Phillips collected all 4 hits off the fastball and was 0-1 against a changeup.

The "fastball-only" approach is a unique one against Phillips. For the season, 58.5 percent of the pitches he sees are fastballs - nowhere close to the 90.0 percent he faced Thursday.

The 4 hits came on 4 different locations in the zone: down/away (triple), down/in, middle/in and middle/up.

Hit Tracker

Thursday's longest home run was hit by Texas' Josh Hamilton. The outfielder belted a 450-foot blast off Seattle's Ryan Rowland-Smith in the 1st inning of the Rangers' 12-3 win.