NL East Update: The Doctor Is In

The doctor is in at Citizens Bank Ballpark, meaning everyone in the NL East just got very sickening feeling. Roy Halladay threw his first complete game in a Phillies uniform, shutting down the Houston Astros by a score of 2-1.

The rate at which Halladay is picking up complete game wins is truly remarkable. In an age where managers are more inclined to pull their starters at the first glimpse of trouble, Halladay and his rubber arm are consistently battling their deep into games. I was a little surprised at Philadelphia’s decision to essentially replace Cliff Lee with Halladay. Lee can be viewed as the left-handed version of Halladay, I mean; he did pitch a complete game win at the new Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of last years World Series. With question marks surrounding the Phillie bullpen, manager Charlie Manuel has to love sending Halladay out there every fifth day knowing that his bullpen will probably be having a day off.

After an ugly series against the Nationals in which former Met Livan Hernandez shut down his former team, Mets manager Jerry Manuel takes the blame for his team being “unprepared.”

Ugh it can’t be that time of year already, can it? Some Mets fans are calling for Jerry Manuel’s head after the teams disappointing 2-4 start in which the same lackluster and uninspiring play we saw last year has been on display early in 2010. Quite honestly, I think there is some cause for concern with the Mets because so far the only bright spot has been the play of Jeff Francoeur. Johan Santana couldn’t even get out of the first inning in Sundays game without giving up a grand slam to Josh Willingham that looked like something out of a little league game. Also, I realize Reyes is only two games into the season but it is becoming harder and harder for me to earn his trust back considering he has not been consistently healthy since the days when Shea Stadium was around!

Fish Stripes analyzes the importance of third base coaches, while critiquing the job Marlins third base coach Joe Espada has done so far this year.

It seems there is never any news on a team’s third base coach unless they make a dramatic mistake costing his team a series of runs or even worse, the game. We always hear of them being too aggressive or too conservative, leaving us wondering how aggressive or conservative should they be, and, which coaches seem to do the best job with this? They certainly need to be loud and animated, but that’s the easy part, the real trick to the position is the ability to make split second decisions while taking into account the speed of the runner, the strength of the fielders arm, etc.

Talking Chop recaps the absolute beating the Braves took today in the Padres home opener by the score of 17-2.

Well there wasn’t much good to find in this one, as Jair Jurrjens got knocked out after giving up 8 runs in 3.1 innings, who said PETCO was a pitchers park? Sometimes during the long duration of a 162 game season there will be results like this, and this being the second week of the year gives the fans a reason to make this a bigger deal than it really is. Nate McLouth and Melky Cabrera, who were supposed to make for a nice duo in the outfield, might as well have sat out the first week as they are hitting a lousy .154 and .120, respectively. An outfield of McLouth, Cabrera, and rookie Jason Heyward could be a great trio once they are hitting on all cylinders.