Halladay defends Dubee from Mitch Williams' criticism

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Halladay defends Dubee from Mitch Williams' criticism

Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay strongly defended pitching coach Rich Dubee against the criticisms of Mitch Williams.

“Coming from the mechanical wonder,” Halladay said. "Yeah, I strongly disagree. To come from a guy who's not around, who's not involved. He's not involved in the conversations ... honestly has no idea what's going on. He really doesn't. He has no idea what's going on in the clubhouse, on the field between coaches and players. To make comments like that, it's completely out of line.”

Williams, the former Phillies closer and current MLB Network analyst, ripped Dubee’s work during an interview on 94 WIP on Friday morning.

Williams, known as Wild Thing in his pitching days, criticized Dubee for not recognizing a flaw in Halladay’s delivery. He said the pitching coach, in his ninth season, was not getting through to the pitchers and suggested it was time he be replaced.

“It may be time for a new voice,” Williams told WIP. “It’s not personal. I think these pitchers have to hear something new. What they’re doing right now just isn’t getting it done.”

Williams mentioned a dustup the two men had in spring training after Dubee scolded him for interfering with the team’s pitchers.

“It irritated me,” Williams said of the incident.

According to a source, Williams reached out to pitcher Jake Diekman and offered pitching advice and that didn’t sit well with Dubee.

“Maybe I hurt his feelings with the dustup, but I don't know,” Dubee said. “Mitch has got a chance. He can apply to 30 teams (to be a pitching coach). You know? I've got no comment to that. Maybe he got upset because I spoke to him about getting involved in our pitching, where I don't think he belongs. Maybe he's upset at that. But I don't think other people belong in our pitching. Again, like I said, he's got a chance to submit a resume.”

In the radio interview, Williams claimed he taught Kyle Kendrick the changeup, a pitch that has helped the right-hander immensely as he has gone 10-4 with 2.43 ERA in his last 16 starts dating to August.

Kendrick laughed about that.

“I taught myself,” he said. “If anyone taught me it was (former Triple A teammate) Justin Lehr. He showed me some things, and he learned it from Tim Hudson.”

Halladay joined the Phillies in 2010 and won the NL Cy Young Award. He finished second in the voting in 2011 before struggling with injuries in 2012. This season, Halladay has been inconsistent. He is 2-3 with a 6.75 ERA in six starts.

Halladay turns 36 this month. While some observers have made a point to say Halladay’s best days are behind him, Dubee’s support of the veteran pitcher has never wavered.

On Friday, Halladay returned that support.

“When I first came over here, Rich Dubee taught me a changeup,” Halladay said. “If I hadn't had that I wouldn't have had the success I've had over here. Especially dealing with the injuries I've dealt with, -- if I didn't have that pitch, if I didn't have him working with me, I really would have been in a lot of trouble. In my opinion, it's a statement that I feel like [Williams] needs to make amends for. I really do. There's very few pitching coaches that I respect more than Rich Dubee.

“Watching Kyle Kendrick, the stuff that he's learned, the way he's grown, is because of Rich Dubee and it's because of his work ethic and the way he goes about things. It really does upset me. It upsets me that guys outside of our group of guys that don't understand what's going on here make comments like that. Hopefully, it's something he'll learn from. I'm not sure if that's the case, but he couldn't be further from the truth. And I don't think it's the first time he's been a little off base.”

Halladay was asked about the other times Williams “has been a little off base.”

"I've heard him criticize a lot of guys for mechanics," Halladay said. "For a guy who's never been a pitching coach, I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't go and look at any player in the major leagues and say, ‘Well, he should do it this way.’ I just don't understand where that comes from. I really don't. There's no one way to do things. To think that you know the one way to do it is a little bit arrogant. I really just feel he's wrong on this one. I'm sure he's not a bad guy. I'm sure he's trying to do the best he can at his job, but I really feel like he was kind of off the mark on this one."

Best of MLB: Royals storm back in 9th inning for win over Blue Jays

Best of MLB: Royals storm back in 9th inning for win over Blue Jays

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Whit Merrifield hit a two-run, two-out double that capped a four-run rally in the ninth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Friday night to reach .500 for the first time since April.

With their 10th win in 12 games, the Royals improved to 36-36. They were 6-6 before play on April 20, then went on a nine-game losing streak that night and dropped as low as 10-20, seven games out of first place. They trail AL Central-leading Cleveland by three games.

Toronto took a 2-1 lead into the ninth and extended it when Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak hit RBI singles off Joakim Soria (4-2) (see full recap).

Dodgers cruise past Rockies for 8th straight win
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig homered and left-hander Alex Wood kept his record perfect as the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the NL West rival Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Friday night for their eighth consecutive victory.

The Dodgers have won 14 of their last 15 games. They have scored at least six runs in seven consecutive games.

Wood (8-0) allowed one run in six innings. He gave up only three hits and walked two, retiring his last 10 batters.

The Dodgers have homered in 15 consecutive games, tied for fourth-longest streak in club history. The last time they managed it was in 1977. Their record is 24 consecutive games with a home run.

Rookie left-hander Kyle Freeman (8-4) allowed five runs and a career-high 10 hits and three walks in six innings (see full recap).

Torreyes hits walk-off single to lift Yanks over Rangers
NEW YORK -- Ronald Torreyes hit a game-winning single with two outs in the 10th inning after midnight, and the New York Yankees edged the Texas Rangers 2-1 on a rainy Friday night for just their second win in 10 games.

Brett Gardner lined a tying home run with one out in the New York ninth off closer Matt Bush. After Chasen Shreve (2-1) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 10th, Torreyes kept the Yankees atop the AL East.

Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka kept it scoreless into the late innings in the first major league meeting between the Japanese stars (see full recap).

Mark Leiter Jr. picks up 1st big-league win as Phillies cool off Diamondbacks

Mark Leiter Jr. picks up 1st big-league win as Phillies cool off Diamondbacks

BOX SCORE

PHOENIX -- The clubhouse was beginning to clear and still the star of the game had not yet emerged from the shower.

"He's in there cleaning the guacamole and mayo out of his hair," Cameron Rupp said with a laugh.

Eventually Mark Leiter Jr. made it out of the shower and over to his locker where equipment man Phil Sheridan presented him with three game balls, souvenirs from not only his first big-league start but his first big-league win, as well.

"It's something I'll never forget," the 26-year-old right-hander from Toms River, N.J., said pitching six shutout innings to backbone the Phillies' 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Friday night (see Instant Replay).

"I’ll be honest, I was probably more excited for this than I was for my major-league debut. To go out there and contribute to a win is what I was hoping to do."

Leiter, a 22nd-round draft pick by the Phillies in 2013, had never made it onto the 40-man roster until the Phils needed a reliever in mid-April and gave him a shot after he'd gotten off to a good start at Triple A. He spent six weeks in the majors and made 12 relief appearances before being sent back to Triple A the first weekend of June.

Leiter worked as a starter during his time back at Triple A. He pitched six shutout innings against Syracuse in his last start and got the call to come back up when Jerad Eickhoff went on the disabled list with a back strain earlier this week.

Leiter's return assignment was not easy: The Diamondbacks are one of the best hitting clubs in the majors and the best on their home turf. They entered the game scoring 6.48 runs per game at home and with an .886 OPS, both major-league bests.

None of that fazed Leiter.

"In my opinion, this is the big leagues and it doesn’t matter who the lineup is," he said. "They all have the ability to hit and hit well. They’re all big-leaguers and they've earned their right to be big-leaguers. I was just trying to pitch to the team you're facing that day."

Leiter trusted his low-90s fastball and commanded it well. He mixed in his secondary stuff and kept the D-backs off-balance with his splitter. He scattered three hits, walked one and struck out five. He showed no fear.

"Great performance," manager Pete Mackanin said. "He made it look easy. He made a lot of good hitters look bad with his split. For him to come up and do that to a real good hitting team was outstanding."

Leiter's dad, Mark Sr., pitched for the Phillies in 1997 and 1998. He made the trip in from New Jersey to watch his son's first big-league start.

"I guess they found him on TV," Leiter said. "That's what they were telling me. I'm sure he wasn't too pleased they found him because he was probably stressed out. But I think it was probably worth him coming out here. He's probably happy."

How could he not be?

Leiter's teammates were definitely happy.

They treated Leiter to a raucous postgame dousing that included as many different condiments as could be found in the clubhouse dining room. One laughing player had a bottle of ketchup in his hands. Another had a squeeze bottle of honey.

And then there was the guacamole and mayo that Rupp mentioned.

"In his first major-league start, to come up here and do that in what is known as a good hitters’ park - that proves Mark is pretty strong between the ears," Tommy Joseph said. "He's been one of those under-the-radar guys that people have doubted, but his mentality and ability to prepare are second to none."

Joseph played a big role in the win, smacking a two-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Phillies some breathing room. Maikel Franco also had a big home run and Freddy Galvis contributed an important triple that led to a Phillies' run in the first inning.

The Phils still have the worst record in the majors at 24-48, but they've won two in a row, both on the back of good starting pitching performances. Aaron Nola pitched 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball on Thursday.

And Leiter delivered on Friday.

"It's good to see those back-to-back," Mackanin said.