ATLANTA -- Roy Halladay’s much-anticipated first start of the season was interestingly poor.
He piled up a bunch of strikeouts, but failed to make it through the fourth inning as the Phillies suffered a 9-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on Wednesday night.
The Phillies have started the season 0-2. They are 6-14 the last two seasons against the Braves. They will look to salvage a win in the series finale Thursday night before Friday afternoon’s home opener.
Starting pitching report
Halladay had one of the oddest pitching lines you’ll see. In 3 1/3 innings, he was tagged for six hits and five runs while walking three. He recorded just 10 outs, but nine of them were strikeouts. Many of those strikeouts came on breaking balls or changeups. Two of Halladay’s fastballs ended up over the wall on homers. Halladay’s fastball sat between 88 and 90 mph on the stadium radar gun. He touched 92 early in the game.
Halladay’s command, a major issue in spring training, continued to be poor. He needed 95 pitches to get 10 outs. Only 55 of those pitches were strikes. Halladay went to three-ball counts on eight of 19 hitters.
Over his last five starts against Atlanta, Halladay has an 11.57 ERA (27 earned runs in 21 innings) and has surrendered eight homers.
Atlanta lefty Paul Maholm pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. Maholm gave up six hits, walked one and struck out six.
Mike Adams made his Phillies’ debut with a scoreless inning and two strikeouts. Jonathan Papelbon got an inning of work and gave up a two-run home run to Jason Heyward.
At the plate
The Phillies were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position before Chase Utley got them on the board with a two-run double to right in the seventh. The Phils finished 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
Justin Upton gave the Braves a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer off Halladay in the first. Rookie Evan Gattis homered against Halladay in the fourth. Freddie Freeman had a three-run double against reliever Raul Valdes in the fourth.
The Braves have hit five home runs in taking the first two games of the series. Freeman has six RBIs in the two games.
New kid in town
The Phils have a new player (see story).
Cliff Lee makes his season debut against Atlanta right-hander Kris Medlen in the series finale Thursday night.