"That's a big difference. The good years, at least half of your starts are that way. You are probably going to have six or seven where you are really on, and then the majority where you kind of grind your way through, and then you are going to have six or seven where you are really bad. I think being able to get to that point and still get guys out is a step in the right direction. I feel like I, for the most part, could make pitches when I needed to."
Halladay, who missed 7 weeks with a strained lat, has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last three starts, holding opponents to four runs in 22 innings while striking out 20 and walking two. In six starts since his return from the disabled list, he has 36 strikeouts and four walks with a 3.46 ERA in 39 innings.
"I felt good," said Halladay, who is 6-7 with a 3.80 ERA. "I feel like 115 [pitches] wouldn't be an issue. I'd like to get to that point. I feel like I can, it's just a matter of having a lot of close games and my spot keeps coming up. I'm waiting for that four- or five-run lead and get a chance to keep going."
Melky Cabrera's 50-game suspension for elevated levels of testosterone could have an effect on the Phillies' offseason decision-making. Cabrera will be a free agent after the season, and while he has spent 2012 as a corner outfielder for the Giants, the majority of his career has been spent in centerfield, where the Phillies have a clear need. The Phillies kicked the tires on Cabrera before acquiring Hunter Pence last July, and he has done nothing since to lower his stock, hitting .346 with a .390 on-base percentage, .516 slugging percentage and 11 homers before the suspension.
Wednesday's game marked the second time in the last two seasons that two authors of perfect games faced each other. The other time was Mark Buehrle squaring off against Oakland's Dallas Braden last April. It happened 10 times between 1966 and 2007: Jim Bunning vs. Sandy Koufax (twice in 1966), Dennis Martinez vs. Tom Browning (1991), Kenny Rogers vs. Martinez (1996), David Wells vs. Rogers (2000, twice in 2001) and Randy Johnson vs. Wells (2004, 2005 and 2007).
Placido Polanco will begin a rehab assignment Thursday in Clearwater. The team hopes to activate him Monday . . . The Marlins snapped a franchise-record 30-inning scoreless streak on Greg Dobbs' RBI single in the fourth inning . . . Ryan Howard, hitting .162 (6-for-37) with two homers and 21 strikeouts against lefthanders this season, had the day off against Buehrle. The first baseman entered the day having started 11 straight games and 16 of the last 17. Overall, he was hitting .213 with a .298 on-base percentage, seven homers and 44 strikeouts in 121 plate appearances.