The worst part about the failed comeback in last night's game is that today the Reds have to face one of the best pitchers in baseball. This will be the third time in his career that Halladay has faced the Reds. He faced them once in 2003 and not a single player on the roster for that game is still with the team. He faced them again in 2008, when he went up against Aaron Harang at the Rogers Centre. The Reds put up 5 runs in the first 3 innings, but Harang surrendered the lead. This was two starts before Harang went on the DL in 2008 with tightness in his forearm. The Reds ended up winning that game in 10 innings on a Jay Bruce sac fly that scored Norris Hopper.
All of this is to say that Halladay can be beaten, as long as he's not in the game.
I'm not sure what a good strategy to take against Halladay might be. He throws a lot of strikes, so I really can't say that being patient is the best way to go. I'm almost certain the Reds will come out hacking, as they often do against good pitchers (and it rarely works). I'd like to see them be patient for the first couple of innings, if only because it will force Halladay to throw more pitches. The goal should be to try to get him out of the game at some point. You're not likely to do that by hitting, but maybe you can do it by wearing him down (rope-a-dope!). Then again, Halladay has thrown 110+ pitches 8 times this season, so pitch counts aren't really a concern for him.
Whatever the Reds do, I hope it works.
As for Harang, my mantra for him has been "just don't suck." I think that's gotta change today though. We need him to be good today if the Reds want to take the series. If he can give up 3 runs or fewer, maybe we'll have a chance to see a win. If not, we may see an end to the Reds weekday afternoon home-game winning streak.
Go Reds! They're my afternoon delight!