Not the case Saturday night.
Edinson Volquez pitched six effective innings, pinch-hitter Jesus Guzman drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly and the San Diego Padres beat Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies for the second time this season, 2-1.
Halladay (3-3), who allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings, dug his face in his glove in a show of disgust when Cameron Maybin slid past catcher Carlos Ruiz's tag on a strong throw to the plate from right fielder Hunter Pence who caught Jesus Guzman's pop out in foul territory.
The Phillies ace stomped his feet on the ground, upset that he had given up another run.
"I was not thrilled," he said. "I'm never going to apologize for being emotional."
Halladay allowed Maybin to open the frame with a double to right, and John Baker, who earlier in the night had snapped out of a 0-for-19 skid, singled to center.
Jason Bartlett, who broke out of a 0-for-17 slump, struck out and then Guzman came on to hit for Volquez. Halladay got Guzman to pop up in foul territory down the right-field line, but Maybin barely beat out the throw from Pence.
"The ball wasn't too deep, but against Halladay, you've got to make stuff happen," Maybin said. "I was lucky enough to barely make it in there. Luckily, the good Lord blessed me with long legs and some speed. It worked out."
Halladay is winless in his last five starts, the longest stretch in his Phillies career. His last win was at San Francisco on April 16.
"You just keep going out there," he said. "My job is to keep the game close and give us a chance. You can't get caught up with personal losses."
He walked one and struck out a season-high 10, his 15th career double-digit strikeout game.
"It's hard to explain baseball," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said, referring to Halladay's winless streak. "That's why it's such a great game."
The Phillies failed to muster any key hits throughout the night and let one slip away. They had the bases loaded twice, but both times came up short—especially late in the game in the seventh.
Reliever Luke Gregerson replaced Volquez (2-2) and gave up a leadoff infield single to Juan Pierre. Jimmy Rollins sacrificed Pierre over to second, but Gregerson's throw sailed over first baseman Yonder Alonso. With runners on first and second, Gregerson got Placido Polanco to ground out back to him for the first out. The Padres then elected to intentionally walk Shane Victorino, who had hit safely in his first three at-bats.
Manager Bud Black's strategy worked, as Pence then popped out to second baseman Orlando Hudson and Ty Wigginton hit into a fielder's choice.
"I don't know what it is. I feel like I'm a better hitter that I am showing," Pence said.
Black marveled at the job Halladay did overall, but was impressed with the way his team came out against the All-Star right-hander.
"Whenever you come in here, you know you're getting good pitchers against you, there's no doubt about it," Black said. "He's one of the best I've seen over the last 10 years.
"When you eke out a win against him in their park, it says something about how we played and how we pitched. You know, Volquez matched him inning for inning and then we got a couple of big hits in the seventh. Goozie got it deep enough for the sac fly and that was enough."
Volquez battled a cold and pitched six effective innings.
"I'm a little bit sick. I had to take a lot of pills to pitch in the game," said Volquez while adding that he took 17 pills throughout the day to fight his illness. "When I woke up today, I thought I wasn't going to pitch. ... I did a good job, six innings, just one run. A tremendous game. He also pitched an excellent game."
Volquez escaped a few jams early in the game and then again in the fifth inning. The righty won his second straight start. He allowed one run and six hits, walked two and struck out five.
The Padres snapped a two-game losing streak largely by capitalizing on Philadelphia's inability to score with runners in scoring position.
The Phillies have score one run or less in 10 games this season.
"A lot of guys had trouble tonight," Manuel said. "It was not just one guy. We just didn't get it done."
Andrew Cashner, who fired a few pitches clocked at 102 mph, threw a scoreless eighth. The Phillies had another scoring opportunity in the ninth, but Dale Thayer retired Victorino and Pence with a runner on third for his third save in three chances this season.
Notes: Victorino stole his 10th base of the year in the first. He had 19 stolen bases last season. ... San Diego OF Mark Kotsay left the game in the bottom of the second inning with a lower back injury. ... Polanco went 1 for 4 and is one hit shy of 2,000 for his career.