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At dusk he'd take the precious three dollars he'd earned to the grocery store to buy flour, tortillas, yeast, eggs and milk, and stand tall, for such a short boy, when he laid them on his family's table.
He feels the energy surge through his chest and legs as the crowd thunders to the song's last chords, the same gust that swept through him in Panama last December after he learned that his team had added Lee to its extraordinary stable of arms, that sent him flying on his daily run on the dirt road past the cows and the pasture and the forests, past the cemetery where his father slept in a little green chapel, as the voice in his head cried, Let's go!
The perfect fit for the Legion of Arms that has paralyzed National League hitters the first half of the season, hurling their team to baseball's best rotation ERA and best record in spite of their hitters' anemic support and the loss of Roy Oswalt, Joe Blanton and all three of their closers to the disabled list, their starters hanging up a 1.96 ERA in June that's the lowest that MLB has seen in any month in 19 years.
The numbers, in the end, sang their love song: When Chooch was his receiver last season, Halladay's ERA was 2.13 and the opposition's batting average was .232.