Halladay Shelled in Loss to Tigers
- Updated: March 14, 2013
Last year at this time, the Phillies were hurting.
Chase Utley was nowhere to be found, and Ryan Howard was taking ground balls on a stool. Second and third base were huge question marks, not to mention the power outage at first base with Howard’s absence.
The pitching staff, anchored by the trio of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels was hoped to carry the squad. Or at least keep it afloat until they were healthy.
What a difference a year makes.
It seems now the tables have turned.
There was cause for concern in Clearwater after the Phillies lost to the Detroit Tigers 10-6 on Tuesday. Most unsettling was Roy Halladay’s performance. Doc lasted only 2.2 innings, giving up seven earned runs on six hits. He also walked four batters and two of the six hits were home-runs.
He said after the game that he felt lethargic on the mound. That his pregame bullpen session felt fine, but once he tapped the rubber he just could not get comfortable. While his fastball has never been overpowering, he has always been in the low to mid 90s with it. He topped out at just 87 mph on the day, and just 89 mph this spring.
Make no mistake, healthy or not, Halladay’s velocity is down. As if that were not enough, he really struggled with his command not only on Tuesday, but all spring. His ERA in grapefruit league play is an alarming 7.36 to go along with nine walks in just 11 innings pitched.
He has not been able to hit spots regularly, leaving balls over the plate for hitters to feed on. The one that hurt most was a first pitch grand slam that he served up to Tigers’ second baseman Ramon Santiago.
Keep in mind that the Tigers did not travel their full complement of starters. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and power hitting first baseman Prince Fielder did not make the trip. Still, Detroit was able to knock Halladay around.
Last season Halladay topped out in the low 90s, but was frequently throwing 88-89 mph. He would later admit that he pitched through discomfort in his shoulder and lower back. This ultimately landed him on the disabled list for a time, adding to the team’s issues.
He did throw a bullpen session earlier today with Dubee alongside. A majority of the session saw them working a lot on his mechanics and delivery.
He says he’s fine. The coaches say he’s fine. His age? Well, it has different opinion.
Let’s all be honest for a minute. The man is 35 years old. He is not the pitcher he was at 28, or even 32. Whether or not there is pain, his velocity is not where it once was and may never be again.
All things being equal, Roy Halladay is still Roy Halladay. His mentality and work ethic will go unchanged, and fans can best rest assured that he will make any and all adjustments to be successful on the hill. Concerned as many might be, Halladay is not.
And if he truly is without pain, he will win 10 games if not more, and give this team a chance to win each time out. He wants to win, he is a winner, and it drives him every day. Days that often start in the gym at 5:00 a.m.
Doc’s resume includes two Cy Young awards, a perfect game and only the second no hitter in post-season history. The man knows how to pitch and pitch well. An absolute asset to a pitcher headed for the twilight of his career with a championship in his sights.
Statistics courtesy of Phillies.com
Image courtesy of nbcphiladelphia.com