Roy Halladay talks with Rich Dubee before leaving in the first inning of the Phillies' 4-0 loss to Miami because of arm fatigue. (USA Today Images)
MIAMI -- In the city where he once pitched the greatest game of his life, Roy Halladay might have thrown his last pitch for the Phillies.
The 36-year-old pitcher left Monday night’s 4-0 loss to the Miami Marlins after facing just three batters and recording only one out (see Instant Replay).
The official word: Arm fatigue.
“I could have kept pitching and it wasn’t going to hurt anything,” Halladay said. “But (the ball) wasn’t going to come out of my hand any better.”
Halladay said he felt no pain in his right shoulder, which was surgically repaired on May 15. However, he will not make his final scheduled start of the season Saturday in Atlanta.
“I haven’t been getting that bounce-back,” he said. “I spoke with (surgeon Neal ElAttrache) and he said, ‘You need rest.’ From what I understand, they’re going to have me start that now.”
Halladay still believes he can come back -- somewhere -- and be effective next season.
Later in his postgame interview with reporters, Halladay admitted that this has been a “stressful” season. He went on to admit that he’s dealt with more than shoulder issues. He said he recently began taking medication for an illness related to diet.
“We got it figured out,” said Halladay, whose weight is noticeably down. “Some of it’s personal. It’s a family history deal. It took us a while to figure out the cause and basically it’s related to diet. They put me on some medicine that will prevent that from happening and ever since then it’s been great.”
Halladay expounded on the stress of the season.
“Really the whole year has been stressful,” he said. “Going from not knowing what’s going on to having surgery, to being away from the team and then not being able to contribute -- that all weighs on you. It will be good physically and mentally just to get that break and come back.”
Halladay said he had no regrets coming back and pitching 3½ months after surgery.
“Had I not been so determined to pitch, I could have just rehabbed,” he said. “I felt an obligation to the organization and to fulfill my contract.”
Monday night’s 16-pitch outing was the shortest of Halladay’s career. He walked two of the three batters he faced. Only five of the pitches he threw were strikes. His best fastball -- if you can call it that -- was 83 mph. He walked the first hitter, Donovan Solano, on four pitches.
“After the first hitter, (pitching coach Rich) Dubee went over to the stairs,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He was on close watch. We were all on close watch. We didn’t know what those pitches were. Change-ups? We didn’t know.”
Dubee went to the mound after Halladay walked the Marlins’ third hitter.
At the mound, Dubee spoke for a moment with Halladay, who was perspiring heavily in the climate-controlled 77-degree domed stadium. Dubee signaled to the dugout for Sandberg and a team trainer. After several moments of discussion, Halladay walked from the field.
Asked about his heavy sweating, Halladay said: “It was a lot of effort to throw.”
Halladay is in the final year of a three-year, $60 million contract that he signed when he was traded from Toronto to the Phillies before the 2010 season. He will be a free agent at the end of the season and his performance and health have raised serious questions of whether the Phillies will attempt to re-sign him.
Halladay has a 6.82 ERA in 62 innings this season. He has issued 36 walks. To put that in perspective, he has had five seasons in his career in which he has reached 220 innings and recorded 35 or fewer walks. In 2010, his first season with the Phillies, he won the NL Cy Young award while pitching 250 2/3 innings and walking just 30.
Halladay threw a perfect game for the Phillies in Miami on May 29, 2010. He raised his arms like a conquering hero that night.
Now, there is a possibility he has thrown his last pitch for the club in Miami. Before Monday night’s game, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he would “love to” have Halladay back next season, but he would not say whether he intended to make the pitcher an offer.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” Halladay said. “But I want to go somewhere that wants me and somewhere that’s going to have a shot.
“If things go the way I’ve been told they’re going to go, I’m going to be able to be competitive next year. I’ve never given up the hope that I could pitch here again, but obviously that’s a mutual decision.”