It's official: You can panic about Roy Halladay now

It's official: You can panic about Roy Halladay now
May 5, 2013, 7:00 pm
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If you thought his outing in Cleveland was as bad as it could get for Roy Halladay, you thought wrong.

Halladay took the mound on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. You probably wish he hadn’t. Things did not go well. In fact, things got worse.

After the Phillies lost to the Marlins, 14-2, Halladay – who was roughed up and yanked after 2 1/3 innings (see Instant Replay) – informed the team and the media that his pitching shoulder is bothering him. He said the discomfort began the morning after his start against the Pirates on April 24.

“Woke up, didn’t really think anything of it, was kind of regular soreness,” Halladay said in the clubhouse. “Just kind of progressed over the last two weeks or so. It’s right shoulder discomfort. Gonna have it looked at over the next few days. Once we get information from that, we’ll obviously let people know what’s going on. But it’s not something that I had before. It’s something new. It felt good all spring. It felt good all year.”

It no longer feels good. And now he’s almost certainly headed for the disabled list.

“He’s experiencing some shoulder difficulties, some shoulder pain, and we’re likely going to have to put him on the DL,” Ruben Amaro said. “[This discomfort] a little different than I think Doc has experienced. Up until now, he hasn’t really expressed any discomfort. But [Sunday], after the game and after the exam, it sounds like we’re going to have to go ahead and DL him.”

Amaro said he was unaware that Halladay’s shoulder was bothering him until after he came out of the game on Sunday. The general manager said it was the first he’d heard of it.

Halladay – who gave a statement but didn’t take questions – said he has a couple of “different options” and he’d know more after “the scans, MRIs, CTs, that kind of stuff.” The examinations will take place in California while the Phillies begin their road trip against the Giants in San Francisco.

If you weren’t freaked out about Halladay before, you should be now.

“Until we do any diagnostic work, we won’t know exactly what’s going on with him," Amaro said. "But, clearly, it doesn’t seem like he’s healthy. It’s pretty apparent with his performance [Sunday], unfortunately.”

Indeed. Halladay walked the first batter he faced, Juan Pierre, on four pitches. Two batters later, he walked Placido Polanco. He hit Justin Ruggiano to load the bases. Then Marcell Ozuna smoked a two-run double off the top of the wall in left field. Ozuna hit it so hard it was amazing the ball didn’t deteriorate into dust on contact.

And on it went. Halladay loaded the bases again. His 35th pitch of the first inning was sent screaming into the right field gap by Adeiny Hechavarria for a three-run triple. The Miami Marlins – a team that has looked like a bad Triple A club for much of the season – batted around before Halladay finally recorded three outs. It was so bad that Raul Valdes had to warm up in the bullpen.

Halladay threw 38 pitches in the first inning, 20 of which were balls, three of which topped out at 90 mph. It was a long day for the Phils, but a short afternoon for Halladay.

Halladay hit Ruggiano again in the third inning, and he threw behind Ozuna, missing so badly it was reminiscent of Ricky Vaughn trying in vain to find the strike zone in <ital.>Major League<ital.> before getting glasses.

The situation completely bottomed out when Hechavarria crushed his first career grand slam. That gave the Marlins shortstop a career-high seven RBI’s – after just two at-bats. Hechavarria was the eight-hole hitter, by the way.

Not surprisingly, Charlie Manuel pulled Halladay after the grand slam. Halladay’s line (and if there are children in the room, you probably want to cover their eyes): 2 1/3 innings, four hits, nine earned runs, four walks, four strikeouts, one home run, two hit batsmen, 65 pitches, 35 strikes. (According to baseball historian and ESPN reporter Jayson Stark, only six pitchers in the live-ball era have ever had a line that bad.) In his last two outings, Halladay has allowed 17 earned runs in six innings.

Earlier this week, Mitch Williams went on WIP and suggested there’s something wrong with Halladay’s mechanics. No kidding. It should be obvious to everyone by now that Halladay is broken – physically, for sure, but maybe mentally as well.

His ERA jumped from 6.75 to 8.65 in under an hour on Sunday. That’s the worst ERA in the Majors among qualified pitchers. It’s hard to believe he’s the same guy who threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season three years ago.

He’ll be 36 next week. He’s had a Hall of Fame career, but you have to wonder if this is how it will end for him – one rough outing after another, followed by injuries and stints on the DL. You also have to wonder how much longer the cycle can continue until he or the Phillies or both decide enough is enough.

“I have a hard time watching him struggle,” Charlie Manuel admitted.

On that front, the manager isn’t alone.

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