CLEARWATER, Fla. Roy Halladay will likely have one more light outing this spring before he gets the ball for real on April 5 in Pittsburgh. In the meantime, Sundays effort against the Orioles at Bright House Field is sure to be his longest of the spring.
Halladay recorded nine strikeouts and allowed two runs on seven hits, two walks and a homer by Nolan Reimold in 6 23 innings.
I was happy with it, Halladay said after his outing. I had to work. I had to work through some things and life-wise it wasnt the best stuff I ever had, but I was able to work with it and make some adjustments and get my pitches in and get my innings in. Now I can focus on getting fresh.
The important part for Halladay wasnt so much the result and the workload as much as as the attention to smaller details. For instance, Halladay was happy that he got to pitch into the seventh inning simply so he could perform the routine of going to the dugout and getting back on the mound.
Repetition and game emulation is the key for Halladay.
The big thing today was the up and downs, Halladay said. You want to get close to 100 pitches, but you also want to get up and down. Sometimes thats the hardest part. Being able to go out for a seventh inning and get close to 90 pitches was very important.
Stuff-wise, Halladay is only going to get sharper, says pitching coach Rich Dubee.
Hes missing certain pitches. Certain pitches arent clicked in yet, but arm-wise and stuff-wise, hes good, Dubee said. Roy is fine.
As far as the season goes, Halladay isnt too worried about the Phillies chances this year. The way he sees it, the Phillies will get better as the season progresses no matter when Ryan Howard and Chase Utley get back.
The good thing about this team is that well get better as the year goes on, Halladay said. The thing about that is Ive been on some teams where we had as good a team as were going to have in spring training and if things didnt work out the way he needed them to, we were in trouble.
Its nice having the feeling that were going to get some big guys back as the season goes on.
Otherwise, there was no decision to be had in Sundays game since it was halted after 10 innings locked in a 3-3 tie (see more). Jim Thome drove in a pair of runs with a double in the third for the Phillies and Freddy Galvis added three hits. Plus, Placido Polanco went 1 for 2 with an RBI in his first game since injuring his finger on March 17.
Elsewhere, veteran reliever Jose Contreras continued on his comeback from elbow surgery with an inning of work. Contreras gave up a run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts, but Dubee liked the way the reliever threw the ball.
Jose has been a real bright spot this camp, Dubee said. Im not concerned about the runs. I like the way the ball is coming out of his hand.
Additionally, lefty Antonio Bastardo pitched two-thirds of an inning in his first work since feeling tightness in his arm on March 18. Bastardo said the tightness was the result of dehydration and nothing structural with his arm.
E-mail John R. Finger at firstname.lastname@example.org