CHICAGO Roy Halladay made his first start since the all-star break Monday night, but he was Roy Halladay in name only.
The Phillies ace, a physical specimen who usually needs to be ripped from the mound with a tow hook, left Monday nights game with head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan at his side without recording an out in the fifth inning.
Official cause of the early exit: The heat.
He was hot and dizzy, manager Charlie Manuel said. You could tell in that third inning. He was kind of gasping for air. He was really sweating.
Halladay suffered his first defeat in two months in the 6-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs in the claustrophobic confines of Wrigley Field. But afterward, the final outcome hardly seemed important. Most of the postgame attention centered around Halladays condition.
The 34-year-old pitcher was seen by a Cubs team physician after coming out of the game. Phillies spokesman Greg Casterioto reported that Halladay was given a clean bill of health and was alert. Halladay did not emerge from the trainers room to speak with reporters, but he did send word through Casterioto that he absolutely intends to make his next start on Sunday.
Halladay entered the game having gone six or more innings in 63 straight road starts, but it was clear pretty early in this one that he was going to have trouble keeping that streak alive. The game-time temperature was 91 degrees and the humidity was oppressive. Even Miami resident Raul Ibanez said the humidity was remarkable. Jimmy Rollins compared it to one of those old days at the Vet.
The heat got to Halladay as he labored through a 31-pitch third inning. Twice he backed off the mound and hunched over his knees as he tried to take a breather. Once he went into a full crouch. Second baseman Chase Utley called time out to tie his shoes in an obvious attempt to buy Halladay some time.
In the dugout after the third inning, Halladay wiped down with a wet towel. When he returned to the mound for the fourth inning, he did so minus his red-sleeved undershirt. He allowed one hit in that inning, but got through it without a problem. After that inning, pitching coach Rich Dubee consulted Halladay.
He said he was somewhat lightheaded, but he wanted to go on, Dubee said. He was having a tough time focusing and seeing the signs.
Halladay allowed a leadoff single to Starlin Castro in the bottom of the fifth and was removed from the game. In all, he allowed seven hits, including a homer, and three runs in four-plus innings.
Hes better now, Dubee said after the game. The people here took good care of him. They got some fluids in him and hes doing much better.
Dubee did not know if Halladay had an intravenous treatment. Manuel said Halladay had no problems before the game.
This wasnt the first time Halladay has pitched in extreme heat. He pitched in Washington where the heat index was 100 degrees on May 30. He drank Pedialyte to stay hydrated between innings and at one point needed to change his entire uniform between innings because it was drenched with sweat.
The Phillies are 2-2 after the all-star break. Cole Hamels and Halladay, both all-stars, have the losses. In two starts, they have allowed 10 runs and 15 hits in 8 13 innings.
Another all-star, Cliff Lee, pitches Tuesday night.
All of this has made Dubee less of a fan of the All-Star Game.
Roy is the last guy youd expect this to happen to, but that tells you what Mother Nature can do, Dubee said. It was awful hot. Im not making excuses, but guys go to the All-Star Game and they come back a little drawn. I know you need the All-Star Game, but its a busy three days. You fly out there a couple of time zones away, there are banquets that first week back, guys dont always respond.
The Phillies had won 10 straight starts with Halladay on the mound.
This one got away early as Halladay allowed a homer to Aramis Ramirez in the first inning. He allowed two more runs in the third inning. Rollins solo homer off Rodrigo Lopez was the only offense the Phillies could muster. They were outhit, 12-5. Utley, Ryan Howard and Ibanez, the Phils 3-4-5 hitters, were 0 for 11.
They outplayed us, Manuel said. They outhit us and outplayed us. Lopez did a good job. Give him credit.
The forecast is for more intense heat Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago.
Weve got to play, Manuel said. Im not concerned. What the hell? They arent going to call the game for the heat. Ive seen it 125, 130 degrees. Weve got to play.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at email@example.com
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