CHICAGO Roy Halladay was smiling and upbeat the day after leaving Monday nights start with heat exhaustion.
I thought I could get through it, but that last inning I felt like I was about to get wheeled off the mound, the Phillies ace said before Tuesday nights game against the Cubs at still sweltering Wrigley Field.
It was 91 degrees at game time Monday night and the heat index was 103. The oppressive humidity got the best of Halladay as he plowed his way through a 31-pitch third inning. After the inning, he removed his undershirt and wiped himself down with an ice towel in the dugout. He made it through the fourth inning but was removed feeling lightheaded and dizzy in the fifth.
The oppressive conditions were exacerbated by the ballpark. Wrigley Field is 97 years old. The dugouts are small, cramped and as hot as brick ovens on summer days. There is no air conditioned area behind the dugouts, as there are in many new parks, where a player can find relief.
Between innings I couldnt get away from the heat, Halladay said. I couldnt escape it. It got to the point where I kept getting hotter and hotter and I couldnt stop it.
Halladay was seen by two doctors after coming out of the game. He did not go to the hospital. He would not say whether he had an intravenous treatment.
I feel a lot better, he said.
Halladay said he felt fine before the game. He made all his usual preparations for pitching in heat, paying particular attention to hydration.
Ive pitched on plenty of hot days and never had this before, he said. The doctors couldnt tell me why it happened. Sometimes your body gets a little worn down and the heat gets to you and you get to the point where you cant catch up.
Halladay cut back a little on his between-starts workload Tuesday. He said he will be able to make his next start Sunday in Philadelphia, where the forecast calls for a hot weekend.
Is Beltran the guy?
Its no secret that the Phillies would like to add a bat to their corner outfield mix. Multiple reports out of New York say the Mets are willing to eat the 6 million that remains on Carlos Beltrans contract provided they got a top prospect in return.
Getting Beltran without adding to the payroll would surely appeal to the Phillies, who are in danger of reaching the 178 million luxury-tax threshold. The question is: Would they give up a top prospect for a rental player?
The Phils would like to add a right-handed bat to balance out their lineup and give them some help against left-handed pitching. Beltran, a switch-hitter, is having a strong season, hitting .287 with 14 homers, 59 RBIs and a league-high 28 doubles. He is hitting just .232 from the right side of the plate, but does have eight homers and 21 RBIs. As a left-handed hitter, Beltran is hitting .312 with six homers and 38 RBIs. If he came to Philadelphia, he would play rightfield.
The Mets are in a position of strength in dealing Beltran. A number of contenders are looking for a hitter, including the Boston Red Sox, who, like the Phillies, are in a World-Series-or-bust mode. That could drive the Mets price up.
Step forward for Oswalt
Roy Oswalt was very encouraged with the way he felt while throwing 47 pitches from a bullpen mound Tuesday. It was the first time hed been on the mound since going on the disabled list with a bulging disc in his lower back on June 24 and requiring a series of epidural injections.
It felt great, Oswalt said. I probably felt as good as I did in spring training. No pain. I was actually able to get through the ball.
Oswalt will throw another bullpen session on Friday. After that he may be ready to start making some minor-league starts as he works his way back to the rotation over the next few weeks.
The biggest thing now is building arm strength, Oswalt said.
Shane Victorino came off the disabled list Tuesday. He was in the Phillies lineup batting fifth against the Cubs Matt Garza.
The Phillies are mulling whether to promote Triple A reliever Jason Grilli to the majors. He has an out in his contract if a team is willing to bring him to the majors and has received interest from at least one club, according to a team official. Grilli could opt out of his Phillies deal by Friday if the Phils don't bring him to the majors. The Phillies have added several relievers from Triple A this season and Grilli has not been a fit. The right-hander, who has pitched in the majors with five clubs, has a 1.93 ERA in 28 games at Lehigh Valley.
E-mail Jim Salisbury at email@example.com