Roy Halladay Leaves Early Due to Heat, Cubs Beat Phils 6-1

Roy Halladay Leaves Early Due to Heat, Cubs Beat Phils 6-1

CHICAGO -- Monday night's game was painful to watch for those sitting at home in their living rooms in the Delaware Valley, spoiled by the luxuries of icy cool air conditioning and frosty beverages. So just imagine how painful it was for the Phillies fans who trekked out to Wrigley Field to cheer on their squad only to sit in what felt like a sauna. It wasn't just the 91 degree first pitch temperature. It was a sticky, humid, oppressive heat.

And it got to Roy Halladay.

After giving up a single to Starlin Castro to start the bottom half of the fifth, Halladay was curiously pulled having thrown only 69 pitches. The guess at the time was something to do with heat/exhaustion, as the temperatures and humidity at the ball park were flat out gross, and Roy looked very red. He threw a couple of laborious innings in which the Cubs really made him work, including 31 pitches in the third.

Halladay didn't seem like himself all night, and was seen bending over at the hip in between multiple batters. He even crouched down behind the rubber while Chase Utley tried to fix his cleat at one point. I wouldn't be surprised if Utley did this on purpose, noticing his ace was gassed.

The official reason the Phillies later gave for Roy's departure was "due to the heat."

That ended the Cy Young winner's day, but the Phils were still in the game at that point, trailing only 3-1.

How the Cubs Got To Roy

Aramis Ramirez lifted the first pitch he saw from Roy Halladay into the left field bleachers in the first inning to put the Cubs up 1-0.

Halladay's toughest inning was clearly the third, in which he gave up a single to pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, followed by a walk to Kosuke Fukudome. Starlin Castro slapped a single through the left side.

That brought up Aramis Ramirez with the bases loaded and no outs. Ramirez battled Halladay and eventually hit a ball to the warning track in right on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to put the Cubs up 2-0. Two pitches later Carlos Pena scored the third Cubs run on a lined single to right. Halladay got Marlon Byrd to fly out to left and Alfonso Soriano to center to finally end the inning. But the Cubs were up 3-0 at that point and the Phillies offense could never get anything going against Rodrigo Lopez, who left the game to a standing ovation in the seventh.

[for more on Lopez's gem, check out Patrick Mooney's post]

Andrew Carpenter and David Herndon couldn't keep it close and allowed the Cubs to stretch the lead to 6-1.

Nothing Doing Offensively

Rollins finally added some life to the Phillies offense by smacking his 9th home run of the year into the second row of the bleachers in right center to start the fourth inning, but they couldn't plate anyone else the rest of the night.

Michael Martinez got things going in the sixth with a bloop single followed by Chase Utley taking a ball in the leg to get on base and put two on board for the Big Piece. Ryan Howard caught a break when Soriano dropped a foul ball down the line in left, but couldn't deliver, finally popping out to shallow center after a tough at-at bat.

The Phillies were cooked.

UPDATE: Halladay did not talk to reporters following the game but through a team spokesperson said he would "absolutely" make his next scheduled start against the Padres on Sunday.

US PRESSWIRE photos

Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Howie Kendrick (oblique) finally ready to begin rehab assignment tonight

Phillies corner outfielder/infielder Howie Kendrick is finally nearing a return. He'll begin a rehab assignment tonight with Triple A Lehigh Valley.

Kendrick has been out since April 15 with an oblique strain. He did defensive work during the Phillies' road trip and has been taking outdoor batting practice at home this week.

Kendrick was off to a hot start when the oblique injury sent him to the DL. In 10 games, he went 13 for 39 (.333) with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs. He batted second all 10 games.

The Phillies are in a bad offensive funk and could use Kendrick's bat over Michael Saunders' right now. The Phils' 1-2 hitters were among the most productive in the majors in April, hitting close to .350 for the month. They're down to .282 on the season as Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera have slumped in May.

With Clay Buchholz likely out for the season and Saunders providing little offense so far, the Phillies' trio of offseason veteran additions has not panned out through two months.

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

Supplement-free Lane Johnson heaviest he's ever been, feels he has much to prove

It's only natural to have some reservations about Lane Johnson after he was suspended for 10 games last season for his second violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. One more positive test and the Eagles will lose their starting right tackle for two full years.

Fortunately, Johnson seems determined to avoid any future run-ins with the league. The 27-year-old changed his entire approach this offseason, cutting out negative influences or any other voices at all while preparing for the 2017 season.

"I just trained by myself back in Oklahoma," Johnson said after the Eagles' first full-team practice of OTAs on Tuesday. "Trained by myself and everything went good. I came back, my body weight is about 325, so I'm heavier than I've ever been. I feel in good shape, and I have a lot to prove, so it's a big year for me.

"I did everything by myself. There wasn't going to be any mishaps."

Two suspensions totaling 14 games later, Johnson has gained a healthy fear of being unknowingly steered toward an illegal supplement.

Johnson tested positive for PEDs before the season last year after taking a banned substance known as peptides and was eventually slapped with the full 10-game penalty after a lengthy appeal process. The fifth-year veteran always maintained peptides were not listed on the label of the offending supplement.

Johnson filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the players' association in November after the suspension was upheld. Its status is ongoing.

Johnson also served a four-game suspension in 2014.

When he's not in trouble with the league office, Johnson is a vital cog in the Eagles' offense. They went 5-1 with him and 2-8 without him last season.

"I feel like whenever I'm playing, I try to be the best right tackle in the NFL," Johnson said. "My deal is to just stay on the field, play a complete season, and I think it will be a big year for me."

Johnson isn't concerned about losing a competitive edge, physically or mentally, after dropping supplements altogether.

"I've always been the athlete that I am," Johnson said. "That's what I'll continue to prove. I'm gonna go play and show people what I can do."

Signed in January 2016 to a five-year contract extension worth $56 million, Johnson has plenty to prove. He was working out in place of 35-year-old left tackle Jason Peters, who wasn't at the start of OTAs, on Tuesday and is expected to one day replace the nine-time Pro Bowl selection permanently.

Despite his checkered past, it sounds like Johnson knows exactly what's on the line, which is why he chose to go it alone this offseason. The only person you can trust is yourself.

Then again, Johnson still has his vices, which might raise some eyebrows with the news he's up to 325 pounds — eight more than his listed weight.

"My big deal is cutting out the ice cream, the Ben & Jerry's late at night — the stuff you want to indulge in," Johnson said. "If you get me on an ice cream binge, it's not good."

The Eagles can probably deal with a little extra ice cream, just as long as Johnson remains committed to keeping dodgy supplements out of his body.