We're Not Saying Doc's Start Today Is the Most Important of the Season, But... Yeah, We're Not Saying That

We're Not Saying Doc's Start Today Is the Most Important of the Season, But... Yeah, We're Not Saying That

But it's a damn big one.

The Phillies take on the Blue Jays this afternoon in what will be their final game down in Florida before returning to Philadelphia to play their yearly On Deck Series tomorrow and Saturday at Citizens Bank Park against the same Toronto team. Typically, the final game down in Florida is a chance for everybody to fine tune whatever last minute thing each guy has been working on all spring. Rarely is so much riding on the final spring start from a pitcher. But Roy Halladay has had a wacky and quite concerning spring.

So today's start from Doc will no doubt be examined closely.

CSN's Jim Salisbury writes that while the Phils have had quite a few positive's this spring down in Clearwater, Roy's month has been causing anxiety in the organization.

Halladay, 35, has had a curious spring that has included dead (fatigued) arm, lethargy, a stomach bug, delivery issues and diminished velocity. He has had trouble finding his cutter and has been hit hard recently.

Less than a week before opening day, nobody is sure whether Halladay can be consistently effective again. Halladay himself has acknowledged that he doesnt have the pop he once did, but he believes he can have success if he concentrates on important standbys such as location, preparation, game plan and mixing pitches.

He's had believable excuses. And it's hard not to want to believe a guy with the work ethic like Roy Halladay. But really, the only true believable thing is that which we see on the field. Phillies fans everywhere are hoping and praying they see a glimpse of the Doc of old this afternoon.

At the very least maybe the Doc who didn't have to labor so damn much.

1:05 start on The Comcast Network. Feel free to discuss in the comments.

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High anxiety: Halladay remains a concern on final day of camp CSN

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

Union see 4-game winning streak end in shutout loss to Real Salt Lake

BOX SCORE

SANDY, Utah -- Joao Plata scored his first goal of the season and Real Salt Lake beat the Union, 1-0, on Saturday night to snap Philadelphia's club-record winning streak at four games.

Plata tapped in his goal in the 36th minute after quickly exchanging short passes twice with Jefferson Savarino. Tony Beltran got the play started by saving the ball just before it went over the goal line.

The Union (4-5-5) had a chance to tie it in stoppage time, but goalie Nick Rimando blocked Haris Medunjanin's belt-high free kick and Salt Lake (4-8-2) cleared it after a scramble in front of the net.

Union goalkeeper Andre Blake made seven saves.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.