By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and The Philadelphia Sunday Sun
PHILADELPHIA–If you were wondering if there was something physically wrong with Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay after two disastrous starts in which gave up 17 earned runs in five innings, you absolutely right.
After the Phillies 14-2 loss at Citizen’s Bank Park to the last-place Miami Marlins in which he gave up nine earned runs in less than three innings, Halladay told reporters after the game that he had been experiencing soreness in his right shoulder since an April 19 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“My shoulder was bothering me,” Halladay said. “I woke up and I really didn’t think anything of it. I thought it was regular soreness. It kind progressed over the last two weeks or so. ..I felt good all spring, I felt good all year. It was after that start against Pittsburgh, I had soreness in there and I wasn’t able to get rid of it.”
Meanwhile, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Halladay will be on the disabled list sometime within the next day or so once the team decides who they’re going to bring up from one of their minor league affiliates. He said Halladay will be examined by doctors in California.
“Clearly, it does seem like he’s not healthy,” Amaro said. “It was pretty apparent with his performance today unfortunately.”
Halladay apparently kept his condition from manager Charlie Manuel and Amaro. Because Halladay is a proven veteran, he felt that he was able to pitch his way through his soreness.
“Listen, he’s a competitor. If he feels he can pitch, he can pitch,” Amaro said. “Clearly, he wasn’t pitching to his custom level and it was apparent today and after his last outing.”
Going back to his last start against the Cleveland Indians, Halladay has given up a grand total of 17 earned runs, 12 hits, seven walks, two hit batsmen and four homeruns. He hasn’t been able to pitch beyond the fourth inning.
The competitive portion of Sunday’s game ended in the first and third innings. In the first inning, the Marlins scored five runs on two hits because Halladay had absolutely no command over his pitches. He walked three batters and hit another in the back.
“He couldn’t find his pitches today,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “He didn’t have his location and command. It was a combination of things. He kept falling behind and when had to come in and throw the ball in the big part of the plate he got hit.”
Halladay gave up a two-run double to Miami rightfielder Marcell Ozuna that was almost a home run.
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria hit a bases loaded triple to put the Phillies in a 5-0 hole after one half of an inning.
But Hechavarria wasn’t done with Halladay. In the third inning, the Miami shortstop hit a grand-slam home run that sent Halladay to the showers. For the game, Hechavarria had seven runs batted in. It was 9-0 and the rout was on.
With Halladay definitely out of the starting rotation, the Phillies, starting with their seven-game road trip to San Francisco and Arizona, will be playing a stretch of games against teams with winning records with the exception of the Marlins.
“I think our road trip is big,” Manuel said. “I think we need to win today’s game. I think we need to win tomorrow’s game. I come here with the mindset that we’re going to win. We definitely need to start winning some games.
Last season, it was late May in which Halladay wound up on the disabled list and the Phillies went from being a game above .500 to being 13 games below .500 prior to the All-Star break. They were in a huge hole from which they never recovered.
In addition to Halladay’s problems on the mound, the Phillies offense in the last two games of the Miami series could only muster just two runs. After being shutout in Saturday night’s loss, the Phillies managed to score two runs (one earned) in the eighth.
“Until we start hitting the ball and start making better contact and doing things right, we’re going to struggle,” Manuel said. “We’ve got to come out and play-get runners on base and hit the ball. With the lineup that we got we better get some extra base hits because we’re not getting a whole lot out of our speed right now.”