Halladay exits with sore shoulder in Phillies loss

Roy Halladay pitched just two innings before being removed due to shoulder soreness. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Roy Halladay pitched just two innings before being removed due to shoulder soreness. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Posted: May 28, 2012

ST. LOUIS - There have been many moments during Roy Halladay's tenure with the Phillies that he seemed more superhuman than mere mortal.

Perfect games, postseason no-hitters, two-something ERAs, and a Cy Young Award are his trademarks.

Excessive heat seemed to be his kryptonite, but it never kept him down for long.

Now, the most accomplished of the Phillies' aces has soreness in the back of his right shoulder, and that could turn him into Clark Kent without the superpower of making a baseball move in all sorts of directions at varying speeds.

Manager Charlie Manuel acknowledged his concern after Halladay had to leave following the second inning of the Phillies' 8-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday at Busch Stadium.

"Worried? Yeah, definitely I'm concerned," Manuel said. "Yeah, I'm worried. Our pitching is one of the big things on our club, and when guys miss a turn, yeah, that concerns me."

The Phillies soon should get a clear indication of what's bothering Halladay. He flew with the team to New York after Sunday's game, but expects to be in Philadelphia to see team physician Michael Ciccotti early this week. Halladay said he may have to wait until Tuesday because of the Memorial Day holiday.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee removed Halladay from the game after the second inning because he did not like what he was seeing on the mound and he already knew that the righthander was experiencing soreness.

"I know he's had a cranky shoulder," Dubee said. "He hasn't looked right and he didn't look right today. I knew he wasn't going to come out of the game. I basically said that was enough."

Halladay said he first felt soreness "about halfway through" his previous start against the Washington Nationals.

"We checked everything out, and strength and stuff was fine," Halladay said. "But we were just careful this week, cut back on throwing, did all the normal stuff [to deal with soreness]. You have this stuff from time to time and you know most of the time if you take care of it, it kind of goes anyway."

Dubee indicated that Halladay's soreness dates from beyond his last start.

"Yeah, it's been an issue," he said. "It's been there. It's been lingering. Some days it's better than others. Chicago was better than others. Even the start of the last game it was better and then got cranky. Today, warming up he felt fine, but as he got into the game and sat down and even before the first inning, it was just hard to get it going again."

The first inning proved to be disastrous for Halladay. After surrendering one-out singles to Skip Schumaker and Matt Holliday and a two-out walk to David Freese, Halladay threw a fastball that catcher Yadier Molina launched over the center-field wall for a grand slam.

It was the second grand slam allowed this month by Halladay. He had allowed three in his career before this season. Halladay (4-5) was around long enough to be tagged with his fifth loss in eight starts. His ERA in that stretch is 5.29 and his overall ERA now sits at 3.98, the highest it has been this late in the season since 2007.

Halladay retired the Cardinals in order on a total of 10 pitches in the bottom of the second inning, but before Mike Fontenot stepped to the plate in the top of the third, Joe Savery started warming up in the Phillies bullpen. After Fontenot walked, Pete Orr pinch-hit for Halladay, so everybody was going to find out about the pitcher's shoulder soreness.

"[Dubee] came down and asked me how I was feeling, and I didn't want to say anything," Halladay said. "I think it was the right call. It's hard for any pitcher to come tell the coach you need to come out, and I don't know if I would have done that."

Not much good happened for the Phillies after Halladay left. Chad Qualls surrendered a couple of long home runs to Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams that extended the Cardinals' lead to 8-1, and it was clear that the Phillies' four-game winning streak would end on this steamy hot day.

But the loss to the Cardinals did not get nearly as much attention as the potential loss of Halladay.

Halladay had two stints on the disabled list because of shoulder problems in 2004 and was limited to 21 starts after throwing a career-high 266 innings and winning his first Cy Young Award the year before.

"I felt it every single start from the beginning of the season on [in 2004]," Halladay said. "That's not the case right now. Basically, I really felt it affected me [Sunday} and a couple of innings in the last one. I'm hoping it's something we can calm down quickly and get back out there. That's obviously my hope. It's not to a point where I'm in agony throwing pitches.

"The two years before [2004] I threw 500-plus innings and threw a lot of bullpens in the winter and wore myself out. I didn't know what I was doing. I'm smarter now. I'm going to make sure we address it and move on."

Only a positive medical report ultimately will provide relief for the Phillies and Halladay.


Contact Bob Brookover at bbrookover@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @brookob.

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