Flash forward to Tuesday afternoon at Bright House Field, and it felt very familiar to that afternoon last year, except Tigers, not Twins hit the home runs.
In his fourth start of the spring, the 35-year-old Halladay was again removed from the game before he could complete the third inning. Halladay allowed seven runs on six hits, including two home runs, while walking four and striking out one in a 10-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Cause for concern? Not according to Doc's personal diagnosis, at least.
"Just lethargic, I was really lethargic," Halladay said of the cause of his uneasy start. "I think it's just that time of spring - you're going all the time . . . You're trying to work on as much stuff as you can. I really feel like that kind of caught up with me."
Because of Monday's off day in the schedule - the first of 2 such days this spring - Halladay had an extra day in between starts and threw an extra bullpen session.
Following a spring of dealing with a lower back issue that turned into a shoulder ailment in the summer in 2012, Halladay changed his famed workout routine over the winter, opting for quicker, more intense exercises and runs over ones focusing on stamina. Like the bullpen session, and the long tosses and other efforts to get his pitches in check, too, Halladay said that also played a part in his lethargy.
"We got to a point where we've done so much throwing that I really kind of just felt lethargic," Halladay said. "The good part is there's no soreness. Nothing hurts. And I'll trade that any day of the week, feeling lethargic over being sore like last spring training."
But given the events of last spring - and what they turned into as the spring schedule gave way to the regular-season schedule - it was fair to speculate whether Halladay was hitting the proverbial Grapefruit League wall or dead-arm period, something he said happens "every spring," or whether he was healthy, period.
Even the Phillies' coaching staff allowed for some concern.
"He said he's healthy; he said he feels good, said there's nothing wrong with him physically," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Yeah, it concerns me. But, at the same time, I've been in the game long enough to know that if there's nothing wrong with him, you keep working with him."
Several reports had Halladay's fastball hovering between 84 and 87 mph on Tuesday. His average fastball was at 92 mph in 2011, according to fangraphs.com, and at 90.6 mph last year, when he pitched through soreness.
Halladay said he was "not worried" and "very confident" that would trend upward in the next 3 weeks, again bringing up the extra work he did this week in the bullpen and weight room. But his pitching coach . . .
"I would say there's some concern," Rich Dubee said. "But I would say a lot of it has to do with having no tempo to his delivery."
After going through his pregame bullpen session without issue, Halladay never fell into a rhythm on Tuesday.
He walked the first batter of the game. Halladay walked four of the 18 batters he faced, and hit another.
It was a very unHalladayian performance: Halladay walked four or more batters in a game only once in his first 65 starts in a Phillies uniform in 2010 and 2011. Last year, he walked four or more twice in 25 starts.
Whether it was lethargy or tempo or something else, it wasn't an inspiring performance for someone the Phillies are relying heavily on in 2013.
"Doc is a big rhythm guy," Dubee said. "He just hasn't been able to find his yet."
Can he find his 2010 or 2011 self?
"I don't know where he is going to get back to. I don't," Dubee said. "Who does? I don't have a crystal ball, but I know that his work ethic is still there, his desire is still there, so I'll take my chances."
Aside from the pitch he threw behind Washington's Tyler Moore last week, Halladay's first three spring starts were relatively uneventful. He had a 2.16 ERA (two earned runs in 8 1/3 innings) with six hits allowed, seven strikeouts and two walks.
At times, he struggled with command, but other times, he looked like his old self, yielding "filthy" compliments from the likes of Torii Hunter.
But unlike the first time Halladay faced them this spring, in his first start on Feb. 24, the defending American League champions Tigers lacked a few of their regulars in the lineup on Tuesday, including Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
The Tigers teed off on Halladay, anyway.
When Halladay wasn't walking batters, he was watching them tag his pitches, from Alex Avila's booming double over centerfielder Ben Revere's head to home runs from Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago, the latter a grand slam that paved the way for the pitcher's early exit.
In the half-hour or so in between Halladay walking from the mound to the dugout and from the dugout to the clubhouse, an eerie silence took over a ballpark filled with nearly 9,000 fans.
Like a reassuring parent, Halladay said everything would be all right.
"I'm happy with where we are strength-wise, where I am physically, the fact that nothing hurts," Halladay said. "We have a plan and I'm still trying to build . . . I'm trying to use this time as best as I can to prepare myself for the season. And it's going to cost you sometimes. It cost me today.
"But that's fine. If I have the results I hope to have during the season, because of the preparation we've put in, then it worked. So, that's when we find out."
Until then, a sports-crazed city waits with bated breath.
On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21