Phillies' Roy Halladay leaves after an inning with stomach virus

The Phillies wore green uniforms for St. Patrick's Day. Starter Roy Halladay was feeling queasy, and was forced to quit after throwing only 25 pitches.
The Phillies wore green uniforms for St. Patrick's Day. Starter Roy Halladay was feeling queasy, and was forced to quit after throwing only 25 pitches. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 19, 2013

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Roy Halladay felt something much worse than lethargic Sunday.

He felt sick to his stomach.

"I didn't notice anything until we started walking to the dugout," catcher Erik Kratz said following the Phillies' 5-3 Grapefruit League win over the Baltimore Orioles. "And then he went in the dugout, and he said he was going to stay in the tunnel for the anthem."

The stomach virus was taking control.

Halladay, coming off a shaky outing in which his lack of velocity and command raised some red flags about the two-time Cy Young Award winner's physical condition, opted to take the mound in the top of the first inning anyway.

He threw 25 pitches, including 13 for strikes, and got through without allowing a run. He periodically walked off the mound, a sure sign to Kratz that he wasn't feeling right. An even better indication came when the inning was over and Halladay vomited in the dugout.

After the Phillies went down in order in the bottom of the first inning, the eight position players returned to the field minus their pitcher. As Kratz walked to the mound awaiting reliever Zach Miner, Halladay left the playing field through the stands along the third-base line. He was not available for comment.

"He was hurting pretty good after the inning," Kratz said. "I'm not a doctor, but I've seen sick, and that was sick."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said closer Jonathan Papelbon had a stomach virus similar to the one that shortened Halladay's outing. Papelbon was scheduled to be the first reliever after Halladay's start, but he was sent home by the team before the game. It was the second time this spring that Papelbon was scratched because of a stomach bug.

Though it was a small sampling, Kratz and pitching coach Rich Dubee said Halladay's abbreviated outing represented improvement over his Tuesday disaster against Detroit when he surrendered seven runs on six hits, walked four batters and hit another.

"A lot better," Kratz said. "His cutter was cutting, and he threw a few sinkers on the corners. The last time, his cutter wasn't cutting, and he wasn't locating his pitches where he wanted to. When you're trying to work on things, I think you're continually trying to bang your head against the wall and trying to get it done, and he wasn't able to do that last time. This time, he was able to do that very well."

One scout said Halladay's fastball was consistently clocked at 87 and 88 m.p.h. and even hit 89 one time, which represented improvement over his last start when his fastball sat between 84 and 87 and was hit hard by the Tigers.

"I actually thought he was better," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "I haven't looked at the velocity or stuff like that, but he threw some [cutters] that had some action to them, and he was doing it with no legs really. I thought he was fine."

Dubee said he expected Halladay to be able to make his next scheduled start Friday, which would be against the Atlanta Braves if he pitches in a big-league game. He also said he believes Halladay will be ready for the start of the season.

"We have some extra starts this spring," Dubee said. "He still has a couple more."


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


 

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