May 7, 2013 |
THE STRETCH RUN began around 5:30 p.m. yesterday. Fresh off a 14-2 thrashing at the hands of the worst team in the National League, the Phillies dressed in silence and headed to the airport for the start of a 4-week window that could very well dictate how much meaningful baseball they play for the rest of the season. Of their next 22 games, 19 will feature opponents who entered Sunday with a winning record. They are 5-14 against such teams this season, a winning percentage that, if maintained, would leave them around 22-32 on the final day of May. The arrival at such a juncture would force the Phillies to consider turning their attention to 2014 and beyond, a process that would involve a number of difficult conversations, including those with their tradable veterans, most of whom can exert at least some control over where they land thanks to clauses in their contracts.
September 23, 2012 |
Roy Halladay did not watch his 89-m.p.h. fastball fly Saturday when everything crumbled. An 8-2 Phillies loss to Atlanta was five batters old at crestfallen Citizens Bank Park. The silence was interrupted when that fastball, now a three-run Braves homer, smacked a large advertisement in right field. Bang. Only then did Halladay turn his head. It was difficult not to stare. Halladay threw 51 pitches, recorded five outs, and was charged with seven runs. Those images were later replaced by a somber Halladay verbalizing failure inside the Phillies clubhouse.
May 9, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - A week from his 36th birthday, Roy Halladay sat in a doctor's office in Los Angeles and couldn't escape wondering about his future. Halladay was examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the offices of Dr. Lewis Yocum yesterday, a day after being placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Before last night's game in San Francisco, the Phillies said there would be no update on Halladay's test results until today. And so, they wait. "I expect to hear something before we go home tonight," said a hopeful Charlie Manuel.
September 22, 2012 |
This has been a season in which the Phillies have seen nearly everything, and now, after Roy Halladay left the mound at Citizens Bank Park to scattered boos on Saturday afternoon, they have heard everything as well. Halladay may have not deserved better from the game itself - he took little of his traditional arsenal to the mound with him - but he deserved at least a better last memory from what should really be his final appearance of the season. After the game, Halladay said he has experienced spasms behind his shoulder recently, but also said he would prefer to work through those issues and take his final two starts of the season.
April 5, 2013 |
ATLANTA - It is an obituary nobody wants to write, and only Roy Halladay can prevent it from being written. He forced us all to sharpen our pencils Wednesday night. If the question before this start was whether Halladay would be closer to his vintage self now that the games count, it is now this: If he isn't going to be that pitcher again, can he learn how to be effective in a different way? The guess here is that the answer will turn out to be yes. Halladay is just too competitive, too dedicated to his craft to be daunted by this challenge.
April 14, 2013 |
And so we have arrived at another Roy Halladay start. At some point, his outings will cease receiving so much scrutiny and the hackneyed expression "it is what it is" will rule the day. Exactly how this developing story is going to end remains to be seen, but history suggests it is not going to end well for the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Oddly, this start Sunday afternoon against the Miami Marlins will be a bit of a defining one for the 35-year-old pitcher who threw a perfect game against the same franchise in 2010.
March 25, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The new reality for Roy Halladay started well before 10:59 a.m. Saturday, when he launched an 89 m.p.h. fastball on a back field at the Carpenter Complex. Each time Halladay threw, pitching prospect Jonathan Pettibone clicked the radar-gun trigger. He tilted it so pitching coach Rich Dubee could see the two digits. This happened 81 times Saturday while Blue Jays minor-leaguers smashed Halladay's sinkers and cutters. The first digit of the velocity reading was nine just once or twice.