Roy Halladay No Longer DominantBREAKING NEWS, News, Phillies, Pitchers Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Phillies’ starter Roy Halladay has been having a subpar year. Ten starts into the 2012 season, the former Blue Jay is 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA. While those numbers aren’t necessarily bad, they’re clearly a significant step below the Cy-Young quality of pitching that the righthander has given the team in his first two seasons in Philadelphia.
Last Tuesday night’s start against the Washington Nationals was the latest troubling start for Halladay, who allowed five runs on nine hits in just innings. The ace had a terrible third inning where he gave up four runs on four hits (including a triple and a two-run homerun), and gave control of the game to Washington.
On Sunday, Halladay lasted just two innings before leaving the game with shoulder soreness. Before his early exit, he put the Phillies in an early hole by giving up a grand slam in the first inning.
Halladay has been getting hit by opposing offenses because he’s been hanging too many pitches over the plate, making life much easier on the batters he’s facing. These problems led to his loss last Tuesday, and have gotten him in trouble a number of other times this season, including a start against the Atlanta Braves when he spit up a six-run lead. During Spring Training, the former Cy-Young award winner shrugged off questions about his velocity, and the movement of his pitches, but clearly the physical skill he’s lost has become an issue.
Halladay began the season with an excellent performance, pitching eight scoreless innings on Opening Day against the Pittsburgh Pirates and won his first three starts, but has struggled ever since. While some of his final pitching lines still look more than respectable, several of his no-decision starts have come because he hasn’t been able to hold on to his lead late in games.
Every athlete declines at some point. Even though many fans and writers have described Halladay as a “machine”, the reality is he’s human just like everyone else. There isn’t anything special about his body, he’s going to breakdown like everyone else. The Doc has thrown a lot of innings, and a lot of pitches in his career, especially in the last two seasons with the Phillies. At age 35, it’s about time that his workload caught up with him and started to take a toll. He’s been a workout warrior his entire career, but such intense training can cause the body to wear down faster, and now Halladay has been battling shoulder problems throughout the season.
By no means has Halladay been a disaster this year, but his physical skills aren’t what they were, and the Phillies can no longer rely on him to throw seven or eight innings and allow only one or two runs in each start. He’ll still turn in plenty of quality outings, and on some good nights he’ll flash his old form, but these subpar starts are going to be a much more frequent occurrence this year, and the rest of his career.
Every fifth day used to be a Halladay. Now every fifth day is just another start from a pitcher who, while still very good, is no longer in class of his own.
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