A Much Different Doc

Roy HalladayUh, relax and stay calm everybody?

Following a substandard 2012 and a troubling spring training in Florida, Roy Halladay lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his season debut last night at Turner Field. He allowed six hits, five runs, three walks, two home runs and struck out nine. Typically, when a pitcher records nine of his first 10 outs on strikeouts he is dominant. But Halladay was not dominant. Far from it. He threw 95 pitches (55 strikes) in those 3 1/3 innings as his performance only raised more concerns and doubts about his ability to return to form, despite Halladay and Charlie Manuel insisting everything will be fine.

The Braves certainly noticed a difference.

“It was a little bit different,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I couldn’t tell you what it is. His velocity was maybe a (tick) or two below what you’ve seen. But I couldn’t tell you much more than that, not living with him or not knowing what’s going on over there.”

“Not velocity wise,” said rightfielder Jason Heyward, when asked if Halladay looked the same. “But he has a lot of weapons. So it was no surprise to see the strikeouts. Once he gets two strikes against you with him, he can got whatever way he wants and pick at you. We did wear him down and we made sure we got some pitches to hit. When we hit him, we hit him hard.”

Halladay insisted he will fix his problems and he will be better.

The Phillies hope so. It is all they can do at this point: hope Halladay’s words mean something. Because he says he feel great. Better than ever, actually. He said he felt great warming up in the bullpen. He said he felt great stepping on the mound. He said his arm strength is there. He said his cutter and sinker have improved.

“I was just trying to be too picky, too fine,” he claimed. “Last year, feeling the way you do, you think ‘I can’t through an 86 mph fastball to a general zone. It’s going to get hit.’ So you get to the point where you start to get picky. I’m getting to the point where I’m building arm strength and it’s continuing to grow every time I pitch, so I can start opening things up and not try to be so fine — which is what I’ve always done. I’ve always relied on movement and not tried to pick sides of the plate. And there were times where we were picking corners of the plate. I need to open it up and let the movement take care of itself. But the arm strength is a key to that and continues to build. I think that’s something I can start widening.”

Halladay hit 92 on the radar gun once, but by the fourth inning he could not hit 90. He threw 47 offspeed pitches (curveballs and changeups) and 47 fastballs (cutters and sinkers) with one pitch unknown, according to pitch f/x data. If you go back to pitch f/x data in 2011, when Halladay was last dominant, he threw his cutter and sinker 66.4 percent of the time, meaning he threw significantly more soft stuff last night than he had in the past. It looks like he is trying to reinvent himself, or he simply does not trust his hard stuff late in the count.

Asked if he understands the concerns about his performance or if the doom-and-gloom out there is ridiculous, Halladay said, “Honestly, I don’t care what you guys write. You’re welcome to write whatever you want. I feel like the progressions have been there. The results haven’t, and that’s frustrating. But I feel like they are going to come. I want them to come sooner than they have and I’m pushing for them to come sooner than they have and sometimes that’s part of the problem.”


I’m nt giving up on Doc yet. He had a funky spring training and hopefully he is still rounding into better form. It’s one game. There are 160 more.


Actually, it’s one start and he could have up to 34-35 more. But your point is very valid, phan52. He came into camp slightly physically weaker than usual, because of the change in his off season workouts. Plus he got that stomach virus and lost ten pounds in about 24 hours. He’s still building up his arm strength from those days. He may even be able to pitch 92-93 mph again. We’ll have to wait and see. Doc is a work in progress.

i had the phillies winning between 75-78 games this season, and that was with doc having an era of under 4 runs per game. i think i over valued both the team and doc.

Andy Petitte at age 40 was able to pitch a vintage game against the BOSOX last night… it’s a matter of getting his mojo back, making adjustments with age to continue to be effective and make outs. Doc will find a way… He has always lost at least ONE GAME each season, right?

It was a bit hard to watch since so many things seemed to be not going his way; the weather, home plate umpire, catcher not to mention his continuing adjustments he needs to make with his pitches as he tries to return to form. I too hold out faith that he’ll (Cole also) will bounce back soon.

I still don’t want to give up on him. I know last year was not very good for him. I assumed he would fix it during the offseason. Hopefully, it’s just taking a little longer than I thought to fix it and it will get better…whatever it is that seems to be the issue here. However, if nothing has changed by the time we hit May something may need to be done. Most people I wouldn’t give to May, but most people aren’t two time Cy Young Winners with a couple of no-hitters and a perfect game.

Sandy Koufax was a 4 3 time Cy Young award winner and he threw 4 no hitters in his career, which was over when he was 30.
Catfish Hunter was a Cy Young winner and an 8 time All-Star, Hunter threw his perfect game while playing for Oakland against the Twins. His career ended at age 33.

That’s why I said allow him some time. I didn’t say allow him the rest of the season. Besides, Hunter and Koufax also had diagnosis problems like diabetes and arthritis. Halladay, at least as far as they’re telling us, has nothing wrong. He just can’t seem to return to form. He started off his career horribly but managed to fix it. Doesn’t mean he can do it again this time, but I’m still hoping he can.

And Steve Carlton pitched 998 innings in his age 36-39 seasons with a 64-38 record, a 3.08 ERA and a Cy Young Award thrown in to boot. To say nothing of the fact Carlton had pitched 1100 innings more than Halladay through his age 35 season. Hunter pitched 3449 innings and Koufax pitched 2396 innings. Other than to say that Halladay is a victim of dry rot, what is your point? Let me also throw in Warren Spahn who pitched 2960 innings through his age 35 season but had 3 years away from baseball due to WW II.

Sandy Koufax’s arm was falling off. Any comparison to Doc’s situation is ludicrous.

Yes it is ludicrous. Considering Koufax’s line for his last year was 27-9, 1.73 ERA and 323 IP. Pretty good for a guy whose arm was falling off. Kind of makes Doc look like wuss, doesn’t it?

Pherris, I’m not sure what you are trying to state. But “Kind of makes Doc look like wuss, doesn’t it?” is definitely crossing the line. We have to read enough anti-phillies posts from that A-Hole braves fans IDIOT. I can’t believe you call yourself a phan and post something like that….

Yes pherris, his arm was falling off. Koufax pitched through incredible pain the last few years of his career, which led him to retire at age 30 in a year he dominated MLB and won his third Cy Young award in a four year stretch. As far as Doc being a “wuss”, I don’t see him quitting any time soon.
Sometimes you can be such an idiot. Why don’t you just spend your spare time torturing the Braves board instead of this one with your inane nonsense.

What does the amount of innings other pitchers threw have to do with anything? I could throw out random stats too, but it would mean nothing to the current situation. Babe Ruth had 714 home runs. Good. Now what does that have to with Halladay? It makes about as much sense as telling us how many innings Warren Spahn threw by the time he was 35.

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