While Cliff Lee is pitching like a man at the peak of his career, Roy Halladay seems to be in a free fall. With an 8-3 pounding of the Mets last night, Lee has started the season off with a 2-0 record. Halladay, on the other hand, has begun with 2 awful losses.
Even the offense seemed pumped to perform for Lee. The Phillies even hit 3 home runs in 1 inning to support their ace on the mound. Ryan Howard, Michael Young and John Mayberry Jr. all went yard for the first time this year.
Lee gave up only 2 earned runs and nearly pitched a complete game, coming just one out shy. Manager Charlie Manual decided his pitch count was high enough at 106 and had Mike Adams finish off the game.
On the exact opposite side of things, Halladay looks like a little lost boy out on the mound searching for home. His 2-7 loss to the Mets on Monday was especially difficult to watch. Halladay allowed 7 runs in only 4 innings before being chased out of the game. The Mets looked like they were taking batting practice off him.
Obviously, there are a lot of problems here. But I would like to point out one issue that I have not heard anyone else mention. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor and this is just an observation on my part; I have no inside knowledge here. The Doc looks like he needs a doc.
The temperature at game time on Monday was 72 degrees, which dropped into the mid-60’s by the 2nd inning. And yet, Halladay was sweating so profusely that it looked like rain coming off the brim of his cap. His face was not just red; it was almost purple. And this is not a new observation. Halladay has been exhibiting the fire-faced sweats since Spring Training.
During the spring, they blamed it on the flu or some kind of virus. I think it is safe to assume he no longer has this virus. Still, in 65 degree weather, at night, Halladay looked like he might pass out on the mound. This is a problem that I think might go beyond age or mechanics. I am seriously beginning to think he may be ill.
I could be totally off base here, but I am worried about the guy. I cannot help but wonder if the medical staff has done any blood tests or if a proud man like Halladay would even submit to such testing?
This very well could just be Father Time catching up to a man who dominated the pitching world for so long. Maybe he is just out of bullets. Maybe the fire-faced sweats are just a combination of the usual work that goes into pitching and a boat-load of stress. And maybe he will figure out how to locate his pitches again and all will be well with the world. I hope that is the case.
Perhaps I am just grasping at straws here for an answer. And I am sure no one wants Roy Halladay to figure out what the issue is more than Roy Halladay. In the meantime, all we can do is watch and hope for the best.
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Photoshopping by Jenn Zambri Photography