Roy Halladay will get the benefit of the doubt. Two Cy Youngs, 199 wins and All-Star appearances will earn that for a pitcher. So will a $20 million salary. However, with one exhibition start remaining before he faces the Atlanta Braves April 3, Halladay is speaking a better game than he’s pitching, and that disparity is pretty wide. The right-hander stepped on the mound at the Carpenter Complex Saturday morning for a start against Toronto Triple-A players, and the results weren’t pretty. From leadoff hitter Mike McCoy — a career .190 hitter — lacing a pair of doubles down the left-field line, to Luis Jimenez — a 280-pound, 13-year pro with 13 big-league at-bats to his name — fouling off five two-strike pitches before drawing a walk, the Blue Jays’ afterthoughts made it a long, arduous outing for Halladay. He lasted four innings, but the first inning never really ended, as pitching coach Rich Dubee informed the umpire it was over after two doubles, two walks, a hit batsman, two outs and 27 pitches. On the day he allowed three doubles, four singles and benefitted from three double plays. Hitters were 7-for-14 against Halladay, and he had one strikeout looking and one swing-and-miss in 81 pitches. Yet Halladay couched the start as a boost, one in which his energy level was good, the mound not-so-good, and his trademark out-pitch — the cutter — was only a grip adjustment away from being right. “I felt good. I was trying to talk (Dubee) into letting me throw a few more,” Halladay said. “Arm-wise I felt really good. ... We tried a couple of different things with the cutters and I felt like toward the end we really narrowed down what I want to do with it. “But I felt strong. I was surprised. I thought I was going to be a little wobbly leg-wise and stuff. But I felt good. I felt like I could have easily thrown 100-plus pitches. So from that standpoint, I’m pretty happy.” At least someone was happy. Privately, the Phillies must be nervous about what quality of pitcher, exactly, the 35-year-old will be in 2013.
Roy Halladay looks rough, but Phillies still have faith in their ace
Delaware County Times | Mar 24