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Roy Halladay fails to make it four innings in first start

Apr 3, 2013, 9:43 PM EDT

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Roy Halladay struck out nine Atlanta batters Wednesday in his first start of the regular season. But everything else about the outing was hideous.

Halladay threw only 55 of his 95 pitches for strikes, yielding five earned runs on six hits and three walks before getting pulled with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning. His fastball touched 91-92 mph on occasion — which was a positive sign — but it didn’t have the kind of movement or bite that it usually does and he relied primarily on his breaking stuff.

Halladay posted an ugly 6.06 ERA, 1.84 WHIP and 16/9 K/BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings this spring while struggling to build his fastball velocity. The 35-year-old is owed $20 million this season and carries a $20 million vesting option for 2014.

The Braves (now 2-0) defeated the Phillies (now 0-2) by a score of 9-2.

  1. kollin7 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    I have a feeling the end is near.

  2. 4seamed - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    Wait- he was throwing in the 90’s again and he struck out 9 in just 3.1 innings? Considering how bad he was in spring training, gotta say there was some improvement there.

    • djpostl - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      Yeah but it was low-90’s with zero movement, just straight as an arrow. He needs serious, late movement or it’ll be a season full of Jekyll & Hyde results from what should be their go-to-guy

      • 4seamed - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        9 of the 10 outs were via strikeout, his ball was doing SOMETHING.

      • djpostl - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        His off-speed was. When they sat on fastballs they saw it coming a mile away and hit it hard.

        Anyway you cut it this is another bad outing after a terrible spring (which followed a mediocre 2012).

      • Kevin S. - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        Look at K/batter, not K/out or inning. Braves were teeing up when they did make contact. It was definitely a weird outing.

      • djpostl - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

        Agreed. But it was a “weird outing” after a shitty season and an even shittier spring.

        It wasn’t an outlier, it was just more of the same garbage.

    • bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      He more often was in the 88-89 range, so saying he “touched” 90s is misleading. The Braves hammered his fastball including two homeruns against a pretty strong wind in the rain. He honestly looked like a batting practice pitcher who was having trouble throwing strikes.

  3. hittfamily - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Interleague games on opening day. Rodney blows a save. The Yankees are the worst team in the AL Beast. The Rays have a team ERA of 7. Halladay has goes 3+. Harold Camping may have been right with his end of the world prediction, but was off by a year.

    • hittfamily - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Alfredo Aceves still sucks though. Phew. I was getting worried. I can skip church this weekend.

      • hittfamily - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        And BJ k’d 4 times tonight. All seems normal.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 4, 2013 at 4:25 AM

        You can safely skip church every weekend. An omniscient and omnipotent God already knows what you need and want; one that is neither isn’t really worth praying to, is it?

    • yahmule - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      Harold Camping needs a good kick in the nuts.

  4. schmedley69 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    All of Doc’s K’s came on breaking balls. Most of his fastballs were hit out of the park. He can’t challenge anyone with his fastball at the moment. Even the opposing pitcher had a 12-pitch AB against him. Doc just couldn’t put him away. I think it’s officially time to be worried.

  5. yankeepunk3000 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    I love this guy I hope he can figure it out it was an honer watching him play. He was amazing for such a long time. really hope he finds his groove

  6. chacochicken - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Maybe its time to learn the ole knuckler?

  7. jaysfan64 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Lotta mileage on that right arm… I feel bad for Doc – he deserves better…

    • bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      Why does he “deserve” anything? He had the fastball and the nasty glare going for him a couple of years ago. He doesn’t have the stuff to back up the glare anymore & he’s getting raked. That’s called life for an aging pitcher.

  8. mungman69 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    Yes, time to worry about Halliday. His break– The Phillies will give him ALL season to work it out.

    • ryanrockzzz - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:14 AM

      Yea I would probably give him a few months if I were paying him 20 million.

  9. ermur22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:18 AM

    Hey Hittfamily—the Astros are in the AL now…..way to know your baseball

    • Alex K - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      But when did the Reds move to the AL? Or was it the Angels moving to the NL?

    • huffdaddyco - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Fun fact. Fifteen teams in each league. I’m gonna let you figure it out from there.

    • hittfamily - Apr 4, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      ErrorMore22: Right back at ya!!!

  10. nbjays - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    It’s good to strike out 9 in 3+ innings… but it’s bad to cough up a run for every two Ks.

  11. nolanwiffle - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Once the real games start he’ll be fi……errrrrr.

  12. bravojawja - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if every pitcher starting against the Braves this year has 9 strikeouts, even if he only lasts 3 innings. Hell, he might get 10.

    • bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      True. The Braves struck out 16 times in the game. But scored 9 runs and hit 3 HRs. I’m pretty sure they were OK with the tradeoff, although the way BJ Upton looked, he may strikeout 200 times this year.

  13. topwonk - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I have heard so many experts, former players, current players, coaches, etc. say that Doc is good enough, strong enough, committed enough to make his stuff work, even though he has lost 4-6 mph on his pitches. They say “It’s all about location”. I get that they have that much respect for Doc. We all do. But I feel that it’s about more than location. It’s also about movement on the ball, which is what made Doc so difficult to hit. And, his pitches are not moving as much as they did when he was throwing 92-24 consistently, particularly his fastball and cutter. That is what will make this transition difficult. Doc’s best pitch now seems to be the change-up, which can be a great pitch but obviously can’t be thrown all the time. For Doc to be a consistently good pitcher again, if not a great one, he is going to have to rely less on the cutter, spot his fastball, and most importantly – develop a curve ball. Maholm was throwing 72 mph curves past the Phils last night. Moyer threw slow, but had a great curve. The guys that get away with sub 90 mph fastballs and cutters tend to have very good breaking pitches – either curves or split-finger fastballs (i.e. sinkers). We know from watching this era of Phillies, that they struggle with those type pitches. Doc has neither of those pitches in his arsenal and never needed them before. I believe he will struggle until he develops one or the other, and it will take him an off-season and Spring training to do that. Hate to sound like a negative Nellie, but I think it all adds up to a frustrating season for Doc, and no more than 10-12 wins, if he can battle all year without injury. Then, an off-season of retooling his pitch arsenal…

    • bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      Halladay can hang on if he gets his location back. But he’ll have an ERA near 4.00 and will have, at best, and 11-13 type season. He also looks to be devolving into a 5-6 inning pitcher. He’s more like a #4 starter now.

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