Watching the early blowup and early departure of Phillies ace Roy Halladay evoked a haunting memory from 2007. In fact, the stats are eerily similar to June 9, 2007. Although he only got five outs, the starting pitcher for the Phillies that day gave up six earned runs, and Charlie Manuel went out to get him and called to the bullpen. Minutes later, Manuel followed Freddy Garcia into the tunnel and confronted him. "Are you hurt?!"
He was. And Roy Halladay seems to be exhibiting a lot of the same signs Garcia did. An earlier disabled list stint. Lost velocity. Missing spots badly. Freddy Garcia waas coming off of a 17-9 the year before. Roy Halladay went 19-6 last year. No one saw either coming.
So, the question I am left with is simple: is Roy Halladay hurt?
We all know that Halladay had a latissimus dorsi injury earlier this season. This article I found online seems to indicate that surgery and a six-month recovery would be the right option. Halladay went with rest instead of having surgery and returned to the team after just about six weeks. Everything I read seems to indicate that the issue is much more complicated than just getting some rest.
The Phillies could pick one of a million things as the reason the Phillies will fall short of a playoff berth, and Halladay's poor performance this season could be one of them. Halladay has the highest ERA of the five Phillies' current starters (yes, higher than Kyle Kendrick) at 4.40. Should Halladay finish the season with this ERA, it will be the highest he had since an abbreviated 2000 when he was sent to the minors.
I would make today's start Halladay's the last one of the year. It's true the Phillies have an outside shot of a Wild Card, but they cannot do so with peformances like today's. Of course, the bigger issue is who the heck the Phillies could get to start in his place, but that is a separate issue to work out. Unlike Freddy Garcia, who left for free agency after his injury, the Phillies can take this offseason to allow Halladay to heal and/or go under the knife and have surgery if necessary. Halladay cannot help them the rest of 2012 and pitching will not help Halladay.
Speaking of Garcia, a couple of names that came out of the Freddy Garcia story:
First, Freddy Garcia's injury gave way to Kyle Kendrick's major league debut. Kendrick went 10-4 with a 3.87 ERA and helped the Phillies to their first playoff berth since 1993. Kendrick also returned to the Phillies' rotation in 2012 after Roy Halladay hit the disabled list the first time.
Second, one of the key pieces the Phillies traded to the White Sox for Garcia just became Major League Baseball's first 20 game winner this season. Yes, Gio Gonzalez was Phillies property. The Phillies acquired him along with Aaron Rowand from the White Sox for Jim Thome in 2005. Then, one offseason later Gonzalez was went by the Phillies back to the White Sox along with Gavin Floyd for Freddy Garcia. The White Sox traded Gonzalez to the Oakland Athletics who traded him to the Washington Nationals.