Roy Halladay isn't much of a hero in Philly these days. He was roughed up again on Monday, giving up seven runs in four innings as the Philadelphia Phillies lost to the New York Mets, 7-2. After two games, Halladay has an ERA of 14.73.
Even Halladay was hard on himself after the game, telling reporters:
Some days you're a horse and some days you're a horse's ass and I've been a horse's ass for a little while.
One person who wasn't jumping aboard the "Halladay is done" bandwagon was Braden, the oldest of Roy's two sons. He sent Dad a text message after the game that read, "You're my hero."
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"That means a lot," Halladay said. "Those kinds of things mean a lot. Those are the kind of things that do help you relax, put things in perspective and get back to simplification."
Halladay has been under a microscope since the spring. He's 35, his velocity is down and he's coming off an uncharacteristically poor 2012 season, in which he was 11-8 with a 4.49 ERA and injury issues to boot. Perspective: This is a two-time Cy Young winner who had a sub-3.00 ERA the previous four seasons. While the "he's lost it" talk continues to pile up, Halladay says physically he's fine and his struggles are in his head.
"I would say 95 percent is mental," Halladay said. "It's simplifying, it's getting to the basics. It's letting things happen and trying to force things. It's a game of failure and I've had my fair share
In his first start of the season, Halladay lasted only 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, but striking out nine. The strikeout figure was intriguing, a bright-spot. But he only struck out three on Monday, which is how many he walked.
You may recall that in 2009, Halladay's son Braden was said to have helped the ace decide to sign a contract extension with the Phillies.
If the text messages help, if encouragement from his kid is what Dad needs to get his head right, Braden Halladay could be a Philadelphia savior for life.