Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay surrendered eight earned runs last night in 5.33 innings against the Atlanta Braves. He looked as gassed as he was during a road game against the Chicago Cubs on July 18, 2011. During that contest he only lasted four innings and apparently was dehydrated.
On Wednesday night he was also clearly laboring heavily. But his departure from the team to address personal issues might help to explain a most unusual outing that eventually resulted in a 15-13, 11-inning loss.
Doctor in need of assistance
Few pitchers in this era have been as 'money' as Halladay has been when he has the lead.
It's hard to know at this point if he should have even been allowed to take the mound, or how long he should have been allowed to stay in. But, 'Doc' is a warrior and probably was unable to be deterred from handling his work responsibilities.
Seeing his early May ERA at 3.40 is somewhat surreal.
Having only yielded eight earned runs this season in five combined previous starts, the Phillies are certainly hoping that home front issues are not serious. The team needs this particular player to always be on his A-game.
Soon set to turn 35 (May 14), Halladay is pitching in his fifteenth major league season. Only nine wins away from 200, the dominant right-hander is signed through the 2013 season (which includes a vesting option for 2014).
Manager Charlie Manuel needs his staff leader to make every possible start this season, as he continues to lean on his pitching staff to carry a heavy load.
As the Phillies attempt to keep pace with the Braves, Washington Nationals, New York Mets and Miami Marlins in the National League East, they will try to win this season in different ways than they have during their five-year playoff run.
For his part, Halladay must win approximately 20 games in order for this year's version of Philadelphia's baseball team to make its best playoff push.
Sean O'Brien's professional writing career began in 1990, when he first began working in the Philadelphia Phillies farm system. He was a freelance sports writer for five years and is currently a Featured Contributor for Yahoo! Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @SeanyOB and read his daily Sports Blog: Insight.
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