Roy Halladay has seen better days.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Halladay was pulled in the first inning of his start tonight against the Marlins after facing just three batters. It was the shortest start of his MLB career.
Halladay walked two batters in his brief outing and topped out at just 83 mph. Those are some troubling signs for someone coming off shoulder surgery, but the Phillies are calling it “right arm fatigue.” Either way, there’s a good chance he has thrown his final pitch this year and perhaps his last in a Phillies uniform. It’s a bummer to see one of the game’s best fall from grace so rapidly.
Halladay has a 4.55 ERA and 16/19 K/BB ratio in 27 2/3 innings since coming off the disabled list and a 6.82 ERA and 51/36 K/BB ratio over 62 innings for the year. The 36-year-old will be a free agent this winter.
UPDATE: Halladay told Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer after the game that he will not pitch again this season.
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.