Even the “Doctor” Gets Sick (of the Heat)

19 Jul

Forget the score, forget the loss, you can even forget that the Braves won shaving the Phillies lead to  a slim 2 1/2 games.  The big question is: “How’s Doc?”  Roy Halladay did something last night that he hasn’t done since June of 2009.  He left a road game early breaking a streak of 63 consecutive starts on the road of six or more innings.

Think about that for a second.  That’s over two years of games NOT in the friendly confines of his home stadium where Halladay has pitched significant innings.  It was the longest streak since Walter Johnson had 82 straight on the road from 1911-1915.  That’s what you call a workhorse making what happened last night even more unusual and more concerning.  I guess the cyborg (Brian Wilson‘s description of Halladay at the All-Star game) is human after all.

According to Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, Halladay said he was “light-headed” after the fourth but wanted to go back out.  During the fifth he bent over on the mound, put his hands on his knees and his night was done. And so were the Phillies.

The only thing sicker than Halladay on this night was the frustratingly anemic Phils offense.  The Phillies line-up did not get a single hit until the fourth inning and managed only 4 more hits and one run in 6 2/3 against Cubs starter Rodrigo Lopez who had only 1 win entering last night’s contest.

Doc or no Doc, if the Phillies hitters don’t figure out how to stop making every pitcher look like Cy Young their play-off scenario could look a lot like last year.  Even their normally unflappable manager sounds worried.

Manuel said emphatically that he’d like to see his team get a right-handed bat before the deadline and not just any bat:  “I’m talking about a good one.  If we’re going to get somebody, I want somebody good.  I want somebody that’s going to help us.  I don’t want to get what we’ve already got.”

That’s saying a lot for this Phillies manager who is known to always have his players’ backs.  Clearly, even to Charlie, “what he’s already got” just isn’t getting the job done.

The good news is that according to Halladay he “absolutely” plans to make his next start Sunday at home against San Diego.  It’s a lot harder, however, to predict when the Phillies bats might recover.

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