The Phillies are still playing baseball. Not gonna lie– I haven’t watched one second of a game in two weeks. Don’t think I’ve missed much, though. And I’m glad that I’ve averted my eyes, because the career arc of Roy Halladay is rapidly heading for a splash into a pool of tears and misunfortunality (not a word, I know). It’s sad. Bo Jackson sad.
In his four starts since returning from shoulder surgery, Halladay has thrown 371 pitches, only 217 of which were strikes (58%):
That’s not good, for any pitcher, let alone Doc. The MLB average is around 62%, according to eFastball.com. In a random sampling of a month in 2011 (July), Halladay thew 68% of his 507 pitches for strikes. That’s around where he usually hovers when he’s himself, which he’s not, and may never be again.
It’s all sad to watch, and it’s compounded by the fact that Halladay, for about the last two years, always seems to be on the verge of losing it on the mound. He turns purple, sweats profusely, and looks like he’s about to kill someone. What was once an intense, intimidating presence is now a beaten man always on the brink of coming unglued.
And now, the once-warrior says things like this:
“It’s important for me to work on the things I need to work on, but also focus on the things that are good,” Halladay said following a 10-5 victory over the Padres. “Philly isn’t an easy place to do that. You guys are pretty tough. You have to be pretty mentally strong and block that out and go out there with confidence and trust.”
“It’s tough and obviously you’re under the microscope right now and no matter what you do the negatives are going to be brought to the forefront,” Halladay said. “Me personally, I’m trying to focus on the positives and let you guys worry about the negatives.”
That’s Roy Halladay, oh he shun un beth beloved in the land of it always being sunny, complaining about the media.
The guy who threw two no-hitters in one season, who pitched Game 5 of the NLCS with a pulled groin, who grinded out eight innings in a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals in Game 5 the 2011 NLDS that should forever mark the end of the greatest era of Phillies baseball oh God please don’t mention that game again make me a bird so I can fly far far far away from here but not a cardinal because oh no bad memories make it stop… has resigned himself to moral victory-isms like this:
“In all honesty, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve made it back. A lot of guys my age could be at home, not pitching, could never pitch again. I feel like I beat some of those odds and that’s what I’m looking at and am trying to take the positives. I woke up this morning and it was like Christmas morning, getting a chance to pitch again. After sitting out and watching the team and not being a part of it, it’s a completely different thrill to be able to go out there and pitch now. I want to do a better job for us.”
I don’t watch… because I can’t watch.