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Roy Halladay injury a significant development in NLCS

When the Philadelphia Phillies decided against starting ace Roy Halladay on three days' rest in Game 4 of the NLCS, despite trailing by a game at that point, it was a mildly surprising move. We have come to think of Halladay as indefatigable and almost unbeatable -- the classic October ace, in the mold of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, circa 2001.

But after Halladay gutted out six innings last night in the Phillies' Game 5 victory -- and after word emerged that he did so while pitching the majority of the game with a strained groin -- it is clear that the Phillies' decision not to push Halladay up to Game 4, which was started instead by Joe Blanton, was the right one.

Halladay's six-inning stint last night pushed his season total to 272 2/3 innings (regular season and postseason combined), which is the most by any big-league pitcher since Schilling and Johnson exceeded 290 innings apiece for the 2001 Diamondbacks. This is just a hunch, but I suspect Halladay has been dealing with this groin issue for some time.

His velocity has been down somewhat in his past two starts, and it would certainly explain the Phillies' reluctance to stay away from him in Game 4. So many times, when we are examining big decisions such as that one, we forget that we don't really have all the information -- only what the team chooses to release or what leaks out.

And here is the important question moving forward: Would Halladay be available in relief for an inning or two in Game 7, if needed? The Giants have already said they expect Tim Lincecum, who faced Halladay in Game 5, to be available in Game 7. Halladay, on the other hand, might be ruled out because of the groin injury. If so, that could severely handicap the Phillies in a close, all-hands-on-deck type of Game 7.

By Dave Sheinin  | October 22, 2010; 9:16 AM ET
Categories:  Phillies  | Tags:  Roy Halladay Phillies, Roy Halladay groin, Roy Halladay groin injury, Roy Halladay hurt, Roy Halladay injured, Roy Halladay injury  
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Comments

I have a couple issues with this article first off I guess it will handicap the Phils some not having him available but the pen looked awful good and if Cole is better he will likely take you to or through 7 so I don't think it is likely much of a deal. Second and much bigger his velocity was down slightly prior to the extra day of rest but in the Cincy game I watched he was between 94 and 96 with his 4 seam which is does not throw much and 92 to 94 with the sinker and 90ish with cutter pretty much as hard as he throws. I would content that that would be proof he was just tired end of the season and only needed rest for his arm if it were a lingering groin issue he would not have bumped right back up in velocity.

I also think Kendrick or Worley would be very good in longer relief and Durbin looked good after his first couple batters the first he had seen in over a week. That is a long time for a reliever that relies on location, movement and several pitches that is used to working alot. I think Charlie should have gotten Durbin in game two with the big lead just to work off some rust.

I do not think the availability of Halladay will make or break the Phils in game 7 if they make it there. More likely the continued resurgence of the offense which without a hard luck liner double play would have gotten more yesterday and got 5 in game 4. I think we will continue to score in the 4 to 6 range and hold the Giants to the 2 to 3 range which will win the series. We may need Cole or Roy to hold them to 1 or 2 in one game or come back late off of Wilson who I think we can get to once in this series.

Posted by: mmacc | October 22, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I said to my wife at least three times during the game that Halladay looked like he was sick. Around the fifth inning I thought he might upchuck right on the mound. Now I know why.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | October 22, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I don`t know how long Halladay has been injured, but he just pitched a no no in the playoffs...so sustaining an injury must have been quite recent.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | October 23, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

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