Roy Halladay is human.
The 35-year-old Phillies ace was shut down with shoulder soreness after just two innings of work in Sunday’s 8-3 loss to the Cardinals. The team says that Doc will see a doc on Tuesday.
The two-time Cy Young winner gave up a grand slam to Yadier Molina before calling it a day. Halladay pitched with the injury the last few innings of his last start, and cutting back on throwing between outings didn't help.
“Worried? Yeah, definitely, I'm concerned,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “Pitching is one of the big things on our club and when guys miss a turn, it concerns me.”
The Phillies are already missing fourth-starter Vance Worley and Cliff Lee already spent a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
Manuel declined to lay out a scenario if Halladay can't make his next start or worse, saying only: “If we have to fill a rotation spot, we'll get somebody and fill it. The games will go on.”
Asked about his level of concern, pitching coach Rich Dubee said: “I don't know. I'm not a doctor.”
But Roy is Doc -- a tactician on the mound using robotic-like consistency and pinpoint control to baffle batters. Halladay taking his turn every five days is about one of the most sure things in sports. He has started 31 or more games for the past six seasons -- twice leading the league in innings pitched (2008 and 2010).
Maybe all those innings have caught up with Doc.
On Sunday Dubee told Halladay that his day was done in the dugout after chatting with the pitcher.
“I know he's had a cranky shoulder and he hasn't looked right, and didn't look right today,” Dubee said after the game. “And I knew he wasn't going to come out of the game, so I basically said ‘That's enough.’”
Halladay said the soreness comes from the back of the shoulder.
“I'm hoping it's something we can just calm down quickly and get back out there,” the pitcher said. “It's not the point where I'm in agony throwing pitches.”
Halladay (4-5) departed with a 3.98 ERA after an outing that matched the second-shortest outing of his career. The team said the two-time Cy Young award winner was taken out as a precautionary measure and that he'll be re-evaluated in the next few days.
The big righty was 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA last year, and allowed 10 homers in 32 starts. Since winning his first three starts, Halladay is 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA in eight games, and the Phillies have lost seven of his last eight starts.
He's absorbed the last two losses for the Phillies, who entered the series finale on a four-game winning streak.
Molina's third career grand slam was the fifth allowed by Halladay, two of them this year after the Braves' Brian McCann connected May 2 at Atlanta. Halladay has allowed six homers this season, all this month.
Unlike 2004, when Halladay -- then with the Blue Jays -- had two stints on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury, he wasn't able to pinpoint a particular pitch with which the pain began. The biggest problem is the time between innings when the shoulder tightens.
“It's kind of that down time when it seemed to come up,” Halladay said. “I think if I just went out and threw 100 straight pitches without taking a break it might be all right.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny caught Halladay as a rookie in 1999 in Toronto, and knew the pitcher was off his game.
“You just didn't know if it was physical or if it was just one of those things where he couldn't get anything positive going,” Matheny said. “But usually you can tell if something isn't completely right.
“Those guys aren't squaring him up like they have been lately.”