BY RYAN LAWRENCE
Daily News Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA – Roy Halladay was at Citizens Bank Park on Monday when he saw his phone buzz. He picked it up and read the incoming message.
“You’re my hero,” the text message read.
It was from one of his two sons and Roy Halladay was so impressed and inspired by it that he relayed the very personal, encouraging message to the press corps following the latest discouraging effort on the mound.
Following a 7-2 defeat to the New York Mets, a game that saw Halladay out before recording an out in the fifth inning, the 35-year-old pitcher said the 14.73 ERA he is sporting after two starts has nothing to do with his mechanics or his shoulder or his legs or his back.
“It’s 95 percent mental,” Halladay said.
After getting knocked out of his 2013 debut before completing the fourth inning in Atlanta five days earlier, Halladay’s 99th and final pitch on Monday night against the Mets went for a single. It was the third straight hit the two-time Cy Young Award winner allowed to begin the fifth inning.
It brought manager Charlie Manuel to the mound, ending his night.
Halladay was charged with seven runs in four innings (he faced three batters in the fifth). He walked as many batters as he struck out – three apiece – and threw 40 of his 99 pitches outside the strike zone.
“I would say 95 percent is mental,” Halladay said. “It’s simplifying, it’s getting to the basics. It’s letting things happen and to trying to force things. It’s a game of failure and I’ve had my fair share. Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass and I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while. It’s something that I’ve dealt a lot with in the past and I feel like I can overcome. The more you want it, the harder it is. You almost have to really back that off and put some perspective in the whole thing.”
The text message from his son helped.
“That means a lot,” Halladay said. “Those kinds of things mean a lot. Those are the kind of things that do help you relax, put things in perspective and get back to simplification.”
Hear more from Halladay and manager Charlie Manuel in the Daily News on Tuesday...