Forget about the results. Forget about the seven runs that Roy Halladay allowed, about the 11 baserunners, about the two home runs. The troubling thing about Halladay's rough outing against the Tigers today was the way he looked: bad. He struggled with his location throughout his 2 2/3 innings. His sinker was up in the zone. His slow stuff was wild. He walked four batters and hit another with a pitch. Virtually every ball that he allowed into play was hit hard, including a grand slam by Ramon Santiago that paved the way for Halladay's departure after 69 pitches. As Jeremy Horst trotted in from the bullpen, Halladay and pitching coach Rich Dubee had a long conversation on the mound. You can bet that Halladay did not want to leave.
Scouts had Halladay's velocity sitting in the 86-88 mile per hour range, which is right around the level it was at in his last Grapefruit League outing five days ago. The thing about Halladay is that he usually looks sharp in spring. His four walks today gave him six on the spring, tying a career high for Grapefruit League play. He has only allowed more than four walks in a Grapefruit League season once.
We are three weeks out from Halladay's probable 2013 debut. The Phillies are reaching a juncture when they have some justification for concern.