CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies were hoping for the best when Roy Halladay went to the mound Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles at Bright House Field.
Instead, his day ended after just one inning.
If it's possible to have good news after an early exit, this was it: The team said he had a stomach virus.
All eyes were focused on the two-time Cy Young Award winner when he went to the mound because his velocity and command were both badly off in his previous outing Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers.
His fastball was consistently clocked between 84 and 87 miles per hour in that game and Halladay said after the 69-pitch performance that he felt "really lethargic."
The righthander threw just 25 pitches against the Orioles Sunday in a scoreless inning. He walked one batter and allowed a two-out single to Wilson Betemit before retiring Taylor Teagarden on a fly ball to shallow left field. Thirteen of his pitches were strikes.
After the Phillies were retired in order in the bottom of the first inning, the starting eight returned to the field without the veteran pitcher. As catcher Erik Kratz walked to the vacated mound and waited for Zach Miner to come in from the bullpen, Halladay left the dugout with an assistant trainer and exited the playing surface via a side exit.
Scouts behind home plate clocked Halladay's fastball velocity between 85 and 87 miles per hour. One scout said he consistenly hit 87 and 88 and was clocked once at 89, which was a tick or two above his previous outing.
Even though a stomach virus is a better reason to leave than a feeling of lethargy, Halladay will still be challenged to get ready for his scheduled first start of the regular season April 3 against the Braves in Atlanta. If he remains on his current spring-training schedule, he will pitch again Friday and then make his final spring-training start March 27.