Halladay rides change-up, results be darned

Roy Halladay lacked command of his change-up in his start against the Twins. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

CLEARWATER, Fla. — After Roy Halladay threw Josh Willingham a change-up that had no action and was mashed for a solo home run in the first inning Wednesday, he went to the bench to find catcher Carlos Ruiz.

Halladay didn't have the feel for his change-up.

"I told Chooch, 'Keep calling it as much as you can,'" Halladay said. "See if we can figure out how it feels when it's off. We have some ideas and things I can play with in my next bullpen."

Halladay failed to complete three innings and needed 70 pitches for eight outs. Minnesota scored five times off him in a 6-5 Phillies loss. Later, Halladay said his consistency is not what he demands of himself. But, after all, there are still more than two weeks until Halladay will commence the season with a start in Pittsburgh.

"I'm going to use the entire spring training to get ready," Halladay said. "I feel like we're getting closer. Mechanically things are better. It's just the consistency of executing pitches. It's ultimately what I need to improve on the most."

At 66 pitches, Rich Dubee came to the mound to ask Halladay if he wanted to continue. Halladay was hoping for a quick out, so he said yes. Then he issued a four-pitch walk to Ryan Doumit and his day was over.

"I was pretty gassed at that point," Halladay said.

"I don't know if it's the weather or where we're at," Dubee said, "but he doesn't have a feel for his change-up yet. It's spring training."

Halladay will have an extra day of rest before his next outing, Tuesday against Baltimore.

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