PHILADELPHIA – Roy Halladay said his shoulder hurt after pitching poorly this afternoon.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Halladay will most likely be placed on the disabled list.

"We don't have a lot of answers yet," Halladay said. "My shoulder is bothering me. It started the morning after I pitched against Pittsburgh (on April 24th). I woke up and thought it was regular soreness, but itt's progressed over the last two weeks or so."

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The Miami Marlins pounded the Phillies 14-2 before 45,276 fans at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon. The Phillies (14-18) trail the first-place Atlanta Braves by five games in the National League East. Sunday’s loss came the day after the Marlins beat the Phillies 2-0 Saturday night. The Phillies offense produced a total of three hits in the two defeats.

But Sunday’s overriding concern was Halladay. He allowed nine runs and four hits in 2.1 innings. He walked four and hit two batters. He began the game with a 6.75 ERA and left with a 8.65 ERA. Halladay has allowed five or more runs in four of his seven starts.

This from a pitcher who was arguable once the best in baseball. Halladay is a two-time Cy Young award winner. His career record is 201-104

Halladay’s performance Sunday evoked memories of Willie Mays stumbling in center field for the New York Mets in the early 1970s and Mickey Mantle hobbling around the bases for the New York Yankees in the late 1960s.

What was most alarming about Halladay’s performance was that it came against the Marlins – a team with the worst record in the National League (10-22) and a lineup of inexperienced players. Miami began the game averaging 2.7 runs per game – last in the National League.

The groans at Citizens Bank started when Halladay walked Marlins lead-off hitter Juan Pierre on four pitches.

Florida sent nine men to the plate in the first inning. The Phillies were down 4-0 before many fans – stuck in traffic because of Sunday morning’s Broad Street run – had even found their seats.

Marlins eighth-place hitter Adeiny Hechavarria entered the game with a .169 average. But the 24-year-old from Cuba who began the day with 185 Major League at-bats tripled with the bases loaded in the first inning and belted a grand slam in the third inning.

The calendar read May 5th but Sunday’s game was important. The Phillies begin a seven-game West Coast trip against the San Franciso Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks today.

A win Sunday and the Phillies would have taken three of four games from the lowly Marlins. Philadelphia would have gotten on the airplane with some positive momentum having won six of their last nine games.

Instead, the Phillies have dropped two straight and four of their last six.

Halladay’s game somewhat obscured another poor day for the Phillies hitters. Philadelphia has been shutout six times this season. The Phillies have five hits in their last 22 innings.

The Phillies tried to convince themselves and their fans before this season that they are playoff contenders.

No more.

The Phillies lost more than a game Sunday. They exhausted their credibility this weekend and now need a long winning streak before they can again be considered a contender.


I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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