PHILADELPHIA - Roy Halladay confessed what everybody at Citizens Bank Park instinctively knew Sunday afternoon.
The Phillies' ace is hurt.
Now the question is, will the two-time Cy Young Award winner ever pitch again for the Phillies?
And does his injury signal the end an era where the team's pitching made it a perennial playoff contender?
Halladay said his right shoulder aches after getting pounded for nine runs in less than three innings by the Miami Marlins, a team against which he once threw a perfect game. The Marlins beat the Phillies 14-2 before 45,276 fans. Halladay has struggled much of the season and has a 8.65 ERA.
"It's not something I've had before. It's something new," a stoic Halladay said of his shoulder issue. "We don't have a lot of answers yet.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Halladay will be placed on the disabled list. The Phillies begin a seven-game West Coast trip in San Francisco against the Giants today. Dr. Lewis Yocum will examine Halladay in Los Angeles this week. Yocum is an orthopedic surgeon pitchers visit when they suspect a serious injury.
Halladay's admission provided an explanation for his poor performance, but it didn't make anyone connected with the Phillies feel better.
"We'll try to get him well and move forward," Amaro said.
Halladay missed time with a shoulder injury last season, but both he and Amaro said this injury is different. Halladay turns 36 on May 14 and is in the final year of his contract.
Halladay's performance Sunday was hard to watch, especially to those who once saw him dominate hitters. The word "sad" was bantered around the Citizens Bank Park press box.
Halladay allowed four hits in 2 innings. He walked four and hit two batters. Halladay threw another pitch behind a hitter's back.
The most alarming aspect of 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.
Marlins eighth-place hitter Adeiny Hechavarria entered the game with a .169 batting average. But the 24-year-old from Cuba with 189 major-league at-bats tripled with the bases loaded in the first inning and belted a grand slam in the third inning.
Halladay didn't look anything like the pitcher who threw a perfect game against a much more talented Marlins team on May 29, 2010. He is a two-time Cy Young award winner with a career record of 201-104.
Manager Charlie Manuel in his postgame news conference gave no indication that Halladay was hurt.
But shortly after the media entered the Phillies' clubhouse, Halladay walked to the center of the room and informed the reporters of the injury. He did not take questions and spoke for 2 minutes, 17 seconds.
Halladay said he first felt the soreness the day after his April 24 start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed one run in six innings and struck out eight in that start. Halladay thought it was just normal soreness.
"I didn't think anything of it," Halladay said. "But it progressed."
In his next start, which was last Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians hit three home runs and scored nine runs against Halladay.
Halladay has not seemed himself since spring training. There has been speculation that he hasn't been healthy. His velocity has been down. Where he once threw in the low 90s, this season Halladay rarely breaks 90 mph. He once overpowered hitters. This season, he has relied on off-speed pitches to keep them off balance.
But Halladay insisted Sunday that he was fine until after the Pittsburgh start. Halladay won his two outings before the Pittsburgh start, allowing three earned runs in 15 innings.
"I felt good all spring," he said. "I felt good all year. I just got up after the Pittsburgh start with soreness and wasn't able to get rid of it."
Phillies team doctor Michael Ciccotti examined Halladay after Sunday's game. Halladay said he expected to undergo MRIs and scans of his shoulder this week. He said the results of those tests will give him options for his future.
"The tests (Ciccotti did) weren't conclusive," Halladay said. "As far as going forward, we'll how it plays out in the next couple of days."
Amaro said the first time Halladay mentioned the pain to the Phillies was after Sunday's game. The general manager dodged the question when asked if he wished Halladay had told the Phillies sooner of the injury.
"The man is a competitor," Amaro said. "If he feels he can pitch, he can pitch. Cleary he wasn't able to pitch to his accustomed level."
The Phillies (14-18) trail the first-place Atlanta Braves by five games in the National League East.
The calendar read May 5, but Sunday's game was important. With a win Sunday, the Phillies would have taken three of four games from the lowly Marlins. Philadelphia would have gotten on the airplane for the West Coast with some positive momentum after having won six of their last nine games.
Instead, the Phillies have dropped two straight and four of their last six.
Amaro wasn't ready to say who would start for Halladay when his turn comes up Friday in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.
The Phillies are an aging team teetering on the line between playoff contender and also-ran.
Manuel pulled Halladay from the game in the top of the third inning. Fans booed and cheered.
The five division titles and one World Series the Phillies won from 2007-2011 seemed farther away than ever.
Contact Michael McGarry: