PHILADELPHIA -- Instead of taking questions after being shellacked once again, this time by the Marlins, Roy Halladay went directly to the answer.
"My shoulder is bothering me," the Phillies right-hander, who has been suffering through a down-and-up-and-down-again season, revealed after allowing nine runs in 2 1/3 innings in a 14-2 loss at Citizens Bank Park.
Halladay allowed four hits, walked four and hit Marlins cleanup hitter Justin Ruggiano twice. Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria did most of the damage with a bases-loaded triple and a grand slam.
"It started the morning after I pitched against Pittsburgh [on April 24]," Halladay said. "I woke up and didn't really think anything of it. It was just kind of regular soreness. This kind of progressed over the last two weeks or so. It's right shoulder discomfort."
The two-time Cy Young Award winner, who turns 36 in a week, is expected to fly to Los Angeles to be examined by noted orthopedist Lewis Yocum. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said it's likely Halladay will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Halladay said this is different from the shoulder strain that landed him on the DL last year.
"This is something new this spring," he said. "I felt good all spring. I felt good all year. I just got up after that start against Pittsburgh and had soreness in there and wasn't able to get rid of it. That's really all I have. We don't have a lot of information on it. We did some tests, and obviously they aren't completely conclusive as to what it is. There's a couple different options, and I think the scans, the MRIs, the CTs and that kind of stuff will give us more information, and we'll address it then. We'll see how it plays out here in the next couple days."
Two starts into the season, Halladay had a 14.73 ERA. Then he had three straight strong appearances, posting a 1.71 ERA and allowing just eight hits in 21 innings, beginning with holding the Marlins to one run on five hits through eight innings on April 14. After that game against the Pirates, there was renewed hope that he had succeeded in re-inventing himself after back and shoulder problems last season caused his velocity to decrease.
But in his last two appearances he's been hit hard, giving up 17 earned runs in just six innings. On Sunday, his fastball topped out at 90 mph and was in the 87-89 range most of the afternoon. And it was apparently only after he came out of Sunday's game that he told the team about his shoulder and was examined by club physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti.
"We're likely to have to put Doc on the DL," Amaro said somberly. "Up until now he hasn't really expressed any discomfort. He hasn't been on our injury report. But now it sounds like we'll have to DL him. Until we do some diagnostic work, we won't know exactly what's going on with him, but clearly, it doesn't seem like he's very healthy. It was pretty apparent with his performance, unfortunately.
"We have to figure out what we're going to be doing with our roster and who's going to be pitching [Friday at Arizona]. If the man's hurt, he's hurt. Now we'll have to try to get him well and move forward."
The loss meant the Phillies split a four-game series with a last-place Marlins team that has only 10 wins all season. And it doesn't get any easier. The team flew to San Francisco after the game and will begin a three-game series against the defending world champion Giants Monday night at AT&T Park. In their upcoming 22 games, they also play the defending NL East champion Nationals, the Red Sox (who have the best record in baseball) and the Reds and Indians (who swept them earlier this season).
The Marlins rank last in the Major League in runs scored. They hadn't scored more than eight runs in a game before surpassing that by then end of the third inning Sunday.
"He just didn't look like himself from what I've seen over the last couple of years," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "Over the past few years I haven't seen him make a ton of mistakes. At the same time, it was good for us to be able to jump on him and be able to relax a little bit."
When Halladay was at his peak, he had great command. But he walked two of the first three Marlins batters he faced and then hit Ruggiano with a pitch to load the bases with one out. Right fielder Marcell Ozuna followed with a long, high fly to center hit off the top of the wall. But the ball was close enough to going out that the umpires reviewed the play before confirming that Ozuna had been held to a double.
It was a short reprieve. Greg Dobbs walked, and with two outs, Hechavarria tripled to put Miami ahead, 5-0.
Halladay retired the side in order in the second, but lack of control had him right back in trouble in the third. Ruggiano, leading off, was again hit by a pitch and Ozuna walked. Dobbs singled to load the bases with nobody out. With one out, Hechavarria stepped to the plate again. This time he hit a long drive to right-center that was at first ruled a double.
Once again, the crew went inside to look at the video tape. And this time, the second look showed that the ball had carried into the seats, giving Hechavarria his slam.
With that, Halladay's day was over. The questions that his performance raised, though, have only just begun.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.