Halladay earning respect from opponents despite struggles

Roy Halladay has started off the season with two terrible outings. Credit: Getty Images
Roy Halladay has started off the season with two terrible outings.
Credit: Getty Images

Roy Halladay is struggling. He’s losing ballgames, but he hasn’t lost respect.

“I have to admit that it was surreal going up against Roy Halladay,” Mets pitcher Matt Harvey said. “I grew up watching him and it was just amazing competing against him.”

Harvey, a young, right-handed phenom, dominated the Phillies and beat his idol.

“No matter what you say he’s still Doc,” Mets catcher John Buck said. “He’s been a great pitcher for years and he’s still a great pitcher.”

Buck blasted a three-run homer off Halladay that proved to be the difference in Monday’s Mets win but he still speaks of the scuffling starter with reverence.

The same goes for manager Charlie Manuel, who will continue to pitch Halladay every fifth day even though he is 0-2 with a 14.73 ERA.

“I saw David Price the other day and as good as he is, [the Indians] started whacking him around,” Manuel said. “When that bat, that Louisville starts talking to you. Sometimes you can’t get it off of you.”

Halladay is not missing bats with his arsenal of pitches like he used to be able to. But count on Manuel to allow Halladay to try to work his way through his horrific start.

“[The media] used to get on me about [using] Brad Lidge,” Manuel said. “Lidge was the best I had and if I was going to lose the game, I was committed to Brad Lidge.”

Manuel hopes Halladay can rebound the way he did in 2003.

“I heard Roy talk about what happened to him in Toronto [a decade ago]. He was 0-5 and his velocity was between 82 and 86 [mph]. He won the Cy Young [Award] that year. His stuff came back and he started locating the ball.”

Manuel hopes it’s déjà vu again for Halladay. It’ll be more difficult at 35 years old than 25 years old, but Halladay is going to go out there every fifth day and battle.

“I wouldn’t bet against him,” Harvey said. “If anyone can bounce back it’s Roy Halladay.”

Game notes

» Michael Young, who had a big game Sunday against the Royals, feels comfortable.

“I love where I’m at now,” Young said. “I feel really good. I think this team is ready to bust out on a winning streak.”

» Roy Halladay’s eight-game winning streak against the Mets was snapped Monday.

“All things have to come to an end,” Mets catcher John Buck said. “That’s baseball.”



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