Roy Halladay made 96 pitches against the Blue Jays on Thursday in his final start of spring training. He struggled with command, his fastball was up, and when he was in difficult situations he relied almost exclusively on secondary pitches.
Doc's final line read: 4 1/3 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. According to scouts with radar guns at Bright House Field, his fastball was between 88-90 mph, so that was a positive sign.
A negative sign was his lack of overall command. His cutter was often cutting too far in to left-handed batters, and when he began starting it more over the plate he was hit around.
Halladay pitched a perfect, 13-pitch first inning and threw first-pitch strikes to the first four batters he faced. But Adam Lind doubled with one out in the second and Halladay walked back-to-back batters to load the bases. He worked himself out of trouble with a questionable called strike three against Maicer Izturis and a swinging strikeout of Emilio Bonifacio. That was another positive sign -- more swings and misses.
It was a semi-effective outing for Halladay, who at least showed he can get through some innings without being blasted. Three of the 13 outs he generated were on the basepaths.
Today's performance was less about results and more about how Halladay looked. He just didn't look like a pitcher with impressive command of the strike zone. He was all over the place in the second inning, missing high, missing inside, missing low.
Halladay finished with nine walks in 16 1/3 innings this spring after walking nine men the past two springs combined.
The next step is his first start of the regular season. The questions remain.