Roy Halladay: ‘Mental’ Errors Contributing to Decline

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Roy Halladay mental: Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay described his recent struggles as “95 percent mental.”

Amid struggling for the first part of the season, Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay elaborated on why.

His Phillies suffered a 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the New York Mets earlier. Halladay didn’t record an out before the fifth inning. And after two starts, he posted a 14.73 ERA.

But he said that his relatively poor performance was not due to a physical ailment. “It’s 95 percent mental,” Halladay told the Philadelphia Daily News.

“It’s simplifying, it’s getting to the basics. It’s letting things happen and trying to force things. It’s a game of failure and I’ve had my fair share,” the 35-year-old pitcher told the paper.

In the Phillies-Mets game, pitcher Matt Harvey looked like he could be the one to replace Halladay.

Harvey threw seven impressive innings, John Buck hit a three-run homer and the New York Mets roughed up Halladay in a 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.

“A lot of things were working good for me,” Harvey said. “I’ve been throwing strikes and have had good run support.”

Harvey (2-0) followed up a dominant first start with another sharp outing. He gave up one run, three hits and struck out nine. The 24-year-old righty allowed one hit and fanned 10 in seven scoreless innings against San Diego last Wednesday.

“Nothing surprises me about him,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “When he needs it, it’s there.”

Meanwhile, Halladay (0-2) barely resembles the two-time Cy Young Award winner who had 40 wins and tossed a perfect game and postseason no-hitter in his first two years with the Phillies from 2010-11.

Halladay allowed seven runs and six hits in four-plus innings. He’s given up 12 runs in 7 1-3 innings in two starts after a tough spring. Halladay is coming off a down year in which he missed two months with shoulder and back problems, raising concerns about his health.

Halladay said he feels fine and could throw 200 pitches. He blamed his problems on trying too hard to make perfect pitches.

While Halladay is trending downward, Harvey is clearly on the rise. A 2010 first-round draft pick, he simply blew away hitters.

“When you come to Philly, you’re usually (fired up) higher than usual,” Harvey said. “I tried to tone it down. When you face Doc, it’s something special.”

Halladay tossed a perfect first inning before his troubles began. Marlon Byrd ripped a one-out double to straightaway center in the second and Halladay hit Lucas Duda with a pitch. Buck followed with an opposite-field drive way out to right-center.

Buck has three homers and 12 RBIs in the first seven games, helping the Mets to a 5-2 start. New York has hit at least one homer in every game, its longest streak to start a season since eight in a row in 1987.

“The key is I just feel good and I’m not trying to do too much,” Buck said.

Duda lined an RBI single with two outs in the third to give the Mets a 4-0 lead. They chased Halladay with three straight hits in the fifth. Daniel Murphy started with a double, David Wright followed with an RBI single and Ike Davis singled to end Halladay’s night.

Chad Durbin entered and retired two batters around a walk before allowing a two-run single by Ruben Tejada that made it 7-1.

Jimmy Rollins doubled and scored on Ryan Howard’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. Rollins knocked in the other run on an RBI groundout off Josh Edgin.

The Phillies are off to a 2-5 start. They’re hoping to return to the postseason after their run of five straight NL East titles ended with an 81-81 finish last year.

They’ve got a long way to go, however.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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