If Roy Halladay has pitched his last game at Citizens Bank Park as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, he did it quietly and without a whole lot of fanfare on Tuesday night.
Six innings of five-hit baseball might have opened some eyes in the club suite where team president David Montgomery and GM Ruben Amaro sit. As it stands now, it’s probably a 50-50 call whether Halladay stays or goes at the end of the season.
The positives in what might have been his final start at CBP were that he battled through another quality start and showed the team what he might be able to give them next season. The negatives, too, were there as his fastball — for the fourth-straight game — topped out at 87 mph.
So the scale is evenly weighted between taking a chance again on a consummate pro with a top-level work ethic vs. an aging guy whose arm can go at any moment. That’s what this last month was all about for Halladay anyway. He is a free agent at the end of the season and has spent most of the month auditioning. He returned to the team as an emergency starter on Aug. 25 because the Phillies used their entire pitching staff in an 18-inning game the night before. (Halladay was scheduled to pitch his final rehab start in Class-AA Reading that afternoon.)
The Citizens Bank Park part of Halladay’s season ended with just 28,872 fans paying for tickets, the second-fewest number of tickets sold for any game this season. The actual attendance looked several thousand less than that. The attendance could factor into a decision involving Halladay in that the Phillies are not as deep-pocketed as they once were.
Make no mistake, this is not the Halladay who once dominated this hitter-friendly park with a respectable 3.17 ERA, including a no-hitter in the playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds in 2010.
When he walked off the mound the last time, there was no standing ovation and no indication that it might be the end for Halladay in Philadelphia. If that’s the way it ends, that would be a shame.