When you're Roy Halladay and you've gone 77-37 with a 2.59 ERA over the past four seasons, including one Cy Young Award and two second-place finishes, even a small blip in dominance sends sweat dripping down the foreheads of Phillies fans.
Halladay is coming off the worst start of his Phillies career -- he allowed 12 hits and eight runs in 5.2 innings in that crazy 15-13 loss to the Braves last week. His velocity on his cutter is down so far this season, from 90.5 mph to 88.9 mph. His strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first two years with the Phillies was 6.75 to 1; this year, it's 2.9 to 1.
What's it all mean? Maybe nothing, but Ryan Sommers of Crashburn Alley has a more detailed look at Halladay's 2012 results. Could factors like cold weather be influencing his velocity? Is it just a slow start with one particularly rough outing? As Ryan writes, "Given the history here, I’m totally comfortable taking a calm, skeptical outlook. I would be lying, though, if I said I wouldn’t be watching the radar gun closely tonight."