LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Roy Halladay says there’s nothing to worry about. His manager Charlie Manuel agrees. For that matter, so does Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Halladay gave up three runs, including two homers to non-roster invitee Eric Patterson, but the Philadelphia Phillies rallied for a 7-5 win Friday.
Halladay, who went 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA last season, said he’s working on consistency in his pitches after his spring ERA rose to 7.20.
“I feel like everything is going good,” Halladay said. “I have just been inconsistent so far. I only made two mistakes and they were to the same guy. I feel like I have a long way to go, but I am not concerned.”
Halladay said he doesn’t take a long look at the numbers after one of his spring training starts. He isn’t exactly fighting for a spot, so the pressure is off.
“I self-evaluate during the spring,” Halladay said. “I can take it either way and learn from whatever happens. The purpose of spring training is to get ready for the season when the games become important.”
Manuel said he had no problem with Halladay who, after all, has only pitched against opposing teams twice this spring.
“I didn’t see anything wrong,” Manuel said, adding that he wasn’t looking at spring training numbers. “I just have to look at his numbers from last year.”
Leyland, whose Tigers faced Halladay often before the two-time Cy Young Award winner left Toronto for Philadelphia after the 2009 season, said he had no doubt that Halladay is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
“Everything he throws moves and he doesn’t have to throw hard in the spring,” Leyland said. “He’s a great pitcher. He’s not a good pitcher, he’s a great pitcher.”
Patterson, who batted .180 in 47 games for the San Diego Padres last season, upped his spring batting average to .625 with his two homers. He went 4 for 5 on the day. Leyland said Patterson is a long shot to make the trip north in April, but he wouldn’t count him out.
Carlos Ruiz hit a three-run homer for the Phillies.
Max Scherzer allowed one hit in 3 1-3 innings for the Tigers, his longest outing of the season. Brandon Inge started at second base again for the Tigers and went 0 for 3. He is competing for the starting second base job and hasn’t made an error yet this spring. He hasn’t played second base since his freshman year in high school.
NOTES: Justin Verlander will make his second start of the spring Saturday against Washington. He’ll be followed by Casey Crosby, Octavio Dotal, Joaquin Benoit, and Jose Valverde. John Lannan will start for the Nationals. … RHP David Pauley got roughed up for the second time this spring, allowing four earned runs in 2-3 of an inning. Pauley, acquired from Seattle for the stretch drive last season, has an ERA of 16.88. … Manuel said that 1B Ryan Howard is progressing well after his Achilles tendon injury. He’s still wearing a boot for at least another week. Howard hasn’t played yet this spring. Howard has been inactive in Phillies camp since taking batting practice on Feb. 25. He had a procedure on Feb. 27 to remove an infection from the site of his Achilles surgery. … OF Domonic Brown had an X-ray that revealed a sprained right thumb. Brown, who hasn’t played since Monday, was scheduled to have an MRI. … P Dontrelle Willis will be out for the next several days with tightness in his left shoulder. … INF Chase Utley continues to rehab on his chronic knee tendonitis, but is expected to be ready for the regular season He has been taking batting practice daily and participates in some fielding drills.