Roy Halladay: Early Season Struggles Are All Mental

Roy Halladay says it’s all mental. Or at least most of it.

Mired in an early season slump, the Philadelphia Phillies ace has struggled to find out why he’s suddenly being overpowered by hitters. Some believe that age is catching up to the 35-year-old pitcher, who has a 14.73 ERA through two starts.

But Roy has a different idea.

“It’s 95 percent mental,” Roy Halladay said.

In his first start, Halladay failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves. Then in Monday’s contest, he faltered again, giving up seven runs in four innings to the Mets, a team Halladay hadn’t lost to since 2001 when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Halladay said he was trying to hard to make his pitches perfect.

“It’s simplifying and getting back to basics and not trying to force things,” he said. “It’s letting things happen and trying to force things. It’s a game of failure and I’ve had my fair share. Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass and I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while. It’s something that I’ve dealt a lot with in the past and I feel like I can overcome. The more you want it, the harder it is. You almost have to really back that off and put some perspective in the whole thing.”

The losses helped drop the Phillies to 2-5, and put Halladay in an unfamiliar situation. He pitched only fewer than five innings one time in 65 starts in 2010 and 2011.

Halladay’s mental struggles have been difficult for his team to watch as well.

“He’s giving you everything he’s got,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “When you see somebody who works as hard as he does and gives you everything he’s got, that’s kind of tough to watch because I pull for him and I want him to do real good all the time.”

Halladay said his struggles may be mental, but he’s still got some comfort on his side. After the rough outing against the Mets he got a text message from his son that said “You’re my hero.”

Roy Halladay said that helped keep put his mental struggles in perspective.