“It’s not just that Roy Halladay leads the majors with 148 innings pitched. It’s that he eclipses the next closest starter, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, by more than a complete game.
So while it remains likely that the Phillies righthander will pitch an inning in his seventh All-Star Game tonight at Angel Stadium, he also sees the wisdom of those who choose to remain on the sideline.
“Obviously, I’ll be available to throw. However they want to line things up, I definitely would pitch,” he said yesterday.
“But there are two sides to it. Obviously, coming here you’d like to pitch. Being the fans’ game and all of that, when you’re selected you feel a certain responsibility to be able to go out there.
“From the health side, any time you can take a breather, you would. But that’s just how baseball is. You make adjustments.”
The Phillies have acknowledged his heavy workload in the first half by deciding to have him slotted as the fourth starter after the break.
As familiar as Halladay is with the All-Star routine, there are plenty of differences this year. In the past, he always has represented the Toronto Blue Jays (a team with little chance to make the postseason and take advantage of the homefield advantage in the World Series that’s at stake) and the American League (which hasn’t lost this glorified exhibition since 1996).
“Being on a team you hope is going to be there in the postseason, the home field is important. Especially when you play in a city like we do, where that can become a big advantage for you,” he noted.
At the same time, he said it might have been even more difficult when he was pitching knowing that he had little personal stake in the outcome.”
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