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PHI@CHC: Halladay hurls four-plus and leaves the game

CHICAGO -- Roy Halladay bent forward, placed his hands on his knees and raised his head to look at Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee.

He had soaked through his jersey. His face matched his red cap.

He was finished.

The heat had beaten him.

Halladay left Monday's 6-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in the bottom of the fifth inning because of the heat. It was 91 degrees at game time but felt much hotter with the heat index reportedly approaching 105 degrees. Halladay was unavailable to comment after the game but told a team spokesman he "absolutely" plans to make his next start Sunday against the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park.

"You could tell the heat was getting to him a little bit," Dubee said. "I talked to him after the fourth, and he said he was somewhat lightheaded, but he wanted to go back out there. Of course, he went out there in the fifth and just had a tough time staying focused and seeing the signs."

The Phillies said Halladay was feeling better after the game. It was unclear if he received an IV for fluids, but he did get a visit from the Cubs' doctor.

It was startling to see Halladay struggle like this. His mental and physical preparations are second to none.

But this heat was rare. Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said he was reminded of those hot summer afternoons at Veterans Stadium, when the artificial turf soaked up the heat, making life miserable for those standing in the field.

Halladay first showed signs of exhaustion when he labored through the third inning, throwing 31 pitches. He put his hands on his knees a couple times. He crouched to the turf as a perceptive Chase Utley took his time to tie his shoelaces, trying to buy Halladay a few extra seconds to catch his breath.

"When he stepped off a couple times I knew something was up because he usually works at such a great tempo," Dubee said.

Halladay ditched his red undershirt after the third, which he always wears when he pitches.

It didn't help much.

He pitched a scoreless fourth but allowed a leadoff single to Starlin Castro in the fifth. Dubee already had Andrew Carpenter warming up in the bullpen and came to the mound to talk with Halladay. Phillies athletic trainer Scott Sheridan followed a couple seconds later.

Halladay and Sheridan eventually walked off the field and up the dank, dark tunnel into the Phillies' clubhouse.

It was Halladay's shortest start since June 12, 2009, when he left a game with the Toronto Blue Jays because of a groin injury. It also snapped a streak of 63 consecutive starts of six or more innings pitched on the road. It was the longest streak in the big leagues since Walter Johnson had 82 consecutive starts of six or more innings on the road from 1911-15.

Halladay allowed seven hits, three runs, one walk and one home run in four-plus innings. He struck out one. The Phillies had no luck against Cubs right-hander Rodrigo Lopez, who allowed five hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings.

"He's probably the last guy you'd expect something like this, but that's what Mother Nature can do to you," Dubee said. "It was awful hot. I'm not making excuses, but ... guys that go to the All-Star Game -- you've got to have the All-Star Game, I understand that -- but guys that go to the All-Star Game, they come back a little drawn. It's a busy three days. For that first week back, guys generally don't respond too well. It's just a hectic schedule. They fly out there, different time zones. You've got banquets. You've got whatever. And there's a lot to it. This guy takes tremendous care of himself. He's doing better now and that's what we're hoping for."

Monday night might be the coolest night of the week, which means things could get even tougher for the pitchers. Cliff Lee pitches Tuesday night. He also pitched in the All-Star Game. Vance Worley pitches Wednesday afternoon.

"We've got to play," manager Charlie Manuel said. "They ain't going to call the game off for heat." Comments