But after Halladay threw 133 pitches in a complete-game effort Tuesday night, one pitch short of his career high, manager Charlie Manuel was asked if he needs to be more cautious with his ace this early in a season. Although Halladay has led the major leagues in complete games in each of the last three seasons, he broke a new barrier this month: He has thrown 118 pitches or more in four consecutive starts for the first time in his 12-year career.
"I think you have to monitor him," Manuel said. "For instance, he's got two in a row now at 121 and 132 (pitches). If he goes this next outing 120 to 125, three times in a row with how much time is left (in the season), that definitely could have a toll. ... This next outing, I don't want to see him throw 125 pitches. I feel over a course of a year, that could definitely wear him down."
Halladay is never going to willingly leave a game. That said, he also understands his arm and body better than anybody and trusts he can monitor his own work in between starts so he can get the maximum effort on game days.
"I've learned you make the adjustments on your work days in between," Halladay said. "That's where you adjust for how many pitches you throw. If you throw more, you cut down on your bullpen (session). I've always felt that I can regulate how I feel every five days as long as I'm smart about my work days. In the next couple days, I'll see how I feel, and if I need to back off a bullpen or something, I'll do it. But you just have to listen to your body."