PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies made one thing crystal clear Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park: Roy Halladay is pitching the rest of the season.
Halladay answered questions Saturday about the chances he might be shut down for the remainder of the year, considering the team has a slim chance to make the postseason and Halladay missed seven weeks because of an injured right back muscle. After all, wouldn't it make sense to save some bullets for next season when the games matter?
"We're not thinking about doing that," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "I don't have to answer that no more. He's not going to get shut down."
The Phillies said encasing Halladay in bubble wrap would be counterproductive.
"My goal right now for Roy Halladay is pitch on a regular basis and get back to being who he used to be," Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "He's fought some injuries. He's developed some bad habits. He's got these two months to hopefully wean himself off those bad habits and retrain himself. That's why it's important for him to pitch. He's healthy. He's felt stronger than he has in a long time. He's got to retrain himself so he gets back into that proper arm slot."
Halladay's arm angle dropped about six inches before he landed on the disabled list in May, a byproduct of compensating for the weakened latissimus dorsi muscle.
"You try doing that for five months," Dubee said. "Try doing anything for five months. Walk upside down for five months, then try to walk the right way. It's going to take you a while to break that bad habit."
Dubee said that based on what he has seen from Halladay in his previous two starts, he is convinced Halladay will return to prior form.
"Absolutely," he said.
Halladay is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last two starts, allowing nine hits, three runs, two walks and striking out 12 in 13 innings.
Of course, only time will tell. But if Dubee is right, it will be good news for the 2013 Phillies.
Schwimer benefiting from Dubee's overhaul
PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies right-hander Michael Schwimer surrendered a home run to J.J. Hardy on June 8 in Baltimore.
The next afternoon, he got an overhaul.
Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee essentially changed everything for Schwimer. He changed his lower body mechanics, the angle of his shoulders and the grip of his slider.
"People don't understand how huge of a change that is," Schwimer said.
It seems to have worked. In 19 1/3 innings over 20 relief appearances since Dubee worked with Schwimer in the bullpen, he is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA. He has allowed 13 hits, four earned runs and nine walks while striking out 23.
Opponents have hit .200 against him.
"It just kind of clicked for me," Schwimer said. "I'm still not where I need to be yet -- I still have a long way to go -- but I'm definitely on the right path. I've been having a lot of success. I feel the confidence is there. I feel if I execute my pitches, the hitters don't stand a chance. I didn't think that before. That comes with getting people out obviously."
Said Dubee: "That was kind of a knock-down, drag-out day."
Dubee said it was either make the changes or enjoy Triple-A. Schwimer made the changes. And now he's enjoying the big leagues a little more.
Phils' NL-record sellout streak ends at 257 games
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies' regular-season sellout streak at Citizens Bank Park was snapped at 257 consecutive games during Monday night's 6-1 loss to Atlanta. It ends as the longest streak ever in the National League and third longest in Major League history.
"You kinda know it's gonna happen," said Jimmy Rollins, the longest-tenured Phillies player. "You would hope that it wouldn't. You would hope that one bad season wouldn't break it up, especially after the five winning seasons that we had and division championships. But that's the way it goes. People aren't gonna spend money and come to the game if they don't feel they're getting their money's worth. And this year we've been a little short."
Said manager Charlie Manuel, whose club fell to 49-60 on Monday night: "It's kind of up to us to make sure we get our team together and get better and get our crowd back. I'm sure we can. I know we still had 40,000 or something like that. I'm sorry we didn't sell out. That just goes to show you what kind of season we've had."
The streak started during a 4-3 loss to the Reds on July 7, 2009. From that game through Sunday's, the combined paid attendance was 11,585,952, with an average of 45,082 per game. During the streak, the Phillies went 154-103 at Citizens Bank Park in the midst of three NL East championship seasons.
"The number of sellouts could not have been possible without the tremendous loyalty of our fans who continue to lead all of Major League Baseball in average attendance this year," Phillies president David Montgomery said.
The paid attendance for Monday's game against the Braves was 41,665.
The Phillies' streak trails only the Red Sox's current string of 772 consecutive sellouts and the Indians' run of 455 in a row from 1995-2001.
"It was a heck of a run. We had fun. I know I go out every night, first thing I do is look up and see how many seats are empty at the beginning of the game, and by the third inning, see how many of those seats were filled. It was something we came to expect really. ... That's a lot of baseball games. There's been a lot of winning in that time. Hopefully, they enjoyed it as much as we did."
Left-hander Raul Valdes was activated from the disabled list before Monday's game against the Braves. Valdes (2-2, 3.80 ERA) had been on the DL since July 9 with a right hip strain. To make room for him on the active roster, infielder Hector Luna was optioned back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Left fielder Domonic Brown batted out of the two-hole on Monday for the first time this season. Brown has hit second in the lineup four times in his career. Since being recalled from Lehigh Valley on Tuesday, he's batted sixth four times and seventh once.
Since July 20, the Phillies' bullpen has posted a National League-leading 1.18 ERA. Only the Rays' relief corps has a better ERA (0.56) in that span.
The Phillies entered Monday's game having lost each of their last six games against the Braves.
From Thursday through Sunday, almost 50 former Phillies will be at Citizens Bank Park for Phillies Alumni Weekend. Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa and Dallas Green are among those attending. Former All-Star catcher Mike Lieberthal will be on hand for his induction into the Toyota Wall of Fame before Friday night's game against the Cardinals.