Roy Halladay said all the right things, refusing to throw his teammates under the bus, but deep down it has to be frustrating to see the offense sputter when he takes the mound.

Actually the offense isn't doing too well regardless of who is on the mound, but Halladay has seen his share of sinking run support.

Halladay allowed three runs over seven innings, but that was more than enough for the Chicago Cubs in Friday's 5-1 victory over the Phillies.

That was his fifth start this season and it was the third time the Phillies scored exactly one run.

The fact that he's 3-2 says more about Halladay than his run support.

Maybe Halladay and the team will get a boost from the news that Ryan Howard, after seeing a wound specialist on Friday, said he hopes to convince the Phillies to allow him to go to Florida and begin rehabilitation.

Of course, Howard, while giving no timetable, still has hurdles to clear before being able to return to the lineup. And the offense must do the same just to return to the respectable category.

All month the Phillies have been searching for more offense and Hallday will worry about making pitches and not about how little run support he receives.

"You worry about what you can control," Halladay said after Friday's loss. "As a pitcher you try to make pitches and outside of that, there isn't a whole lot you have a hand in whether it's offensively or defensively or where balls are hit."

The problem is that the Phillies aren't hitting many balls anywhere. They entered the game next to last in runs scored in the National League and now have 64 in 20 games.

Halladay must take the mound with only one thing on his mind – getting the batter out.

"You can't go out and pitch and think you can't make mistakes," he said. "You've got to be aggressive and stick with your game plan."

And he is also sticking by his team, hoping the offense can turn it around and waste one solid pitching effort after another.