July 01, 2008

The Good Doctor

Roy Halladay is a fucking machine. When Doc's on his game there is no better pitcher in baseball, and he was on last night. Was he ever.

Halladay made sure the Toronto Blue Jays' six game road trip got off on the right foot by shutting out the Seattle Mariners 2-0. It was Doc's league-leading sixth complete game of the year, and he was downright rude to the Seattle hitters last night, holding them to only four singles over nine innings.

What I find amazing is Halladay's ability to go deep into games, strike out batters, but still keep his pitch count low. I guess it helps when you don't walk anybody, and Doc didn't allow a single free pass yesterday. He struck out six and threw only 115 pitches. He makes it look so god damn easy out there.

Doc's among the league leaders in almost every major American League pitching category. You name it: ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, wins. Most impressively, he leads the AL in innings pitched, and has only walked 19 batters in 130 innings. Unreal. He spoils us, he really does.

For those of you keeping score at home, that's back-to-back shutouts by the local nine.

As for Cito Gaston, he continues to impress after making a couple of key decisions late in yesterday's ball game.

Replacing David Eckstein with John McDonald, the Prime Minister of Defence, in the bottom half of the eighth inning was absolutely the right move. Eckstein had already made an error earlier in the game, and McDonald got involved right away, making two outs in the eighth. Johnny Mac might be the best fielding shortstop in the game and since we've got him, we might as well use him.

I've also got to give Cito some props for sending Halladay back to the mind to finish the Mariners off in the ninth. It was definitely a B.J. Ryan save situation, but Halladay's pitch count wasn't too high, and I thought he deserved to finish what he started.

I must say, I am rather enamored by Gaston's reluctance to obsess over the hallowed pitch count. He won't live and die by it, and that's how it should be. The pitch count is overrated.

And speaking of props, Marco Scutaro deserves to have some sent his way. He drove in the first, and winning, run of the game yesterday, and also made one hell of a play with his glove in the bottom of the eighth inning to keep that speedy mother fucker, Ichiro, off the bases.

Scutaro has been tremendous for the Jays all year, filling in at third base, shortstop and second base. The super-sub has played in 72 games because, well, he can play almost every position. Great acquisition by J.P. Ricciardi.

Don't look now, but the Jays are only two games below the elusive .500 mark, with 11 contests left before the All-Star break.