Yesterday, I sang the praises of A.J. Burnett and how wonderful he was against the Red Sox and Yankees this season. Now, it's time to lavish praise on his brother in arms in the fight against the evil empires, Roy Halladay.
September 26, 2008
Really, what can I say about Roy Halladay that I haven't said already? He is the greatest pitcher I've ever known. Doc picked up his 20th win of the season last night and when it was all said and done, I wanted to take him in my arms, much like how A.J. did (pictured, yo).
What a performance from Halladay this season. Simply outstanding. He reached the 20 win plateau for the second time in his career and did it with another complete game gem last night, throwing only 96 pitches. For the good Doctor, anything less than a complete game masterpiece would have been uncivilized. It was his ninth complete game of the season and if that statistic doesn't blow you away, it should. It really should. No, seriously, it should.
Halladay finishes the season with a 20-11 record, 2.78 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 206 strikeouts, and an opponents batting average of .237. He walked only 39 batters all season. In 246 innings. If that statistic doesn't blow you away, it should. It really should. No, seriously, it should.
To put things in perspective, because that's what I do around here, let's compare Halladay's 2008 season with his 2003 Cy Young Award winning campaign:
22-7 W/L, 36 games started, 266 innings pitched, 96 earned runs, 26 home runs, 32 walks, 204 strikeouts, 3.25 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, .247 opponents batting average, nine complete games and two shutouts.
20-11 W/L, 33 games started, 246 innings pitched, 76 earned runs, 18 home runs, 39 walks, 206 strikeouts, 2.78 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, .237 BAA, nine complete games and two shutouts.
You know, it's hard to argue against Cliff Lee winning the Cy Young. He's had a phenomenal season. So, here's what I propose: they split the award. Co-winners, know what I'm saying? If Lee is deserving of the award, and he is, equally so is our Doc. It's been well documented that Halladay has faced stiffer competition and, well, just go back a paragraph and have another look at Doc's 2008 stats. He shaved almost half a run off his ERA from 2003, and threw nine complete games to Lee's four. Nine complete games! Nine! I'm truly starting to believe The Ack over at The Tao of Stieb when he says that Halladay is a pitching machine from the future, sent back in time to save all of humanity.
Speaking of that stiffer competition, check out the layout below to see how Doc fared against the evil empires this season:
Doc vs NYY in 2008 (including last night's bonerific start)
Games started: 6
Innings pitched: 45
Earned Runs: 12
Opponents Batting Average: .211
Pretty impressive, eh? Two of those starts were complete games, and one was a two-hit shutout which I had the pleasure of being in the ball park for.
Halladay vs Boston Red Sox in 2008
Games started: 5
Innings pitched: 38.2
Earned runs: 11
Opponents Batting Average: .224
Doc threw two complete games against the Sox, both in Fenway Park. One of them was actually a 1-0 loss; damn flaccid offence. Actually, of the nine complete games Doc tossed, three of them were losses. The three losses came during a stretch of four consecutive complete games Halladay threw in April. Yep, you read that right: four consecutive complete games. If that statistic doesn't blow you away, it should. It really should. No, seriously, it should.
I think I began to truly appreciate Doc's greatness this year. He is a superstar in every sense of the word, and I'm a better person for having had the chance to watch him, live and on the tube, every five days. When I grow up, I want to be just like Harry Leroy Halladay III.
Doc, along with his best friend forever A.J. Burnett, fought the good fight against the evil empires. And although we're again on the outside looking in at the post-season, my boys, Doc and A.J., they triumphed over evil. For that, I salute them, especially Doc. A.J. is who he is today because of Roy Halladay.
Thanks Doc, for one hell of a season.