December 21, 2009

Our Moment

If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone through a gamut of emotions since Roy Halladay became a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Even though we knew the trade was coming. Anger. Self-loathing. Histrionics. Inebriated confusion. (Also known as #DocDrunk.) Even excitement; for Doc, and for the Blue Jays, as each embark on their next chapter. You’ve visited a few times now, to let the world know that Doc is indeed The Greatest Blue Jay of All Time. If you’re anything like me, you're not over losing him just yet.

Looking back on the past eight years, as I watched Halladay dominate in baseball's better league and toughest division, I thought it beyond the realm of possibility to find one moment that defined Doc’s time in Toronto. But I have.

It was May 31st, 2007. The Chicago White Sox were in town. Mark Buehrle vs. Roy Halladay. Quickest baseball game of your life. A 2-0 Toronto final. In the 7th inning, which would end up being Halladay's last, Doc threw his world-renowned cutter to Darin Erstad who, like many before him, swung and missed. Running down-and-in on the left-handed hitting Erstad, it was the ankle-breaker. And down went Erstad. Ligament damage. Out of the game, and onto the 15-day disabled list. Doc doesn't have to hit you with his cutter to hurt you; that's how devastating the pitch is. And I'm not sure I'll ever see something like that again.

As I mentioned, Doc went only seven innings in the shutout victory, the 100th win of his career. For good reason. It was his first start since he had his appendix removed on May 11th, 19 days prior. Scheduled to miss a month, Doc returned in less than three weeks. The feat remains one of the strongest pieces of evidence in proving that Roy Halladay is actually a machine from the future.

Thanks Doc. See you in four years.

Make sure you check out the post over at Mop Up Duty: Greatest Roy Halladay Moments. Bring a Kleenex. It's OK to cry.

And I leave you with a most-pleasant statistic from ESPN's Jayson Stark, confirming what we in Toronto already knew: Doc truly is one of the best.

...the debate about the best pitcher in baseball these past eight years is over. It's Roy Halladay, friends. And hardly anybody else is even close. When Halladay has started a game since 2002, the Blue Jays have gone 149-89. That's a .654 winning percentage. In other words, when he's had the ball, they've played like a 106-win team. And just so you can put that in perspective, we've seen exactly eight teams with a winning percentage that high in the past 50 years. Eight.


bkblades said...

Joe Posnanski also summed up Halladay perfectly:

The thing most people in the game say with pitching is: You never know. And it's true. Pitchers get hurt. They lose their confidence. They lose their stuff. You never know.

But with Halladay, you pretty much do know.

furcifer said...

That moment was posted over at the other site as by Aaron. Doubt you would do that.

I was at that game and I was at the near no-hitter too.

Even though I knew this was coming, it still hurts.

The Ack said...

Posnanski's quote there is golden.

Ian H. said...

The look of sadness on the fan's faces in that picture says it all - and that was in July.

I love scanning through and reading all the messages. It's heartwarming to know that he was loved by so many people.

eyebleaf said...

@ BK & The Ack: It's been fun to read all the tributes. Doc's getting his. And it sure will be fun to see him face Albert Pujols on a regular basis.

@ Furcifer: It was hard to pick one moment, but the Erstad one has always stuck out for me. I always figured he'd get a no-hitter eventually. He will, just not with Toronto. Perhaps he could no-hit the Jays in June? That would be some crazy shit.

@ Ian: My favourite message on might have been the one LJ posted ...

"Oh Shit." - The National League

Moneypuck said...

Another entry for the Wells Advisory system:

"If the Jays had traded Wells for Kemp, Billingsley or whoever the Dodgers were offering and used the money saved to sign a quality free agent, the Jays may have been contenders and Roy may still be a Blue Jay."

Think about it.

eyebleaf said...

Where was that written, mate?

Anonymous said...

I was at that game, right above home plate first row in the 500 level. That was unbelievable. I think my favourite doc moment was a sinker he threw to abreu that had him falling to try and get out of the way as it took a hard right turn and faded back over the heart of the plate for a called strike three. I could watch doc throw sinkers all day

Moneypuck said...

Eyeb: By myself right then lol.