Last night, Roy Halladay tossed a gem on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball matchup between the Braves and the Phillies, going the distance for Philadelphia without allowing a run. His final line: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, and 113 pitches (71 strikes, 42 balls). Halladay raised his record to 4-0, becoming MLB's first four-game winner, and improved his ERA from 1.13 to 0.82. On the year, Doc has now logged 33 innings, surrendering 26 hits while issuing just three walks to 28 strikeouts. He has thrown just 412 pitches in those 33 innings, an average of 12.5 per inning, making him economical in addition to durable. So, yeah, he is pretty good, and is in the midst of an incredible start to his Phillies' tenure. His game-by-game lines:
Pitchers moving from the American League to the National League are expected to improve their performance, given that they get to face feeble-hitting pitchers instead of slugging designated hitters, but Halladay has surpassed even that expectation in dominating the opposition so far, tossing two complete games and a shutout to introduce himself to the weaker offensive league.
The last couple of seasons have seen similarly hot starts to the season from two different pitchers that eventually went on to win the Cy Young Award. In 2008, Indians lefty Cliff Lee logged 31
Fast forward to 2010, and Halladay finds himself in the same conversation as far as delivering dominating starts to a season. It is still too early to tell whether or not he will achieve milestones such as 25 wins or 250 innings, but even through the small sample of four starts, it is abundantly clear that this will be a fun ride for Phillies fans, with every fifth day becoming a holiday in and of itself.