Roy Halladay pitches in an inexorable manner. Hell bent to record as many outs in as few pitches as mathematically possible. The possibility of Halladay topping 250 innings for the second time in his career is becoming a distinct reality in a rapid manner. After last night’s complete game – marking Halladay’s eighth on the season (his career high is nine) – the Doc is at 171 innings through 22 games started with a 2.21 ERA and a FIP around 2.80.
After going through Halladay’s first 22 starts in each of the past four seasons (as well as the 2003 season in which he topped 250 innings) I found that Halladay is actually outpitching himself. No, really. His 171 innings represents a six inning increase over his previous high through 22 starts which came last season. That 2.21 ERA is a half run per nine innings superior to his previous best (again, last season. Add that his FIP is still better than 2008, if only by about a tenth of a run and, well, Philadelphia is getting everything they could have hoped for and even more.
When Halladay is on the mound opposing teams cross the plate less often than a starving atheist; in 16 of his 22 starts Halladay has allowed two or fewer runs. Somehow, the Phillies are only 13-9 in his starts. That is almost a 60% win rate and certainly more enjoyable and respectable than the 17-16 record posted by the Royals in Zack Greinke starts last season. Still, it seems that the Phillies should be winning more often because Halladay isn’t just ERA padding with five-to-six inning outings, but consistently going deep and locking the other team down.
Winning only 60% instead of 65% of Halladay’s starts won’t cost the Phillies a playoff spot or anything – they’re still very much in the East race as well as the Wild Card race despite injuries galore – but it sure did damper any talk about 30 wins. With only 10-12 starts remaining, he may not even reach 20.