Halladay Cy-zing up the competition
Every day this past off season, I’m sure that Harry Leroy Halladay began each morning by looking into the mirror and envisioning himself holding the 2009 American League Cy Young award. He vowed that he would not let the Cy Young award slip away to another “flash in the pan” pitcher like Cliff Lee. This is the year that you can really and truly sense that Roy Halladay wants to be the best pitcher in the American League.
As we learned from last year’s race between Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, the Cy Young voters place a lot of weight on a pitcher’s win-loss record. That’s why it’s crucial for Halladay to keep racking up the wins in the first half against non-division rivals and interleague teams. After the Blue Jays bullpen has blown the last two games for Hallday, I’m sure he had a stern chat with the fellas to indicate he did not want them to not ruin his chances to tally up W’s.
Barring a complete rotation shuffle, Roy Halladay potentially has 8 more starts before the All-Star break. Let’s say that a worst case scenario in those eight decisions is that the Doc only wins 3 of those games; that would still put Halladay on pace for 11 wins going into the second half of the season.
Last year, Roy’s record at the break was 11-6. In his 2003 Cy Young award-winning year, Halladay was 10-3 by the All-Star break. At this pace, it looks like Halladay is on track to keep those similar numbers for the first half of 2009.
While Roy Halladay would probably say his biggest competition is himself, this year’s version of Cliff Lee comes in the form of the Kansas City Royals’ ace Zack Greinke. While Halladay and Greinke hold fairly similar win-loss records, Halladay has the advantage in one category which may or may not come into effect.
In 2008, Greinke threw 202 innings which was 80 innings more than his 122 innings pitched in 2007. Although young Zack is off to a torrent pace this year, all signs to point to an eventual injury at some point this season. I’m not saying that Zack Greinke needs to go down to injury for Roy Halladay to win the Cy Young award, but Halladay is built to pitch 200+ innings year after year.
Regardless of what happens up until the All-Star break and beyond, Roy Halladay doesn’t need a Cy Young award to remind him that he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. But that trophy case in the Halladay household is looking really empty with just a single Cy Young award. Come to think of it, he could probably use a couple of World Series rings in there too.