The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #28. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff.
From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.
Please check back this afternoon for #27.
#28– Roy Halladay
55-29, 3.25 ERA, 1.119 WHIP in 702.2 IP
Previous Rank: New to Rankings
fWAR Phillies Rank: 20th among pitchers, 63rd among Phillies
Signature Moments: Threw a regular season Perfect Game against the Marlins and a postseason No Hitter against the Reds in 2010
Won 2010 Cy Young, Two Consecutive All-Star Appearances (2010-2011)
The days and nights surrounding December 15, 2009 were some of the most exciting, and confusing, times of my existence as a sports fan. The rumors were piling up that the Phillies were getting ready to pull the trigger on a trade for Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays for some combination of Kyle Drabek, Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Taylor, Domonic Brown, Andrew Carpenter, J.A. Happ, and others. There was also a very quiet side rumor that the Phillies were working on a deal to trade Cliff Lee, who had won them two games in the 2009 World Series, to Seattle. Halladay would arrive in Philadelphia for Drabek, d’Arnaud, and Taylor and, suddenly, the team that had reached the World Series in 2009, but started an aging Pedro Martinez twice, had acquired undoubtedly the best pitcher in baseball. What happened next confused and surprised Phillies fans: Lee was dealt to Seattle.
Suddenly, the joy of acquire the best pitcher in baseball to pair with a sturdy but not spectacular rotation was sucked out of the air. Despite two straight World Series appearances, including their 2008 win, the Phillies would seemingly needlessly walk the line between big market spenders and penny pinchers. The first order of business after trading for Halladay was signing Halladay to an extension. Halladay was signed for a three-year, $20 million per year extension, like a hair under market value.
Soon, Philadelphia would know the wonder of Roy Halladay: the intense training regiment, the emotionless soultaker that took the hill every five games. Halladay’s first game was in Washington, the first opposing pitcher to toe the rubber at Nationals Park. He struck out nine in seven innings, earning his first of 55 wins as a Phillie. Halladay’s starts were suddenly events for the two-time defending NL Champs and that excitement came to a head on May 29, 2010. With the Flyers down the dial playing in Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals, Doc stole all of the headlines in Philadelphia: throwing 115 pitches, Halladay struck out 11 Marlins, allowing no hits or base runners, throwing the 20th Perfect Game in MLB history.
After leading the National League in innings pitched in 2010, Halladay would take the hill for the first time in his career in the postseason and no-hit a potent Reds offense in Game 1 of the NLDS. In two starts in the NLCS against the Giants, Halladay would drop Game 1 against Tim Lincecum but rebound to take the must-win Game 5 in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the Phillies would get bumped in the very next game. The awards would roll in after the season, however, as Halladay would earn the NL Cy Young, as well as Pro Athlete of the Year by the Sporting News and the Clutch Performer of the Year by MLB by posting a 21-10 record with a 2.44 ERA and a league-leading nine complete games and four shutouts. Halladay was the first Phillie since Steve Bedrosian to win the Cy Young Award and was the first Phillie since Steve Carlton in 1982 to win 20 games.
Lee and Halladay would be united in the same rotation in 2011 in what many thought had the makings of being the greatest rotation of all-time. Halladay would post a 19-6 record, improve his ERA to 2.35 and finished second in the Cy Young voting. Halladay would have a second shot at the postseason. Halladay defeated former Phillie Kyle Lohse in Game 1 of the NLDS. With the series against the St. Louis Cardinals knotted at 2-2, Halladay allowed only one earned run and just six hits, but the Phillies could only muster three hits and couldn’t advance the Phillies into their fourth straight NLCS.
Halladay would slow down due to injuries in 2012 and would make only 13 starts in his final season in Philly. From 2010 through 2013, despite injuries, Halladay would rank fourth in the NL in fWAR, behind only Clayton Kershaw, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee. And despite these injuries, he would rank fourth in wins despite only ranking 18th in appearances and 12th in innings pitched. Halladay would rank 29th in K/9 IP, third in BB/9 IP, and tenth in FIP. If narrowed to 2010 and 2011, Halladay was the best in the planet: first in ERA, FIP, xFIP, wins, innings pitched, and K/BB.
Some will undoubtedly question Halladay’s position on this list but for two seasons, Halladay was the premier pitcher in baseball and was pretty good in the postseason, too (2.37 ERA and 0.737 WHIP in 38.0 IP). Had the Phillies offense shown up in the 2010 NLCS or in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, Halladay would have had a World Series opportunity. Unfortunately, injuries slowed down Halladay, probably in no small part to him retiring fifth on the active list for innings pitched and first complete games. Halladay earns his spot on this list for his two years of absolute dominance and his oustanding postseason record.