“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” – Laurence Fishburne in “The Matrix”
It sure felt like a dream when the news first broke of the Phillies’ imminent acquisition of Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays. Dreams of sugarplums and a 2011 rotation highlighted by Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels were kicking off the two-week countdown to Christmas with a lion’s share of bliss. Those dreams, short-lived as they were with the subsequent trading of Lee, were reignited on opening day in Washington.
7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K.
And Doc was off and running on what would become a historic season. A 1.45 ERA through his first seven starts; a perfect game May 29; nine complete games and four shutouts, including one to clinch the division; a playoff no-hitter; a Cy Young Award.
So much can be made of the awesome numbers Halladay posted: 250.2 IP, 219 K, a 2.44 ERA, a 7.3 K:BB ratio, all of which combined to form a legitimately historic season. Since 1901, there have been two pitcher seasons of 250-plus innings, 200-plus strikeouts, 30 or fewer walks with a 2.50 or lower ERA. Roy Halladay has one, Cy Young has the other. The award seems even more fitting, now.
Sure, he had his hiccups. The mess in Boston following his 130-pitch outing against the Pirates, the struggles against the Yankees, Cubs and Rockies. Hey, the guy’s human after all, which is good, because I think using a real robot would be cheating.
Even in the playoffs, Halladay was nearly unstoppable. A no-hitter against Cincinnati, a close loss against Tim Lincecum, and a tough performance with a strained groin muscle.
I could wax poetic about Halladay’s 2010 from now until kingdom come. It was everything any of us could have hoped for and more, piled on top of enormous expectations. Doc made it publicly known that he wanted to come to Philadelphia, left money on the table, crushed most of his competition, won a major award and made more history beyond that.
I can only wonder what the coming years will bring.
PAUL’S GRADE: 10
PAT GALLEN’S GRADE: 10 – He came. He saw. He conquered. Roy Halladay was everything Phillies fans dreamed of, and more. Doc put together a historical season and we were lucky enough to have witnessed it here. Thanks, Toronto.
AMANDA ORR’S GRADE: 10 – He deserves a number higher than 10. Work horse. Complete Games. Shutouts. Perfect Game. No-hitter in the playoffs. Cy Young. Team MVP. What more can you ask for?
KIERAN CAROBINE’S GRADE: 10.1 – (Gotta be different).
NICK STASKIN’S GRADE: 11 – Awesome.