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34 Numbers to Remember: Roy Halladay’s incredible career


Roy Halladay’s No. 34 will be forever immortalized in Philadelphia Phillies history.

The Phillies will retire Halladay’s No. 34 on Sunday. (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

The Phillies are set to the retire Halladay’s No. 34 in a ceremony before Sunday’s game against the New York Mets.

Halladay had an incredible career both as a Blue Jay and Phillie. Here are 34 numbers to remember from Halladay’s remarkable career, in honor of the number he donned in his four seasons as a Phillie.

Three – 20+ Win Seasons

Halladay also had six consecutive 16+ win seasons from 2006-2011. During that stretch, he went 109-49, and his team had a .652 winning percentage in his starts.

Five – Seasons With 8+ Complete Games

Since 2003, there have been 11 individual seasons in which a pitcher has thrown at least eight complete games. Five belong to Halladay.

Seven – Average Number Of Innings Per Start

Halladay was an absolute workhorse. Curt Schilling is the only pitcher since 1999 with a higher ratio during his career.

Four – Seasons Leading The League In Innings Pitched

Halladay led the American League in innings pitched three times as a member of the Blue Jays and once as a member of the Phillies (more on that later). Again, he was an absolute workhorse.

Four – Seasons Leading The Majors In K/BB

Halladay was never a strikeout machine, but his excellent control helped him succeed throughout his career. He finished with a K/BB rate over 5.20 five times from 2003-2011; no other pitcher had more than three such seasons during that stretch.

Seven – Top-five Finishes In Cy Young Award Voting

Halladay did this five times as a Blue Jay and twice as a Phillie, including six consecutive top-five finishes from 2006-2011. And, in 2003 and 2010…

Two – Cy Young Awards

Halladay is one of just six pitchers ever to win the award in both leagues. In 2003, he did it as a Blue Jay with an impressive 266 innings pitched, a 3.25 ERA and a 7.0 fWAR. In 2010, as a Phillie, he won all of the first-place votes with a 2.44 ERA in 252 innings pitched and 6.2 fWAR.

Two – Top-10 MVP Finishes

These came in his first two seasons as a Phillie, in which Halladay was at the absolute top of his game. But more on that later.

Eight – All-Star Appearances

Halladay had four consecutive appearances from 2008-2011, which included two with the Blue Jays and two with the Phillies.

18 – Complete Games As A Phillie

In an age when complete games were becoming rarer, Halladay was the best in the majors at throwing them. 17 of these complete games came in 2010-2011, and no Phillies pitcher has come close to matching that mark since. 

Five – Shutouts As A Phillie

This ranks fourth among all Phillies pitchers since 2000, behind Randy Wolf (seven), Cole Hamels (seven) and Cliff Lee (eight).

Two – No-hitters As A Phillie

One of these no-hitters was just the second one thrown in the postseason in MLB history. It was Halladay’s first career playoff start, in his 13th season in the majors:

One – Perfect Game As A Phillie

On May 29, 2010, Halladay threw the second perfect game in Phillies history against the Marlins:

2.37 – Postseason ERA

Beyond his stellar postseason debut – in which he no-hit the Reds – Halladay was effective in the playoffs. Unfortunately, though, he did not get extensive playoff experience.

0 – World Series Appearances

Halladay was arguably the best pitcher of his era and was on the winningest Phillies team of all time in 2011. However, he never got past a NLCS, much less an indictment on him than the teams he played for.

1.9 – Career BB/9

In his career, Halladay had 172 starts in which he pitched at least seven innings and allowed one walk or less. That led the majors during that stretch, well ahead of Mark Buehrle (151). 

250.2 – Innings Pitched In 2010

Halladay was one of just three Phillies pitchers since 1980 to have a single season with at least 250 innings pitched.

.250 – Career Postseason Batting Average

Yes, it was a limited number of plate appearances. And, yes, it was all singles. But Halladay’s career postseason batting average is higher than Cody Bellinger, Jimmy Rollins and Mike Schmidt.

One – Game In Which He Outhit The Opposing Lineup

Yup. On the day he tossed a no-hitter, Halladay also did this:

16 – Sacrifice Bunts In 2011

Halladay was never a great hitter as a pitcher, but his commitment to improving as best he could at it was just another example of how hard a worker he really was. In doing this, Halladay became one of just two Phillies pitchers to ever have 16 or more sacrifices; John Denny had 17 in 1983.

8.7 – fWAR In 2011

He won the National League Cy Young in 2010, but Halladay was arguably better the following year. He got edged out by Clayton Kershaw in voting for the award that season, but he was just unreal:

16.8 – fWAR With Phillies

Halladay earned 14.9 of these fWAR during his first two seasons as a Phillie. Since 2010, only three Phillies – Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Aaron Nola – have a higher fWAR.

Eight – Seasons With 5+ bWAR

Halladay is the only pitcher since 2000 with eight such seasons.

22 – Battery Mates

Halladay spent 16 seasons in the majors, and he worked with a plethora of catchers. But Halladay preferred former Phillie Carlos Ruiz the most, saying to NBC Sports Philadelphia‘s Jim Salisbury back in 2016, “He was the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to, and, in my opinion, the best catcher in baseball the years I was with him.”

Enjoy this commercial for MLB 2K11 commercial featuring Halladay and Ruiz:

One – Losing Season

There is no debating the fact that pitcher wins have become, for the most part, obsolete. But Halladay was on his fair share of bad rosters, but still managed to finish nearly every season with a record above .500, his only time failing to do so in his injury-shortened 2013 season.

Six – Seasons With An ERA Under 3.00

Halladay has the second most such seasons since his rookie season, tied with Max Scherzer and behind Kershaw (10).

11 – Seasons With A HR/9 Under 1

Throughout his career, Halladay was always effective at keeping the ball in the yard.

85.4% – Percent Of Vote Received In First Time On Hall Of Fame Ballot

Halladay clearly deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, and the BBWAA voters agreed. He entered in 2019, and his plaque bears no team on his cap: he was a Blue Jay and a Phillie.

.708 – Winning Percentage In First Two Seasons As A Phillie

When Halladay pitched, the Phillies won.

Seven – Seasons With An ERA+ Over 140

This ties Halladay for eighth all-time. The names ahead of him? Roger Clemens, Lefty Grove, Greg Maddux, Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Randy Johnson and Christy Matthewson. Not bad company.

Two – Seasons As A Phillie With An ERA+ Over 160

Other Phillies to do this twice? Pete Alexander and Steve Carleton. End of list.

2.40 – ERA In First Two Seasons As A Phillie

Halladay was just otherworldly his first two years in Philadelphia:

5.15 – ERA In Final Two Seasons As A Phillie

Just as unbelievable as Halladay was in 2010-2011, he was extremely pedestrian and injury plagued in his last two seasons as a pro. His 2013 campaign was ultimately cut short due to injury, and it was just clear that Halladay was no longer himself.

.582 – Opposing Hitters OPS Against Halladay In 2011

Since 2000, Phillies pitchers have held opposing hitters to an OPS under .585 just twice: Halladay in 2011 and Aaron Nola in 2018 (.570).

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jaron B

    February 12, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for the memories Doc!

    BTW, those injuries caused him some pain and he did not sleep well. The meds he took may have factored into his crash and death. Just tragic.

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