Vintage Doc

The first time I ever watched Roy Halladay pitch live was when I was in college at Michigan State. For one of my specialized journalism classes, we actually took a "field trip" to Comerica Park to take in a ballgame, talk to experienced reporters and do a mock interview setting with a couple of Tigers players. The real fun began when all that class stuff was out of the way before the game.

During that game on September 17, 2003, I sat about two or three rows behind home plate and watched Halladay simply baffle Detroit’s hitters. I can still visualize that up-close look at the drastic break on his curve and sharp bite on his cutter and two-seamer. His line that day: 9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 7 K. Well, on Tuesday night here, it was classic Halladay once again.

The Angels just looked helpless at the plate tonight. Sure, they squeezed out five hits — one passed the glove of a diving Aaron Hill, another on a bunt, one more of the infield variety, and two legit hits to the outfield. Other than that, Halladay was masterful: 13 outs via grounder, including 10 between the fourth and ninth. He faced 30 batters and 19 had their at-bats come to a close with three pitches or fewer — four on the first pitch, 10 on the second and five on the third.

After the first inning, only one baserunner advanced to second base — and that was Chone Figgins on defensive indifference in the ninth. The walk to lead off the second was erased on a double play. A leadoff single in the sixth was subsequently canceled out on a fielder’s choice and then a 5-4-3 double play. That inning took a ******** five pitches. There was a single in the eighth, but the runner was stranded and ditto for Figgins at second in the final frame.

All in all, Halladay needed just 99 pitches to turn in his fifth complete game. That’s a big league-best five CGs from a guy who missed three weeks after having his appendix removed in May. At home, Halladay is now 10-1 this season. He only struck out two, but with how early the Halos were swinging, strikeouts weren’t really in the cards.

This, and the 10-inning pitcher’s duel with Detroit’s Jeremy Bonderman might be the two best outings of the year for Halladay. The 1:50 gem that he and Chicago’s Mark Buehrle spun in Halladay’s first start off the DL was pretty amazing, too. Geez, not to mention when those two faced off again in Chicago in July.

Needless to say, Halladay has been a joy to cover as a reporter. You can [almost] always bank on it being a quick game. Tonight, it took all of 1 hour and 58 minutes for the good doctor to dispose of the Angels. Then again, it took about half that amount of time for him to finish with his postgame routine before he came out to talk to the media, but I digress…

Where would this team be without Halladay? It’s a blessing for the Jays that he re-upped through 2010, when he could’ve easily opted to test the open market. Can you imagine what kind of cash teams would throw down for Halladay in the current market for pitching? Kind of makes the $12.8 million he’s being paid this year seem like a bargain, doesn’t it?



    Halliday signing for the money he signed for shows what kind of class individual he is. I remember him saying at the time: “Last time they did me a favor so this time I did them a favor back”.

    He knew, clearly, that he was signing for undermarket money, but he also knew, the Jays needed money to bring in other talent and couldn’t afford to do so, if Halliday got what he deserved. Today he’d likely get 20-25 mill per year for 5 years.

    In this day and age of overpaid underachievers in baseball and other team sports; to see what this guy did, without fan fare or really any public gratification, to help his team is a statement about Halliday the man.

    The closer you look at him, the better he looks.


    burt-good question.

    Purcey was put on the DL right after his last start with apparent arm problems. But, there’s been no information as to how serious it is, what the reccomended treatment is or how long he’ll be out.

    Hopefully, he doesn’t need Tommy John surgury.

    Maybe Jordon could find out his status for us


    Can anyone tell me when they will stop using Luna and Olmeda. I mean they are still in the thick of the race here with 6.5 games back. How do they expect to do it with those to swinging at air. I think Luna is o for 10 or something. Even his sack fly wasnt impressive. What about if Reed Johnston played third and Stairs played leftfield to get him in more often since im sure they are worried about stairs ability to make quick plays at third. Reed at third. Your thoughts and I know Reed is a great left fielder but for offensive reasons it might be a good move. can he play there


    I’ve got to say, I’ll take Luna at third over Johnson/Stairs any day. Although it would be great to have both Johnson and Stairs’ bats in the lineup, they are not third basemen. To make them learn a new position this late in the season seems like grasping at straws.

    Give Luna a chance. He’s started, what, three games since he got to the Jays? That’s hardly enough time to prove anything. Sure, he’ll never replace Glaus’ bat, but he might be able to do a couple of little things….


    I agree with you. I wonder if Olmedo can play 3rd. He looks better to me than Luna defensively.


    Stairs played third in 90-91 while playing in Mexico and in ’94 for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan, so it’s not a new position, although he would certainly be rusty.


    Although I’m a huge fan of Stairs, I just don’t see him doing well at third, even if he did play there in the past. His defense at first and in left is already barely average, so who knows how he’d do at third.

    Luna is not the perfect solution, but unfortunately he’s as good as it gets. His defense isn’t great either, but at least he’s played that position in the past decade. Olmeda’s not too bad an option either — he’s blooped a couple of singles, dropped a nice bunt the other night, and his defense is acceptable.

    Besides, a lot of the Jays’ pitchers are ground ball guys. Why make them pay the price for lousy defense at third?


    Jays gotta to make the playoffs to give Doc the taste of pitching in the playoffs before 2010. Plus, Doc isnt getting any younger and it ain’t easy to have a homegrown ace stay for so long.

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