I couldn’t decide about what to write about today. I was thinking of doing a heavy statistical analysis on historical Blue Jays closers to see just what kind of a season Kevin Gregg is having (that may still come tomorrow). I thought about a live game blog during this afternoon’s Jays/Royals game. I thought about another long winded diatribe on the movie Major League.
But then I read this rumour while perusing CBS Sportsline this afternoon:
Report: Phils close on Oswalt, try to deal Werth
The report states that the Phillies, itching for a rotation upgrade, could spring for the expensive Astros starter in exchange for Werth, a power hitting outfielder.
Upon reading that, I instantly felt a wave of pity for Roy Halladay.
Flashback to December: Roy Halladay has been traded to the Phillies for a haul of prospects. Experts everywhere have begun handing the National League title to the Phils, and have already begun engraving Halladay’s name on the Cy Young Award. A few even dared to predict a 30-win season.
Now, halfway into the 2010 season and only about six months removed from those predictions, here are those same Phillies frantically trying to acquire yet another ace to help them defend their title. Wow.
The biggest reason he didn’t win a Cy Young award last year for Toronto might have been the fact that the Jays just couldn’t score any runs for him. In 2009 Doc went 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 208 K, 9 complete games, and 4 shutouts. He managed all of that while only receiving 164 runs of support in all 32 of his starts combined (5.1 per game).
But this year was supposed to be different. He was going to Philly, with a small bandbox ballpark and a lineup full of sluggers. Imagine Halladay pitching in front of Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard? If he pitches anything like he did in ’09 his win total will be through the roof!
Well, statistically speaking he has actually pitched better this season, but somehow his record is worse. Through 20 starts Doc has a 2.40 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 131 K, leads the league in IP (154), complete games (7) and shutouts (3), and has thrown a perfect game. Yet he is only 10-8. Believe it or not, the offensively loaded Phillies have only scored 78 runs for him this year, a meagre 3.9 per game.
Because of this, the team that was supposed to dominate the NL is sitting in third in the NL East, seven games behind Atlanta, and four back of the Reds for the Wild Card. Philadelphia has 48 wins. Toronto, the team that was supposed be left for dead after Doc left, also has 48 wins.
Imagine what Halladay must feel when looks at the standings every morning and sees his ex-mates hitting bushels of home runs and staying above the .500 mark, while his team of high priced talent and former All-Stars falls further and further from the top.
I’m not going to sit here and write a variety of “what-if” scenarios to try and show that Halladay should have stayed. Would Toronto be closer to the playoffs right now with a rotation of Halladay, Marcum, Romero, Cecil, and Morrow? Maybe. I could probably skew the data to say anything that I wanted. But that’s not the point.
The point is that this was supposed to be a grand coming out year for our former ace. This was supposed to be the year that he got to pitch for a true contender, to taste a pennant race, playoff baseball, maybe even the World Series. Instead it is turning into an absolute disaster, a type of season that Halladay has grown frustratingly accustomed to: a dominating pitcher being let down by those around him.
Poor Doc. Poor, poor Doc.