Roy Halladay? Roy Halladay. Roy Halladay, Roy Halladay, Roy Halladay. Roy Halladay!
With due respect to Shane Victorino, whose two hits and two RBI helped him lead all batters with a .179 WPA, it was one of those games where you felt like the pitcher could have won it by himself, even with a lineup filled with nine Roy Halladays. In fact, Doctober’s one hit (a liner to left that Johnny Gomes misplayed) and RBI were good for a .079 WPA, second on the team, so in this case that was true. A team full of Roy Halladays would have won this game. He accounted for 80.4% of the teams WPA.
But of course it was his work on the mound that was so impressive. He showed legendary control in pitching his no-hitter, only producing 25 balls on 104 pitches. He induced weak groundball after weak groundball (12 of them, to 6 fly balls). He was efficient – using only 11.6 pitches per inning. He was dominant. He had the kind of game that will go down in history right next to Don Larsen’s perfect game. He produced a game of which everyone who watched felt unworthy. He was awe-some.
And yet, he had a tiny bit of help, including a great play by Carlos Ruiz to close out the game. Check out this game graph from Brooks Baseball, which shows that John Hirschbeck’s strikezone was a little bit generous on the sides, but nothing that Orlando Cabrera should have been whining about:
Doesn’t matter. Halladay deserves all the credit he can get. Look at the strikezone plot of his pitches, an exercise in control and command:
We wondered how hungry Halladay was in the Lincoln-Douglas Remix preview, and it seems he’s hungry enough to eat the postseason. Second no-no in postseason history? Amazing. First postseason appearance? Legendary. There are practically no adjectives that really get it all the way right.
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