Blue Jays righty Roy Halladay has earned his reputation as being a top-tier pitcher, one of the best this decade. Predominantly utilizing a combo of fastballs, cutters, and curveballs, Halladay keeps the ball on the ground, generating grounders just about 60% of the time. Though he has suffered some injuries in the last few years, when healthy, going late into games is not an issue; he has pitched 220+ innings in four of the last six years. This durability has led to 32 complete games since 2002, seven more than closest competitor Livan Hernandez. The entire AL had 64 complete games last year and Halladay accounted for seven of them.
There have been 16 complete games this year and Halladay currently has four of them. Additionally, his other two starts have seen him go for seven and eight innings respectively. Oddly enough, despite pitching a complete in each of his last four starts, his W-L in that span is 1-3. His three consecutive complete game losses ties a Blue Jays record set in 1980 by Jim Clancy. The last pitcher to lose consecutive complete games is another Roy: Roy Oswalt, who did so in 2006.
The last major league pitcher to throw four consecutive complete games? Well, that would be Halladay back in 2003. The all time record for consecutive complete games belongs to Jack Lynch, with 198; his record was compiled between 1881 and 1887. Halladay would need an average of 33 starts in each of his next seasons just to make 198 starts, let alone go the distance.
Very interesting about his complete games is that he is not overextending himself by throwing a ton of pitches. Through 49.2 innings he has thrown 648 pitches, which amounts to an average of 13 per inning. His complete games have consisted of the following pitch counts: 110, 117, 107, 112. The Blue Jays have scored 115 runs this year, just 17 of which have come in Halladay’s six starts. The team has provided an average of 4.67 runs/gm in non-Halladay games and just 2.83 runs/gm for their ace. Hopefully the team can start scoring runs or else this former Cy Young Award winner may find himself qualifying for next month’s edition of unluckiest pitchers.
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