Roy “The Complete Game” Halladay

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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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

11 Responses to “Roy “The Complete Game” Halladay”

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  1. dan says:

    I had to read this a few times… “when healthy, durability is not an issue; he has pitched 220+ innings in four of the last six years.”

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  2. Eric Seidman says:

    Pretty crazy. 239, 266, 220, 225. The other seasons were injury-plagued. Otherwise I fully expect he would have reached the 200+ mark.

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  3. dan says:

    That’s not what I meant…. I was referring to this part of it…“when healthy, durability is not an issue”

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  4. Eric Seidman says:

    Oh, haha, good catch. That’s not what I meant. It’s corrected.

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  5. Andrew says:

    I never understood his ‘injury plagued’ status. In 2004, he was coming off 266 innings and was ineffective due to a strained shoulder. The next season he was absolutely dominant until Kevin Mench nailed him with a line drive, breaking his leg.

    Roy Halladay has had an interesting career too. He came within 1 out of throwing a perfect game in his 2nd ML start. In 1999, he was inconsistent but showed flashes of dominance with his first career Shutout. In 2000 he sucked. He was demoted to the minors and actually started 2001 in A+. After reworking his mechanics, 2002 saw the debut of the new Doc Halladay.

    Also, Doc may be durable, but Dustin McGowan has better stuff.

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  6. Eric Seidman says:

    I remember watching an ESPN special on Halladay before that chronicled what happened with his mechanics. Things got so bad that he almost quit playing. He had gone from almost the highest of highs in that second start to a drastic low. Apparently it had to do with his release point. He was coming too over the top and was tipping his pitches. When he started to throw out of his current slot, his curve was masked better and hitters didn’t know what was coming. And I LOVE McGowan. Him and Shawn Hill.

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  7. Eric Seidman says:

    And Andrew, the reason I didn’t call him injury plagued is exactly from what you mentioned. He isn’t injury plagued, but as I mentioned in the article, he has suffered some injuries. However, when he is healthy he goes very deep into games with ease.

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  8. Andrew says:

    It’s his philosophy that helps that too. His idea of a perfect game is 27 pitches. His arm slot is now a 3/4 overhand which also added sink to his fastball. He can pump it in there in the mid to high 90s but usually holds back for better movement and endurance.

    Doc is a pitcher who has figured it out between his ears. To me, he’s like Greg Maddux, except with a mid 90s fastball.

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  9. Eric Seidman says:

    To me, Halladay and Sheets are two guys whom I wish fate would have been kinder too. It’s hard for me to put anyone in the same category as Maddux since he is my idol but Halladay is one of those guys that made me interested in the MLB digital cable package in order to watch other games.

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  10. Spooner says:

    Here’s the question: Is Halladay a HOFer when he’s done. I say he gets to 200 wins but that won’t guarantee his inclusion. What might do it though is his single-handed effort and ability to keep the CG alive. I sure hope he’s a HOFer.

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  11. Eric Seidman says:

    Spooner, I would say Halladay’s chances are slim to none. Don’t get me wrong, he is one of my favorites to watch (Maddux, Smoltz, Oswalt, Halladay, Cain, Pettitte in case you were wondering) but realistically speaking I just cannot see him getting in. In the early days of the HOF it was joked about that in order to get in you should sign with the Yankees. While that isn’t true anymore, being on a winning team definitely increases your chances. The Blue Jays have toiled in obscurity for a long time and so I would say, while he is the kind of guy that we both definitely want to see receive all the credit in the world, the Blue Jays will have to start winning (divisions/wild card) and/or Halladay will have to post insane stats from now until the end of his career.

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