Roy "Doc" Halladay has been one of baseball's best models of consistency over the last five to 10 years. He's won two Cy Young Awards, pitched a perfect game and postseason no-hitter, and even as he approaches his 35th birthday, he has shown no signs of slowing down.
Rumors swirled throughout spring training that Doc's velocity was down and his control had eluded him. However, we've seen through Halladay's first two starts this season—a 1-0 road win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Opening Day and a 7-1 home win over Josh Johnson and the Miami Marlins last night—that he's looked just as good as ever. With 15 innings under his belt this season, Doc currently sports a 0.60 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, and has eight strikeouts, not to mention he's picked up the win in both of his starts to date.
Simply put, Doc is able to compensate even when he's given little to work with. Last night was the kind of night any pitcher dreams of, but when you take into account that the Phillies were only able to score one run on eight hits against the Bucs last week, and also that the team was on pace to score 370 runs for the entire season before last night's game, it's a little disconcerting, to say the least.
However, Halladay is no ordinary pitcher. As we've seen, he seems to improve with age and has a work ethic unlike almost anybody else in the sport. There's a reason that San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson referred to him as a "cyborg" at the All-Star Game last year—he's just durable and just that good.
There's little reason to believe that Doc will struggle this year. Even with poor run support, Halladay will manage, and unless he pitches his arm off, there's no reason why Halladay can't win 20 games—if not more—or even place in the top three of NL Cy Young Award voting. But how, you ask? Keep reading.