I work for the texting company KGB. You may have seen the commercial about two Heisman trophy winner Archie Griffin .
Basically for 99 cents you text any question to 542542 and I research and answer it. I jump at the chance to answer sports question and on Sunday night I got a text that just made me smile. Who is the best pitcher in the NL?
When Johan Santana was asked in March who was the best pitcher in the NL East he quickly replied "Santana." He didn’t even think about it and when this question came to me I too didn’t take too long to respond. Roy Halladay is hands down the best pitcher in the NL. 5-1, 1.47 ERA, 49 IP out of a possible 54. Many would possibly make the case for other pitchers and honestly I may be a bit biased as I am a Phillies fan but as of now Roy Halladay is not just the best pitcher in the NL, but the entire majors.
If you were to compare Roy Halladay's first 5 starts to Johan Santana's first five starts in the NL it doesn’t compare. Santana joined the Mets in 2008 and in his first 5 starts he had a respectable 3-2 record with a 3.12 ERA. Halladay had a 4-1 record with a 1.80 ERA. Santana pitched in only 34 2/3 innings while Halladay went 40 IP out of a possible 45. When compared to each other Halladay is simply a better pitcher.
Now those stats were comparing a 2008 Santana to a 2010 Halladay. When you look at the body of work that Roy Halladay has put together this season, Santana isn’t even mentioned. Santana got rocked on Sunday night against the Phillies giving up a career high 10 ER in only 3 2/3 IP. The outing raised Santana's ERA to 4.50 while only pitching in 34 innings for the Mets. He hasn’t been bad but Santana hasn’t exactly been as good as Mets fans expected. Halladay however has.
In 6 starts this season Halladay has a 5-1 record. After his complete game shut out on Saturday he lowered his ERA to an amazing 1.47 and has only walked 4 batters. His 49 innings pitched is impressive but considering it’s out of a possible 54 innings pitched it’s that much more impressive. His 3 complete games and 2 shut outs are best in the majors.
While Halladay's 1.47 ERA rank fifth among NL pitchers the reason why it’s so impressive is when you look at his innings pitched. His 49 innings pitched rank best among all NL pitchers with Dan Haren in second place a full nine innings behind Halladay. When you look at the guys in front of Halladay in the race for the ERA crown in the NL make sure you take a look at the amount of work they have done this season. Ubaldo Jimmenez with 34 1/3, Livan Hernandez with 31, Jamie Garcia with just 26 innings, and reigning Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum with 35 1/3.
Obviously the more you pitch, the more chance you have to give up runs and raise your ERA. The fact that Halladay has been able to give up just eight ER in that amount of time on the hill is impressive. Santana gave up more ER on Sunday then Halladay has all season.
With a shaky bullpen Roy Halladay has been the Phillies rock. He has gone at least 7 innings in each of his six starts this season and has composure on the mound like I have never seen. Batters are hitting .220 off of him and while he doesn’t walk many batters (4 all season) when guys do get on Roy is able to bear down and get the out.
Tim Lincecum is a stud and Adam Wainwright is one of the best in baseball. But right now they all play second fiddle to Roy Halladay.