Pitching for a legitimate contender for the first time in his career, Roy Halladay was faced with great expectations virtually all of 2010. He spent his first season with the Phillies not merely meeting those expectations, but surpassing them.
Considered the heavy favorite to win the NL Cy Young, Halladay validated that early sentiment with arguably the best season of his career. He led the NL in W (21), IP (250.2) and CG (9), finished second in SO (219), WHIP (1.04), and W% (.677), and third in ERA (2.44).
The highlight of Halladay's regular season was obviously the masterpiece he turned in on May 29 in south Florida, as he retired all 27 Marlins he faced en route to the 20th perfect game in MLB history.
The calendar flipped to October and the baseball world was eager to see what the doctor would do given the opportunity to pitch in the postseason for the first time. Needless to say, he did not disappoint. In a performance for the ages, Halladay no-hit the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS. Though it was only the second no-hitter in postseason history, coming from Halladay, it was hardly surprising.
As he ages, pitching in the National League should be conducive to his continued success. Though 33 years old, and not yet showing signs of slowing down, he is nearing milestones (200 wins, 2,000 K) that some pitchers do not reach until the tail-end of their careers.
A master of his craft, a fierce competitor and a total class act, Halladay is a pure joy to watch and a more than welcome throwback to the great pitchers of old. He is the best pitcher in the game today, and has solidified his status as the greatest pitcher of his generation.