In a move that surprised no one, Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay unanimously won his second career Cy Young award—his first in the National League—beating out Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright for the most prestigious prize in pitching.
Halladay had a Cinderella first season in Philadelphia, going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts, all among the best in the league. Halladay threw his first career perfect game on May 29th, and the second All-Time playoff no-hitter in the NLDS against San Diego.
The Phillies ace lead the league in complete games for the sixth time in his last eight seasons, approaching career bests in both wins and ERA, though falling short of his 22 win 2003 season.
That 2003 season was Halladay's first Cy Young campaign. Halladay set a career low in ERA in 2005, when he was 28 years old.
Other contenders for the award included Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who finished second in 2009, Florida ace Josh Johnson, and Ubaldo Jimenez, who appeared the overwhelming favorite for much of the first half of the season.
Jimenez faded down the stretch and Halladay finished strong, leading the league in wins, K/BB rate, innings, complete games, shutouts, and walk rate, finishing second in WHIP and strikeouts, and third in ERA.
This second Cy Young award puts Halladay in a select group of pitchers. Only two pitchers with multiple Cy Young awards have been eligible for the Hall of Fame and failed to gain entry, and with three 20 win seasons, a perfect game, and a playoff no-hitter, Halladay looks like a near lock.
At 33 years old, Halladay is among the league's best pitchers, and seems to have a lot left in the tank. This past year was arguably Hallday's best, and over the past four years he has finished third, fifth, second, and fifth in Cy Young voting. Only time will tell if he can repeat this incredible season, but I wouldn't bet against him.