The man they call Doc Halladay had a mighty impressive first season in the National League, and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) certainly took notice.
Roy Halladay, the ace of aces for the Philadelphia Phillies, won the National League Cy Young Award unanimously, taking home all 32 first place votes. He easily outdistanced Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Colorado Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez— who seemed like a lock to win it when he arrived at the All-Star Game with a 15-1 record.
Halladay made his first NL campaign a most memorable one, as he led the senior circuit in wins (with a 21-10 record), complete games (nine), shutouts (four) and innings pitched (250.2). He anchored a terrific starting rotation that led the Phillies to the best record in all of baseball during the regular season.
The Phillies’ ace was both spectacular and steady. His most spectacular outing, of course, was his May 29 perfect game at Florida, in a game where the Phillies could only manage one unearned run against Josh Johnson.
Other highlights included Halladay’s 4-0 record with an 0.82 ERA and two complete games in his first four starts of the season, and his last regular season start of the season which may have clinched the “Cy.” Pitching in Washington against the pesky Nationals, he hurled a two-hit shutout without yielding a single walk.
Who will win the NL Cy Young in 2011?
His spectacular performances in 2010 included his first-ever postseason action, even if the postseason does not figure into the balloting. Facing a potent Cincinnati Reds lineup in Game 1 of the NLDS, all Doc did was throw the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history. He was one walk away from a perfecto.
Doc also kept the season alive by winning Game 5 of the NLCS versus Tim Lincecum and the eventual world champion San Francisco Giants. That he did so pitching on one good leg only added to his legend.
Halladay was steady as well as spectacular. In his 33 starts, he failed to pitch at least seven innings only four times. His shortest outing was 5.2 innings in an 8-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox. His next outing: the perfecto versus the Marlins.
The 6’6” future Hall of Famer, one of the most obscure superstars in the game entering the 2010 season, posted spectacular stats, and continued to do so in a way that furthered his reputation as the ultimate competitor, a workout fiend, and a terrific teammate.
The 33 year-old, still looking to add a World Series title to his trophy case that now boasts two Cy Young Awards (his first was achieved in 2003 while pitching in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform) would appear to have a few prime seasons left and it would surprise nobody in baseball if he authors another Cy-worthy campaign in 2011.
Every now and then, the baseball writers get it right, even if Halladay made it eminently easy for them to do the right thing.
Halladay is just the fourth Phils pitcher to be honored with this award, along with Steve Bedrosian (1987), John Denny (1983) and Steve Carlton (a four-time winner in 1972, 1977, 1980 and 1982).
Doc is now the fifth pitcher in MLB history to win a Cy in both leagues, joining Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Gaylord Perry.
Halladay went seven years between Cys, tying the Braves' Tom Glavine for the longest gap between awards.
New teammate Roy Oswalt finished sixth in the balloting.
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