Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Reasons Roy Halladay Dominates In His First Postseason

JohnContributor IIISeptember 26, 2010

Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Reasons Roy Halladay Dominates In His First Postseason

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 30, 2010 at Dodger Stadium  in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Roy Halladay has been an ace for the Phillies this year.  He is 20-10 with a 2.53 ERA.  But with a division title just beyond the Phillies' grasp, there are a lot of questions about how Halladay will perform in his first postseason.

    Although he pitched very well for both the Phillies and the Blue Jays, the postseason is new to him.  There is a lot of debate about whether his playoff performance will be as good as his pitching in the regular season.  I am going to talk about why Halladay will dominate in what could be the biggest opportunity of his career.

1. He Is Prepared and Ready

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 14:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the New York Mets on August 14, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Over the offseason, the Phillies wanted a new pitcher, and Roy Halladay seemed like a perfect fit.  Halladay agreed to go to the Phillies for one main reason: He wanted to pitch in the postseason.

    Halladay now has just what he asked for: a chance to pitch in the playoffs.  It's what he's been waiting his whole career to do.  And when he agreed to the trade, he knew he was ready to pitch in the playoffs.  Now that he has that chance, he knows that he can do well.  He knows his team and he knows the league, and he's as ready as ever to go out there and dominate.

2. He Is the No. 1 Starter In a Trio Of Aces

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 1, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    With Hamels and Oswalt doing as well as they are, it takes a lot of pressure off Halladay, because he knows that he doesn't have to win every game.  Hamels and Oswalt can get other wins even if he doesn't win all of his starts.

    This lessens the pressure, and pitchers pitch a lot better when they are not under pressure.  But in case there is still a lot of pressure...

3. He Can Pitch Very Well Under Pressure

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    LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 30:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 30, 2010 at Dodger Stadium  in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    This is where the statistics come in.

    For the three years before this season, Roy Halladay has pitched well with runners in scoring position.  He has a batting average against of .230, which shows that he is good when there is a lot of pressure on him.

    Also, with a full count, there is a lot of pressure on both the pitcher and the batter.  Halladay handles that situation very well, having a .198 batting average against and more strikeouts than walks.

    Lastly, when there are two outs, there is a lot of pressure to get the last out.  Halladay usually gets that out, having a .186 batting average against in this situation.

4. He Pitches Well at The End of The Season

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 6:  Roy Halladay #32 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium May 6, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Although he has never pitched in a postseason, Halladay's statistics show that he pitches very well as the season is coming to a close.  Hopefully, his end-of-the-year hotness will carry on into the postseason.

    In the three Septembers from 2007-2009, Halladay was 9-5 with a 2.41 earned run average.  If he is that good in the postseason, he will help the team a lot and may get some important wins for the Phillies.

5. He Has Experience and Skill Vs. The Yankees

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 14: American League All-Star Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the 2009 MLB All-Star Game at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2009 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
    Pool/Getty Images

    For the 11 years Halladay spent with Toronto, he was in the same division as New York Yankees, which means he pitched against them a lot.  Currently, the favorites for the World Series are the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees.  If the Phillies do play the Yankees again, they won't have much experience against them because they are in a different league.  Luckily, Halladay may be able to solve that problem.

    Not only does Roy Halladay have a lot of experience against the Yankees, but he also has some impressive numbers, too.  For the last three years he was with the Blue Jays, he went 9-2 against New York with a 2.51 ERA.  If the Phillies play the Yankees in the World Series, Halladay's experience can be an important weapon against New York.

6. He Is Good Against Some Possible Playoff Opponents

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 14:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the New York Mets on August 14, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Roy Halladay has only been in the National League for a year, but he has still posted some strong numbers against a couple of the teams the Phillies may face off against in the playoffs.

    Against the San Diego Padres this season, Halladay is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA.  Against the Braves this year, he is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA.  The last team is the Reds, who he has a 2.50 ERA against.

7. He Will Be Pitching On a Lot Of Rest

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 14:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the New York Mets on August 14, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    This year Halladay has pitched a lot.  He has pitched over 30 games, and he leads the league in innings pitched.  He has pitched eight complete games, and a lot of other games in which he had high pitch counts.  But he has still pitched great.  And if he pitches in the playoffs, he will have a lot more rest.

    One reason that he has pitched so many innings may be that Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson were previously not pitching very well.  But now they are pitching great.  And if Halladay could pitch well without as much rest and with high pitch counts because he didn't have good relievers to rely on, then just think about how he could pitch with a lot of rest and with a strong bullpen to rely on. 

8. He Has a Great Fanbase Behind Him

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    PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 01:  The Philly Phanatic, mascot for of the Philadelphia Phillies performs against the New York Yankees in Game Four of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 1, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by C
    Chris McGrath/Getty Images

    Philadelphia has a great fanbase, and the fans will be especially pumped up in the playoffs.  Back in Toronto, there was not a very good fanbase to support Halladay.  Now, though, Halladay has the Phillies fans to support him, and that could have a big influence on the way he will pitch.

9. He Has a Great Team Behind Him

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31:  (L-R) Raul Ibanez #29, Shane Victorino #8 and Jayson Werth #28 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate following their teams victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Moving to the Phillies not only gave Halladay a chance to pitch in the playoffs, but it gave him a great team behind him.  And there are a few ways that can help him pitch well in the postseason.

    First of all, the Phillies have a very good defense.  This means that Halladay can pitch for contact, that he doesn't have to strike everyone out. 

    Also, the Phillies have a very good offense.  Halladay knows that the offense will probably score a lot of runs, so he can give up a few runs and still maintain a safe lead.  This will lessen the pressure on Halladay, because he knows that he doesn't have to shut out every team, and that could make him pitch a lot better.

    Last of all, the Phillies team is very experienced.  They especially have a lot of experience in the postseason, and this could help Halladay a lot because their experience in the playoffs can make up for Halladay's inexperience in the playoffs.

10. He Has a Lot To Prove

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    PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Cliff Lee #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the New York Yankees in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phi
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Roy Halladay has been pitching in the Major Leagues for a long time.  He has been a very good pitcher, but he still has not made a postseason.  To prove that he is really a great pitcher, that he deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, he needs to prove that he can pitch well in the postseason, because the postseason is where he will face the strongest competition.

    Also, over the offseason, the Phillies traded away Cliff Lee.  Even though the Phillies got Roy Halladay, the fans were still mad that Lee had been traded away.  And last year in the playoffs, Cliff Lee truly dominated.  So this year it is up to Halladay to prove to everyone that he is as good as, or even better than, Cliff Lee.  He wants the fans to forget about Lee.  And the only way to do that is by proving himself in the playoffs.

    Putting all of this together, I think that Roy Halladay is poised for a great postseason.  With their other two aces, this seems like it might make the Phillies unstoppable in the playoffs.