Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay: 10 Reasons To Take Halladay Over Lee in a Game Seven

Adrian FedkiwAnalyst IIIJanuary 27, 2011

Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay: 10 Reasons To Take Halladay Over Lee in a Game Seven

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06:  Roy Halladay #34 and Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate Halladay's no-hitter and the win in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvan
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    The only big difference between these two starting pitchers is their throwing arm.

    They each throw four plus pitches, all for strikes and on both sides of the plate; two-seam fastball, cutter, curveball, sinker and changeup.

    Philosophically, they both approach pitching the same way. 

    They don't get flustered, and they want the ball.

    So, I had to pick someone, and I'd rather take Halladay.

    Here's ten reasons why.....

Unhittable Stuff

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    When Halladay is at his best, you saw what he did.  He threw two no-hitters last season, one a perfect game.  When he is in complete command of all his pitches, perfection can be achieved.

    Lee has had some very memorable postseason starts as well, but not a no-hitter.

    His ALCS Game Three performance in the Bronx against New York was, in my opinion, Lee's best.

    Lee pitched eight innings, struck out 13 and gave up just two hits and one walk in the Rangers 8-0 win.

Strikeouts

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    NEW YORK - OCTOBER 27:  Cliff Lee #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies speaks to the media after World Series workouts on October 27, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Key strikeouts can kill and end a rally. 

    Let me throw out a hypothetical situation.  The game is tied at one in the seventh inning with a runner on third and less than two outs.

    Who would you trust more to get out of the inning unscathed, Halladay or Lee?  Who do you trust more to get that pivotal strikeout?

    I will say this, Lee had double-digit strikeout totals in each of his first three starts in the postseason last year. 

Durability

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06:  Roy Halladay #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies walks to the dugout in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Halladay has logged over 220-plus innings in each of the last five seasons.

    Lee has gone 220-plus innings in just two of his last five seasons.

    In a game seven, if you’re offense gets up early, the strategy of the pitcher is to shorten the game.  I would take Halladay over Lee in this aspect.

    Last season, Halladay pitched nine complete games to lead baseball.  Lee tied for second with seven complete games.

Late Movement and Command

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 07:  Starting pitcher Cliff Lee #34 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies in Game One of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Citizens Bank Park on October 7, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Lee and Halladay both throw cut and two-seam fastballs on both sides of the plate very effectively.

    Halladay’s pitches have more late movement, and it’s tougher for the hitter to square the baseball.

    In Roy Halladay's no-hitter against Cincinnati, Halladay threw 25-of-28 first pitch strikes.

Short Rest

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 27:  Pitching coach Mike Maddux talks with Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers against the San Francisco Giants in Game One of the 2010 MLB World Series at AT&T Park on October 27, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed J
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Out of the two pitchers, which guy can step up and throw three games in a series. 

    Usually you'll see the no. 1 starter go Games One and Five. 

    Lee has never pitched on short rest, Halladay has.

It's Only Been Two Years

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers pitches gets set to throw a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    As remarkable as Lee has been in the postseason the last two years, I’d still like to see him to continue to perform this way in order to keep climbing up the all-time postseason pitcher ranks.

    Here's a perfect example of an overreaction.

    After starting his postseason career 7-0, Lee lost two consecutive decisions in last year's World Series.

    When you think of some of the greats over recent years Curt Schilling, Josh Beckett and Andy Pettite immediately came to mind.  These three brought their best stuff in the postseason for more than two years.

    It may be a bit harsh, but I'd still like to see him dominate some more during the postseason before I annoint him as one of the best Postseason pitchers ever.

Bullpen Capabilities

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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

    Let's say Lee or Halladay pitches Game Five. 

    Out of the two, who would be able to give you three stellar innings in a Game Seven late game situation?

    Again this is a very tough question to answer.  Their pitching demeanors rank up the best in baseball. In my opinion Halladay maintains better focus.  I think he would be more composed in a bleek and dire situation.

Shutouts

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    MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 27:  Pitcher Jack Morris #47 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Atlanta Braves at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minneapolis, on October 27, 1991. The Twins defeated the Braves 1-0 in game 6, the final game of the 199
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Roy Halladay led Major League Baseball with four shutouts. while Lee had just one.

    In the 1991 World Series, Jack Morris threw ten shutout innings in a Game Seven Twins World Series win over Atlanta.

    Out of Halladay and Lee, who would be able to duplicate Morris' amazing feat?

Lee Has Not Performed As Well On The World Series Stage As You May Think

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    ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01:  Cliff Lee #33 of the Texas Rangers watches a 3-run home run hit by Edgar Renteria #16 of the San Francisco Giants leave the ballpark in Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1, 20
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    These stats may shock some.

    Lee has pitched in the last two World Series, and has started four games.  His overall World Series numbers are rather lackluster.

    CAREER WORLD SERIES STATS: 2-2 4.55 ERA 1.12 WHIP

    Lee was amazing in that Game One against the Yankees in the 2009 World Series, but his last three World Series starts aren't eye-popping.

Unrealistic Expectations

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    PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 15: Pitcher Cliff Lee #33 of the Philadelphia Phillies talks with the media while general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. watches during a press conference at Citizens Bank Park on December 15, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    The expectations surrounding the Phillies pitching staff, especially Halladay and Lee are out of this galaxy.  Lee is human.

    Yes, he's as calm and composed as they come, but people are treating Lee like he's Sandy Koufax.  And this is not a detriment to Lee whatsoever.

    It's the entire story.  Lee comes to Philly for half a season, gets traded and comes back to the Phillies a year later.  A five year $120 million dollar contract sinched his arrival.

    The Phillies are one of the greatest preseason World Series favorites in MLB history, and the Lee signing has mostly to do with it.