“They both (statistics & bikinis) show a lot, but not everything.” – Infielder Toby Harrah
Lee and Halladay
I want to make myself perfectly clear. Its been obvious since just after the All Star Break that Cliff Lee was bound to win the AL Cy Young. His spectacular comback from relative obscurity in 2007 combined with his league leading era and wins total made him an excellent, if not unbeatable, candidate. Roy Halladay, receiving roughly half of the number of votes that Lee received (132-74), should have been much less of an afterthought.
I have a bias towards Halladay, obviously, since I live just outside of Toronto and I watch him season after season pitch at a high level despite his often less than stellar run support. Regardless, however, of my opening quote I will now turn to a few statistics to support my case for Halladay. He was second in the league in ERA, tied for second in wins and third in strikeouts (a career high). But wait, there’s more, much more. He led the league in complete games, WHIP, shutouts, batters faced and SO to BB ratio. Halladay finished second or close to Lee in the categories Lee dominated, Lee similarly paced Halladay in all but strikeouts and batters faced.
What does this come down to? The loss column. Lee lost just 3 to Halladay’s 11. What gives? Look at some of those losses! Halladay threw a complete game loss, a number of late inning losses and suffered some of the worst run support this side of Kansas City. I am not blaming those who voted in Lee for the Cy Young. Did the Blue Jays offense lose Halladay a trophy. Yes.
Halladay was the best pitcher in ball in 2008. Elias Sports Bureau agrees. What makes the difference is that when the game was on the line, the Jays bats could not deliver for their wonderfully faithful ace. Think of that, JP, when you’re shopping this winter.