“I don’t feel like I was as sharp as I’ve ever been,” Halladay said. “But I was able to be aggressive because of the runs we scored.
Ho-hum, says Doc. Another complete game. I’ve been better. And he’s right…this was not a “stuff” night, the handful of times a year where every pitch is working dynamite out of the gate and it’s just a matter of if the Jays are going to score a run at some point in the next nine innings. Doc’s change was flat as a pancake (and quickly discarded) and his curve was more of a slider. (See here for how to read this thing)
Probably the most interesting thing is that he was throwing two kinds of cutters- one a good 5 mph faster than the other (labeled as a 4-seamer). Last year after he outdueled Buerlhe, A.J. Pierzynski mentioned that the Doc was throwing a new pitch like that and it was nasty, but then it disappeared. I don’t know if that was the innovation that Fasano taught Halladay that he eventually abandoned, but it looks like it’s back. Also, contrary to popular belief, Halladay does not really throw that many cutters and curves any more- last year he was almost a pure sinkerballer.
But of course this isn’t the full picture…0 walks and 104 pitches total means that Roy had something else working as well:
Maybe I’ve been staring at these damn things for too long, but that chart gives me goosebumps. Every single sinker is jamming hitters right on the corner or diving off the plate in on the hands. The curves are all flirting with the bottom of the zone or falling out the bottom of it. And the cutters are played beautifully on the opposite corner. There’s maybe a dozen pitches there all night that wouldn’t be absolute torture to hit, and even they aren’t straight.
Incidentally, the most complete games this millennium is 9, shared by Livan Hernandez, Boomer Wells, Mark Mulder, Bartolo Colon, and err….Roy Halladay. The Doc now has 5 in 1/3 of the season (which is on pace to break the 90’s record, too). The rest of the league didn’t bother to show up for this one- nobody else has more than 2 CG so far.