Roy Halladay is starting to look even better than he did during his 2003 AL Cy Young Award winning campaign.
After shoulder problems last year limited him to just eight wins, Halladay feels he is back to pitching at least as well as he did in 2003, when he won a career-best 22 games.
However, his numbers this season suggest he may be even better. The 28-year-old right-hander has won six of his last seven starts, yielding a combined six runs in 55 2-3 innings during that span.
He threw a five-hitter for his major league-leading fifth complete game in a 4-1 victory over St. Louis on Monday. Halladay, who struck out five and walked none in his 20th career complete game, has 10 wins in 14 starts this season while his 2.33 ERA is second in the league behind Texas left-hander Kenny Rogers (1.98). He needed 16 starts to win his 10th game in 2003, posting a 3.82 ERA to that point.
“He’s having some kind of year,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Halladay. “He’s in an elite class and that’s what those kind of pitchers do.”
Asked if this season has been better than his Cy Young year, Halladay said, “It’s tough to say, but as far as goals and preparation it’s the same.
“I just try to go out and make quality pitches, nothing more, regardless of what happens, good or bad. I’m just going to keep the same approach, and be aggressive. I’m just going to focus on what I can do.”
Toronto, which had scored just 14 runs in its previous seven games, did not appear to miss its home run and RBI leader Vernon Wells, who left the team this weekend to be with his pregnant wife.
Bill Hall homered and had three hits for the Brewers, who have lost seven of eight.