The big question regarding Roy Halladay entering this season was whether he would pitch like he did last year, when he struggled through injuries to a .500 mark, or 2003, when he took home the AL Cy Young Award.
Halfway through the campaign, the biggest question surrounding Halladay is whether or not he will start the All-Star game.
The hard-throwing right-hander will try to become the AL’s second 13-game winner when the Blue Jays open a three-game series with the Texas Rangers at Ameriquest Field.
Halladay, who went a career-best 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA two years ago to take the AL’s top pitching honor, was just 7-7 in 21 last season as he battled through arm problems.
Toronto’s staff ace has bounced back with a vengeance this year, ranking second behind Chicaco White Sox right-hander Jon Garland (13) in wins, while leading the AL with five complete games and a 2.33 ERA. Halladay is also third in strikeouts with 104.
He limited Boston to one run and five hits over eight innings Sunday, earning a 5-2 victory. Halladay has worked at least six innings in all 18 of his starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Blue Jays pitcher to start a year with a streak that long was Pat Hentgen’s 20 in 1997.
“He’s in an elite class,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Halladay. “That’s why he is who he is. The (Curt) Schillings, the (Randy) Johnsons, they all do that.”
The Blue Jays topped Oakland 4-2 on Thursday to take two of three from one of the majors’ hottest teams. Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer for the second straight night for Toronto, which has won two in a row and six of eight.
The Rangers dropped the final two games of their three-game series with Boston, including Wednesday’s 7-4 defeat. David Dellucci homered twice and Michael Young also went deep for Texas, which split a four-game set with Toronto from April 14-17.