Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay easily won the NL Cy Young award today. He becomes one of only five players to win the award in both the American and National leagues.
Halladay led the NL in wins this season, and also led the league in innings pitched, shutouts, and complete games.
The former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher had never tasted the playoffs before this year. That all changed when the Blue Jays traded him to the Phillies. Halladay was given a three-year, $60 million contract extension and produced results immediately.
He finished the year 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts in his first season in the NL. Of those 21 wins, nine were of the complete-game-variety and four were shutouts. On May 29, he tossed a perfect game against the Florida Marlins.
Although the Phillies stumbled in the playoffs, no fault can be placed on Halladay’s shoulders, as in his first playoff game, he tossed a no-hitter versus the Cincinnati Reds, who were the top-hitting team in the NL. Of course, by that pont, all votes had already been cast for the award, so nobody was skewed by his brilliance in the postseason.
Halladay had previously won the AL Cy Young award with the Blue Jays. Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson are the only other pitchers to win the award in both leagues.
Baseball award season continues on Wednesday with the AL and NL manager of the year awards being announced, followed on Thursday by the AL Cy Young award announcement.
Having had the pleasure to see Halladay on more than one occasion live, it is easy for me to say that he is one of the top five pitchers I have ever seen pitch, live or on TV, and I have seen a lot of them. He truly deserved the award in my mind, and I am glad he is finally getting some of the recognition he wholeheartedly deserves.