Phillies' Halladay unanimously wins NL Cy Young Award
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) — Roy Halladay arrived in Philadelphia to a standing ovation, a $60 million contract extension and the billing as baseball’s top ace. That was before he threw a single pitch.
Doc delivered, and then some.
Halladay added another victory to an almost perfect season Tuesday, unanimously winning the NL Cy Young Award and becoming the fifth pitcher to earn the honor in both leagues.
“It’s by far the most fun I’ve ever had playing this game,” he said on a conference call from Mexico, where he was golfing with Phillies teammate Mike Sweeney, Cardinals star Chris Carpenter and free-agent pitcher Chris Young.
“It was everything I hoped it would be,” Halladay said.
In the Year of the Pitcher, he became the only one ever to throw a perfect game and no-hitter in the same season.
Halladay was an easy choice after going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts. He led the league in wins and topped the majors in innings (250 2/3), shutouts (4) and complete games (9).
Halladay received all 32 firstplace votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Adam Wainwright of St. Louis was second and Ubaldo Jimenez of Colorado was third. San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum, who won the past two NL Cy Youngs, finished 11th.
“It’s surprising,” Halladay said. “There could have been a lot of cases made, strong cases.”
This year’s AL Cy Young Award winner will be announced Thursday. It could be a much more complicated race.
Felix Hernandez went 13-12, but topped the majors with a 2.27 ERA, led the AL in innings and was second in strikeouts. His Seattle Mariners had the worst record in the league and were either shut out or held to one run in 10 of his 34 starts.
CC Sabathia of the Yankees went 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA and Tampa Bay’s David Price was 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA.
“Obviously, Felix’s numbers are very, very impressive,” Halladay said. “Ultimately, you look at how guys are able to win games. Sometimes, you find a way to win games.”
Acquired from Toronto last December, Halladay quickly adjust- ed to a new league and added to the 2003 AL Cy Young he won with the Blue Jays.
Halladay threw a perfect game May 29 at Florida, then tossed a no-hitter against Cincinnati in his postseason debut.
Voting for the award ended after the regular season. Three days later, Halladay completely overmatched the Reds, the top-hitting team in the NL, in their playoff opener.
Halladay split a pair of matchups with Lincecum in the NL championship series. The Giants won in six games, blunting the Phillies’ bid to reach the World Series for the third straight year.
“We fell short,” he said. “That part is definitely tough.”
Halladay’s seven-year gap between Cy Youngs ties the longest in history, matching Tom Glavine. “To be able to do it again after so long,” he said, “means a lot to me.” Halladay joined Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Gaylord Perry as pitchers to earn the award in both leagues. He credited catcher Carlos Ruiz, pitcher Jamie Moyer, pitching coach Rich Dubee and others for making his transition to the Phillies and the NL a smooth one. “I was definitely worried about going to a new team,” he said, adding he wondered: “How different are the leagues going to be?” His assessment of the NL: “More of a strategic game.” Halladay became the 13th pitcher to unanimously win the NL Cy Young, with Jake Peavy previously doing it in 2007. It has happened eight times in the AL, with Johan Santana last accomplishing the feat in 2006.
Halladay is the 16th multiple winner of a Cy Young Award, a list headed by Clemens’ seven and Johnson’s five. Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux each won four times.
The Cy Young started in 1956. Through the 1966 season, there was just one selection from both leagues.
Halladay was the seventh Phillies pitcher to win the award. Along with Carlton, John Denny won in 1983 and reliever Steve Bedrosian got it in 1987.
The Phillies paid a big price to get Halladay. They wound up trading 2009 postseason star Cliff Lee to Seattle as four teams wound up being part of the swaps.
Halladay got to Philadelphia on the day of the trade and drew a standing ovation from nearly 20,000 fans when he was introduced in person at a 76ers game.
Halladay was dominant in an opening-day victory at Washington and won his first four decisions. The next month, he threw the 20th perfect game in major-league history — only after got pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to hit a grounder for the final out did Halladay break into a big smile.
It was a rare show of emotion. Halladay is well known for his focus and dedication to workouts. In spring training, it was not uncommon to see him in camp by 6 a.m.
“Roy just set such a great example,” Dubee said.
Today, the AL and NL managers of the year will be presented.