Right Field

Halladay: Pitcher of the (13-Year-Old) Century?

Marc Normadin of SB Nation makes the case that future Hall of Famer Roy “Doc” Halladay, who announced his retirement earlier today, has been the most successful pitcher in the bigs since the new century began:

From 2001 through 2011, Halladay threw exactly 2,300 innings, an average of 209 per year. His ERA+ in that stretch was 148, and he struck out 4.5 times as many batters as he walked. He had more complete games (64) than he did hit batsmen (60), managed a sub-three ERA (2.98), and, on the aesthetically pleasing side, won games at nearly a .700 clip, racking up 175 victories against 78 losses. In 2010, he threw a perfect game against the then-Florida Marlins, and five months later, twirled the second-ever postseason no-hitter to open up the National League Division Series against the Reds. Those were the highlights from a season in which Halladay threw 250 regular season innings, struck out over seven times as many batters as he walked, and faced just under 1,000 batters in the regular season alone. . . .

In short: Halladay was the pitcher in baseball from 2001 through 2011, and even if you compare him from 2000 through the present, rather than just his extended peak years, he’s still the best example of quantity and quality that the game has had to offer this century. While [Randy] Johnson and [Johan] Santana both feature slightly higher ERA+ from 2000 onward — 137 and 136 to Halladay’s 131 — Halladay threw 561 more innings than Santana has to this point, and 701 more than Johnson ever will.

More here.

Jason Epstein is the president of Southfive Strategies, LLC. He was a public-relations consultant for the Turkish embassy in Washington from 2002 to 2007.

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