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Yesterday, Roy Halladay tossed his fifth complete game of the year and became baseball’s first 10-game winner. He now has a 2.40 ERA, and at age 34, he is on pace to have the greatest season of his great career.His 2.40 ERA is tad better than his career-best 2.41 ERA in 2005 with the Blue Jays. But if we dig a little deeper, we can see that he has been even better than those numbers suggest.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner, now has a 2.16 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching*) which is considered a truer indication of how well a player pitched.
And at the halfway point of the season, Halladay has already been worth 4.5 Wins (Wins Above Replacement**), and is on pace for a career high 9.0 WAR. His previous best was in his first Cy Young season (2003) when he was worth 8.0 Wins. Since 2000, only four pitchers have had 9 WAR seasons. Those guys are pretty good: Randy Johnson, Zack Greinke, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling.
The Phillies currently have the best record in baseball (49-30) and the biggest reason has been Halladay. If he can keep this up, the Phillies are going to waltz their way to the World Series. And every other team in the NL is playing for the opportunity to lose to the Phillies in the playoffs.
All data via Fangraphs.com
* FIP looks at all the things a pitcher has direct control over (home runs, walks, strikeouts, etc.) and ignores things that are more dependent on how well his defence is playing behind him. It is considered a better indication of how well a player pitched.
** WAR looks at a player’s overall contribution to a team, measured in Wins. WAR allows all players to be compared on the same scale, regardless of position played.
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