mweir145 wrote:It was odd to see him declining at the age of 29 and 30, and because of that I was always of the belief that he'd been pitching hurt for the past few years. It appears that may have been the case, especially when you go back and notice that he had "forearm" problems in late 2006 that caused him to miss the last few weeks.
Don't forget to add in the Blue Jays' history of not exactly being forthcoming about, or brilliant in handling, injured players.
I'm not sure I would trust Halladay to actually tell the truth to the team about his injuries, anyway. He's the type that would just pitch through it, and I think he very well could have been doing that for a couple of years.
slink wrote:It's my belief that Halladay's K ratio dropped because he wanted to pitch longer into games by just inducing ground balls. I think he worried that if he tried to strike out pitchers, each batter would take more pitches and he wouldn't be able to go longer into games.
I don't really know about that. I doubt his motivations on the mound have changed at all, but he's now striking out significantly more batters than ever before. His stuff has definitely improved from last year, he's getting more swings and misses now.
When Roy Halladay first emerged as an elite starter he missed plenty of bats, but his strikeout rate has dipped in recent years as he focused more and more on pitching to contact. The change in approach served Halladay well because his excellent control and ground-ball inducing ways let him pitch deep into games while conserving his pitch count, but meanwhile the lack of strikeouts kept him from being a truly elite fantasy pitcher.
From 2001-2005, Halladay struck out 19 percent of the batters he faced, including a career-high 204 strikeouts in his Cy Young-winning 2003 season. Between 2006 and 2007, he struck out just 15 percent of the batters he faced and managed just 132 and 139 strikeouts despite logging 220 innings both years. Interestingly, after two years of pitching to contact Halladay is missing more bats this season than he has since 2001.
Halladay held the A's to one run over eight innings Monday, picking up his 13th win while fanning eight. With 149 strikeouts in 175 innings he's already surpassed his season totals from 2006 (220 innings) and 2007 (225 innings) while fanning 21 percent of the batters he's faced. He's combined the best of both approaches by conserving pitches, throwing strikes, inducing ground balls, and working deep in games while still missing bats. Add it all up and it's a Cy Young-caliber year.