Thursday, August 4, 2011

Roy Halladay Has His Eyes On The Prize (Again)

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The mighty Philadelphia Phillies (71-39) are on another bull run and it looks like the NL East title is almost in the bag for them. The Phillies are currently on a 6-game winning streak and have extended their lead over the second-place Atlanta Braves (64-48) to 8 games. With their lethal pitching staff and the addition of All-Star Hunter Pence to bolster a (sometimes) shaky offense, the Phillies are well-primed to capture their 5th consecutive NL East title.

Philadelphia's ace, Mr. Fantastic Roy Halladay (14-4, 2.55 ERA, 159 K, 1.02 WHIP), is making another bull run of his own as he is making a strong case to win the NL Cy Young Award. Halladay is looking to follow in the footsteps of San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum (2008, 2009) as the second consecutive back-to-back winner and right now he's the odds-on-favorite. Should Halladay win the award, it'll be the 3rd of his career.

Also in the running for this year's prize are the following--

1. Clayton Kershaw (13-4, 2.68 ERA, 177 K, 1.03 WHIP)

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2. Ian Kennedy (13-3, 3.17 ERA, 134 K, 1.11 WHIP)

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3. Jair Jurrjens (12-4, 2.63 ERA, 85 K, 1.14 WHIP)

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4. Cole Hamels (12-6, 2.62 ERA, 145 K, 0.97 WHIP)

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Some thoughts--
  • Halladay looks well-positioned to win the award again. Last season (his first with the Phillies) he was 9-2 after August 1st and so far this season he looks primed to repeat last season's performance as he's already 1-0 in August so far. If I were a gambling man, I'd put my money on it.
  • Ian Kennedy is my sentimental favorite to win the award. After witnessing his rough go-of-it with the Yankees here in New York, it's good to see the kid develop into a top-notch pitcher at his own pace and not have to deal with the immense pressure that goes with playing for the win-now Yankees and the take-no-prisoners New York media.
  • A win by Clayton Kershaw would be a great thing for Dodgers fans after the ugly, drama-filled season they are experiencing out there.
  • A couple of weeks ago I would have put my money on Jair Jurrgens but he has had rocky outings in 3 of his last 4 starts, allowing 15 earned runs in those 3 starts, which has hampered his chances and knocked him a few spots down in the totem pole.
  • Cole Hamels has an outside chance but playing on the same team with Halladay doesn't help. As long as Halladay keeps putting up the numbers, Hamels will have to take a back seat.
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In my opinion, Mr. Fantastic will walk away with the prize (again) when it's all said and done.

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