Roy Halladay is as good as it gets no matter what time of the year. It’s only Grapefruit League action in the middle of March and Halladay is dealing like its Game 7 of the World Series. He is a man about his job and a man who is primed for perfection whenever he takes the hill.
On Thursday, his 3rd spring start, Halladay threw six shutout innings en route to a Phillies 7-0 victory over the hated Yankees at Bright House Field. Halladay was on point retiring the first ten batters he faced. Not to mention that three of those six innings were perfect innings for the ace of all aces. Halladay has now put together eleven scoreless innings so far this spring.
"You're obviously trying to work on things, but you still want to compete," Halladay said.
Halladay’s mind is always on compete mode and needless to say it seems as if Doc is ready to go. Rain, sleet, snow, or hail Doc is hard at work and always with the mindset to improve. I guess a 20 win season, a perfect game, a playoff no hitter, and a Cy Young were just not enough for our top Ace.
A strong work ethic is why Halladay is often labeled the best pitcher in baseball. For most of the Phillies early February is considered early arrival, well Halladay arrived in Clearwater in December. By 5:45 Halladay is hard at work ready to start his regiment. It is this hard work mentality engrained in Doc that will only drive the rest of the pitching staff to work harder.
You have already seen the impact it has had on Cole Hamels work ethic, and Oswalt and Lee are no slouches either. After disappointing 2009 and 2010 seasons the Phillies are driven to work harder and to do more, and Halladay is driving the bus.
We all are well aware of the type of pitcher we have on our hands. With so much talk revolving the most dominant rotation in baseball with the arrival of Cliff Lee, the most dominant pitcher in the game can surprisingly get lost in the shuffle. Now with a full year under his belt in the National League it is scary to think of what Halladay is capable of in 2011. He has no doubt learned a lot about how to pitch at Citizens Bank and how to pitch in a new league.
Halladay being regarded as the best pitcher in baseball is nothing new and even fellow ace Cliff Lee is quick to back up that talk.
"He's the best and he proves it every time he goes out there," Lee said. "He has been for a while, the last four or five years -- six years and probably longer."
With the confidence of his team, the organization, and an entire city Doc is out to prove his dominance again in 2011. The only way to top 2010 would be a World Series title to add to his resume. There is no doubt that his competitiveness will only get more intense as we inch closer to April 1st. Good luck taking the ball from him Charlie.