There are currently two theories floating around the internet as to why Philadelphia Phillies starter Roy Halladay had to leave last night’s game against the Chicago Cubs without recording a single out in the fifth inning: 1) temperatures approaching 40 degrees Celsius caused last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner to experience a form of heat exhaustion; and 2) the Phillies forgot to bring the proper machinery coolant with them when they traveled to Chicago and didn’t want to further damage the corrosion-resistant nickel-based alloy that comprises a third of Halladay’s structure.

Halladay’s departure with head athletic trainer (cybernetic engineer) Scott Sheridan by his side came after only four innings of official work. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time in 63 road games that Halladay didn’t last at least six innings, the first time a pitcher has done that since Hall of Famer Walter Johnson, who pitched at least six innings in 82 straight road games from 1911 to 1915.

So, just how dominant has Halladay been this season before last night’s overheating?

  • He has struck out 7.72 batters for every one that he’s walked. That’s almost two whole strikeouts better than the next best pitcher, Dan Haren.
  • His 1.10 walks per nine innings is the lowest in the league among starting pitchers.
  • He’s only walked 3.3% of the batters he’s faced, again good enough for the best in the league.
  • He has the best FIP and xFIP, as well as the best park and league adjusted FIP and xFIP in baseball.
  • His tERA (2.35) and SIERA (2.56) also lead the league.
  • No pitcher in baseball has furthered his team’s probability of winning games this season more than Halladay.
  • No other pitcher in baseball is among the top five in runs above average for two separate pitches, his cutter and his curveball.
  • His 5 wins above replacement rank Halladay first in the National League among starting pitchers and second including position players, with only New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes ahead of him.

Not bad, but all he really wants is to feel human emotion once again.

And The Rest

The Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals have all made calls to St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak about Colby Rasmus, but a deal involving the young center fielder still seems unlikely.

Why are the Colorado Rockies so seemingly eager to deal Ubaldo Jiminez?

Nolan Ryan went to the hospital yesterday with chest pains, but tests revealed no new heart issues for the Texas Rangers president. He’s expected to be released today or tomorrow.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are through with their Aaron Heilman experiment.

Last night’s New York Yankees come from behind victory over the Tampa Bay Rays was delayed after a lightning strike caused a bank of lights to go out. No one knows what Steven Stamkos was doing in the area.

Dave Cameron finishes up his annual trade value rankings with his top ten.

The Seattle Mariners and their general manager.

The New York Mets would be willing to pay the rest of Carlos Beltran’s salary this season if the return was good enough in a trade.

Today in trolling: Bill Conlin writes about Billy Beane. As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s very fair and balanced.

The Philadelphia Phillies will be looking to add a bat and a reliever before the July 31st trade deadline.

As baseball continues to see a decline in African American participation, Ozzie Guillen shares his thoughts on the Negro League Museum:

There’s nothing quite like a play-by-play announcer quitting on air:

Finally, there’s this:

Comments (23)

  1. Does this mean we can retire the tiresome “Halladay is a cyborg” meme? Because the man has always been human, just not emotional on the field.

  2. He’s not a cyborg? God forbid people have a bit of fun…

  3. “The Blue Jays saved themselves at least $100 million with the extension they gave Bautista last winter, which now looks like one of the best decisions any GM has ever made.”

    Fortunately for us, Parkes isn’t the GM.

  4. Lol .. the manager who quit the Lake County Fielders was our very own non-Vietnam vet, Tim Johnson

  5. Is Halladay better with the Phillies than he was with the Jays, or is the National League really just that bad?

  6. Both. Remember that he added another effective out pitch in a changeup when he first got there.

  7. I don’t necessarily think either of those statemtns regarding Halladay’s dominance are true. He was very good with the Jays, but the offence didn’t always come through.

    Also, has anybody noticed Adrian Gonzalez’s less than MVP numbers recently? Bautista is almost caught up to him in Avg, which would really just leave Gonzalez with the RBI lead. But, he can’t be that valuable. The Sox scored 15 last night, Gonzalez only driving in 1.

  8. what does the offense not always coming through have to do with how he pitched? yea he lost too many games 1-0, but that hardly relegates him to “very good” – he’s been an ace for 10 years now.

  9. I love the idea of forced museum visits.

    I am also considering starting a fully interactive, audio visual Ozzie Guillen Museum.

  10. Any progress on the pick 6 group or should I just start a getting blanked group ?

  11. @Jeff2 the MVP talk about Gonzalez is just plain retarded see – http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/debunking-the-al-mvp-narratives/

  12. Fullmer, you’re missing the entire point of the Bautista contract debate. Just because Bautista hasn’t regressed, it doesn’t mean anybody was wrong for being against the Jays taking such a massive risk.

  13. Wow. That Mariners article reminded me so much of Jays fans. So many people have taken up the “Riccardi fallback” that if the Jays spend money on anyone it will become a Vernon Wells like albatross.
    The thing I never understood about the Bautista thing is where the “massive risk” comes in. 10-15 million dollars is NOTHING for a professional baseball team’s salary. Even with that payment, the Jays sit at around 65 million in actual salary obligations in 2011. That’s 40 million less (!) than 2007-08. Jose could start freebasing in right field between innings and his contract still wouldn’t really impact our ability to compete for FAs.

  14. @Beaster

    I made a profile and joined. Haven’t played before but it looks interesting.

  15. While you two were out looking for precedents that didn’t exist (http://blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2011/02/16/rumour-jays-and-bautista-near-65-million-agreement/), citing Keith Law’s flawed arguments (http://www.drunkjaysfans.com/2011/03/layin-down-law-destroying-bautistas.html), and generally freaking out over the length of the contract for little reason (http://www.drunkjaysfans.com/2011/02/breaking-report-jays-give-bautista-65.html), I told both of you repeatedly about the possibility of huge reward if Bautista retained even a bit of his success. And sure enough, that’s exactly how this has unfolded. Nobody expected him to get this much better, of course, but there wasn’t really much reason to think he was suddenly going to lose the power and patience skills that he showed last season.

    And sure, there was risk, but a massive one? Really? For a team that claims they can spend $140M on payroll, this contract would have had a minor effect even if Bautista completely bottomed out. If they had not made this deal, Bautista would either be gone in the winter or he would have cost the team $150M.

    AA has repeatedly shown that he’s willing to take risks to acquire potentially elite talent and the Bautista contract was no different in this regard. In fact,, this just might have been the greatest risk that a MLB GM has ever taken.

  16. Keith Law’s arguments are even more ridiculously off base in retrospect.

  17. Doc could sweat through his shirt in the Arctic… I’m surprised he doesn’t overheat more often.

  18. I wouldn’t have signed Bautista to his contract, and even if the exact same situation came up again I probably wouldn’t do it. I don’t think it’s ridiculous to doubt something happening that has never happened before.

    It’s worked out incredibly well, and I’m glad, but it wouldn’t have been a risk that I would’ve taken. I don’t think it’s a matter of being right or wrong about taking the risk. I was wrong about what Bautista could do in his follow up year.

    And thank god I was. Can you imagine this team without him?

  19. In sports, there are always firsts. Situations where there are no real precedents for what you’re seeing and where playing the percentages isn’t necessarily the right play. You’ll find there’s always somebody doing something incredible or amazing that nobody has ever seen before. Indeed, such record-setting performances are part of what makes sports so captivating to its audience. As a talent evaluator, you just have to be astute enough (and perhaps even lucky enough) to recognize those situations and act on them.

    In the end, I guess, it came down to the fact that the Jays believed in Jose Bautista as a player (and as a person). Many others didn’t. I make fun of the intangibles side of the game often (mostly because of its overuse in the MSM), but there is something to be said for it. One of the main reasons the Jays didn’t feel he would regress significantly or become complacent after his contract precisely was his mental outlook. They believed in the skills (and his ability to maintain those going forward), of course, but also his makeup.

    And I don’t have to imagine the team without him, I’ve had to watch it the last three awful games. The dearth of elite talent on the major league roster outside of him becomes obvious when he’s gone.

  20. Though I should note that Yunel Escobar is pretty damn elite when he’s hitting like this.

  21. Somebody needs to give Geoff Baker (the Seattle Times writer) some Zoloft.

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