Congratulations, Roy Halladay! And good luck…

22 09 2010

Philadelphia Phillies ace pitcher Roy “Doc” Halladay notched his 20th win of the year Tuesday, with a 5-3 victory over National League East rival Atlanta Braves.

He deserved to celebrate in the locker room that night, being only the fourth Phillies pitcher since 1917 to win 20 games, and the first since Steve Carlton’s 23-win season in 1982. But he decided to let the celebration wait. He wants to celebrate being in the post-season for the first time in his career.

And that celebration looks more likely day by day.

With the win last night, the Phillies have won nine in a row, and have opened up a five game lead over the Braves for top spot in the NL East. With just 10 games to play, the Phillies’ magic number to clinch the division is 6 – meaning any combination of Phillies wins or Braves losses totalling 6 will give the Phillies their fourth straight division crown.

Prior to this year, Doc has not been in a position to take part in the Phillies’ success. Until 2009, he had worked hard over twelve seasons to make his mark with the Toronto Blue Jays, winning 20 games twice and earning Cy Young honours in 2003. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have not seen the post-season since winning back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-93, and were not likely to be in the playoffs anytime soon. And so, Halladay left the Jays after last season and signed with the Phillies, and in doing so, has a legitimate shot at the one thing missing in his stellar career: a world title.

I couldn’t be happier for Roy. He has earned this chance. As much as it pained me to see him leave the Jays after 2009, it was clear that he was not going to see the post-season in Toronto. And that was the determining factor in Doc joining the Phillies – he wants to see the playoffs, and maybe even get a World Series ring in the process.

It looks like you’ll get that chance this year, Doc. Best of luck to you!

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