Roy Halladay is perfect. No one needed a reminder of how great Halladay is, but he proved it once again by firing the second perfect game of 2010 on a Saturday night against the Marlins in Florida. Doc struck out 11 batters on 115 pitches to keep all 27 Marlins from reaching base in the Phillies 1-0 win for the 18th perfect game in major league history.

Dallas Braden’s perfect game on May 9 made the young pitcher a household name, but Halladay’s gem tonight will go down as his standout performance in his soon-to-be Hall of Fame career.

It’s official now—pitching is indeed back as I wrote about three days ago. Does anyone need more evidence that pitching has taken over in 2010? We’ve only seen perfect games in consecutive years three times in MLB history, and now tonight’s perfecto is the second one in the same month! Going back to Mark Buehrle’s perfect game last year, there’s been three in two seasons. Truly unbelievable. Oh yeah and there also was a regular no-hitter tossed this season by Ubaldo Jimenez.

I have no idea what to expect next in 2010, but this is definitely thrilling to watch.


How Major League Baseball makes some of its decisions is unbelievable to me. Instead of avoiding a potentially headache of a situation months ago, they decide to cause havoc right in the middle of the season. Let me back up for a moment and explain. MLB announced today that the Blue Jays-Phillies interleague series in late June that was originally set in Toronto will have to be moved to Philadelphia due to the upcoming G20 Summit in Toronto.

I’m not entirely sure why they couldn’t pull all of this off considering Pittsburgh had the same problem last year with a home series going on the same time when they hosted the G20 last September, but managed to still get the series in against the Dodgers. Though I do understand the huge security risks and the fact that the Rogers Centre is smack dab in the heart of Toronto.

The problem I can’t get past is that the league could have avoided this before the season even started. The G20 Summit Toronto site was announced in early December 2009…the Jays schedule came out three months earlier, but there was still plenty of time to move a series or two around and get things corrected. Instead, they waited till mid May and now the Toronto fans are the ones who will suffer. When you knew about this problem in December and January, why was this not dealt with until May? I don’t understand that at all.

The Blue Jays will still be the home team in Philly, the DH will be used and the teams will split the gate, but I doubt the Toronto fans give a shit about any of that. Roy Halladay’s highly anticipated return to Toronto is gone along with the chance of seeing the two-time NL champs. With the bizarre random interleague scheduling MLB puts together, who knows if Halladay will have a chance to return to Toronto in another year. Speaking of Jays fans, Drunk Jays Fans (a fantastic blog) aren’t taking it too well, and I’m with them.

I know I just wrote a post on how we’re only a month into the season, but after five starts I’m ready to predict the 2010 Cy Young awards. My predictions for the National League and American League Cy Young awards are Roy Halladay and Francisco Liriano, respectively.

Halladay has been special for the Phillies, flying out to a 5-1 record and 1.47 ERA. I know Ubaldo Jimenez has better numbers so far that includes a no-hitter, but I don’t think he’ll manage to keep his ERA under 1.00 all year. Halladay is better because not only has he won five of his six starts, but he tossed three complete games—two of those being shutouts. If Halladay avoids an injury and is able to make 32-34 starts, he’ll easily have 20+ wins and a chance for 15 CG, which is unheard of these days. Not only is he tearing up the National League hitting like everyone expected, but the Phillies offense behind him has been huge for him.

Liriano, on the other hand, looks like he is completely healthy once again after a terrible year last season. One season after going 5-13 with a 5.80 ERA, Liriano has been downright filthy to start 2010. He’s 4-0, 1.50 ERA and 8.4 K/9 through five starts this year. Liriano appears to have found his 2006 form, where he was basically unhittable that year going 12-3, 2.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 121 innings. Plus, the American League Cy Young race should be wide open considering Zack Greinke can’t seem to find a win thanks to the Royals offense. Though speaking of unhittable, Justin Verlander was absolutely dominate today against the Angels. With some consistency, he’ll work his way into the top pitcher talk in the AL along with pretty much the entire Rays pitching rotation.

I know it’s only early May, but enjoy my early predictions for Cy Young.

I wanted to kick each week off with a recap of the recent happenings around the league throughout the last week. I’m not sure what day this will end up on from here on out—Monday makes the most sense since it’s by the beginning of the week and a lot of teams have an off day on Mondays, but depending on my schedule the day may fluctuate.

Let’s start off with the Tigers rolling out to a 5-1 start. What happened to everyone who said they wouldn’t be a good team without Curtis Granderson or Edwin Jackson? Well it looks like the Tigers benefited from some nice scheduling to start the season starting off with the Royals, Indians and now the Royals again for a three-game series. The Tigers rotation will be crucial to their hopes this year. Let’s see where they end up at the end of April after they get the Angels, Rangers and Twins the rest of the month.

Speaking of Jackson, now a member of the Diamondbacks rotation, want to know how shitty the 13-run 4th inning against the Pirates yesterday got? Jackson recorded two hits in the fourth inning, a single and even a home run. This from a guy that had four hits in eight major league seasons even though a bulk of that was spent in the American League.

With Cliff Lee out for probably all of April, the Mariners cannot afford to get in a hole early as they are struggling out of the gate already to a 2-5 mark. Someone in that rotation not named Felix Hernandez needs to step up for the M’s to stay even close to contention until Lee gets back. It’s still early, but after all the additions Seattle made in the offseason it will be an interesting trade deadline if they fall out of it early.

The Houston Astros are the only team yet to win a game in 2010. Not a real surprise here, but I’m curious to know if the Astros are 0-fer at the trading deadline does the brass still make moves to go for it as if they were in a pennant race?

Roy Halladay seems to be enjoying the National League very much so. He’s already 2-0 with 0.56 ERA in 16 innings with one CG, 17K’s and only two walks. Yikes to the rest of the NL East! We knew Halladay was a beast and now in the NL, if he stays healthy I’m predicting at least 15 CG from him this year.

The 5-2 Twins will open Target Field this afternoon against the Red Sox on ESPN. This will mark the first time the Twins have played outdoors in Minnesota since 1981. Anyone have the weather forecast for Minneapolis? Actually, it appears to be in the 60s today so that shouldn’t be much of a problem, but the weather channel’s website actually did an interesting feature on the typical weather to expect in April and October at Target Field. It’s safe to say at some point soon we’ll see some snow at the new ballpark.

The Giants ran off a nice 5-1 start thanks to a 2.79 ERA, good for fourth best in the major leagues. The pitching was expected, but they are also fifth in the league with a .289 average. I doubt they will hold that average and score runs, but they have a chance to extend their solid start with three upcoming home games against the Pirates.

Remember the scene in the beginning of Major League II where all the success from the prior season went to the heads of some of the players—Hays was in a movie and trying to hit for power, Vaughn is clean-cut, shows up in a limo and is obsessed with his image. That’s the scene that comes to mind when someone brings up Cole Hamels’ rough 2009 season.

Hamels celebrates Phillies 2008 Championship

Hamels was on cloud nine after his breakout 2008 season that included a dominating postseason performance that culminated into a championship and World Series MVP award. So Hamels did what any young, successful, next-big-thing athlete is expected to do in the following offseason, he signed on for a ton of endorsements, commercials, photo shoots, you name it. He may not spent as much time that he normally would on his offseason workout to get into shape and keep mentally strong and therefore, what followed was a major step back for Hamels in 2009.

He threw about 40 less innings in 2009 and saw his ERA rise from 3.09 in 2008 to 4.32 in 2009. Hits went up, strikeouts decreased and wins fell from1 4 to 10 last season as well. The Phillies still made the playoffs and won the National League, but Hamels was horrendous in the postseason (7.58 ERA). This is exactly why Hamels is the key to the Phillies 2010 season.

Sure the Phillies added Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in the majors, this offseason, but Halladay doesn’t necessarily add much that Cliff Lee didn’t give last year. I have no doubts that Halladay will be sterling for the Phillies this year and have a good chance to win the Cy Young in the NL, but nobody could have pitched any better than Lee did down the stretch for Philadelphia. Halladay merely replaces Lee as the rotation ace (I still believe the Phillies could have and should have held onto Lee for this season and dominate their way to another title with Halladay and Lee, but that’s a topic for another day).

Hamels played the role of ace in the Phils 2008 championship run. It’s imperative for the Phils to get Hamels back on track to become the first National League team to appear in three consecutive World Series since the Cardinals in 1942-44.

Joe Blanton is a good number three pitcher and JA Happ had a solid rookie season and can developed in the back end of the rotation, so with Hamels and Halladay pitching like premier aces especially in the playoffs, it makes the Phillies very difficult to beat with their potent offense.

But if Hamels can’t figure it out and pitches like a number 4-5 as he did last year, the Phillies will struggle to not only make a championship run, but to defend their NL and division pennant.