If the game had been played Friday night, Alex Rios would have been sitting on the bench. Cito Gaston changed the line-up for Saturday, and Rios came through with his ninth homer. It would be all the offense the Jays needed, as the real story was Doc Halladay tossing his eighth complete game of the season.
The Sox were nearly helpless, scratching out just seven hits and a walk against Halladay. The Sox did hit a few balls hard but right at the defense. So it goes for a guy like Halladay. And if you don’t think the complete game is impressive, check out the stats:
The last pitcher in the major leagues to throw as many as 10 complete games in a single season was Randy Johnson, who threw 12 complete games in 1999 for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The last pitcher to throw as many as 15 complete games in a single season was Curt Schilling, who accomplished that feat for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1998. The last pitcher to throw 20 complete games in a single season was Fernando Valenzuela, who did so for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1986. The last pitcher to throw 25 complete games in a season was Rick Langford, who had 28 for the Oakland Athletics in 1980. The last pitcher to throw 30 complete games in a season was Catfish Hunter, who did so for the New York Yankees in 1975.
It’s a dying art with all of the specialty pitchers – lefty specialists, set-up guys, closers – not to mention pitch counts.
This afternoon, on a stellar Sunday with just a touch of fall in the air, we get the magic of Josh Beckett. Let’s bring the offense back. Treat ’em like they’re the Rangers (who shut out the Rays yesterday?).
Congrats to Michael Phelps!