Before we anoint Zack Greinke as the best pitcher in the American League or argue that Randy Johnson will be the last 300-game winner, we maybe should spare a few thoughts for Roy Halladay, who just turned 32 and only seems to be getting better. Latest example: Tuesday night, when Doc set a career high with 14 strikeouts.
Halladay also threw a complete game, and 133 pitches. This is a particularly interesting in light of a conversation that Jordan Bastian had with Cito Gaston before the game ...
- "If Doc can get us through eight innings, or seven innings, with 110-115 pitches, that's great for him," Gaston said. "If he feels like he can go another inning, most of the time I'm going to let him go another inning. Sometimes I won't, but most of the time if he feels strong about it then you let him go. Let him at it."
That being said, Gaston also keeps in mind that later in the season, if the Jays are still in the running for a playoff spot, he might want to have Halladay healthy and ready to go on short rest. Toronto did that with him last season. What Gaston doesn't want to ever do is put Halladay at risk of injury, though.
"You certainly have to keep an eye on him," Gaston said. "I know Doc's a free agent after next year. Whether he decides to stay here or leave, he's one guy you'd like to stay here healthy or leave here healthy, because he deserves to be that way with what he's done for this organization."
According to Bluebird Banter's Tom Dakers ... oh, and a Bluebird is not the same as a Blue Jay, but never mind ... according to Dakers, Gaston didn't have anyone warming up in the bullpen until Halladay gave up a two-out single in the ninth. Seems a little late, considering that; a) the score at that point was 6-4; and b) Halladay had thrown 127 pitches.
I don't mean to suggest that Gaston was risking Halladay's health. I mean, maybe he was; I'm just not suggesting it. What I will suggest is that if Gaston were going to risk Halladay's health or late-season freshness, letting him throw more than 130 pitches would be a brilliant start.