07/12/2003 3:58 PM ET
Halladay wins lucky 13 for Jays
Right-hander has not lost since April 15
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
TORONTO -- An old baseball maxim says that momentum is only as strong
as the next day's pitcher. In Roy Halladay's case, perhaps it should be
Momentum hardly applies to a pitcher who never loses.
"Amazing is a good word to describe it. This guy's something different
not the average human," said Carlos Delgado, Toronto's All-Star
guy's an animal. The way he works, the way he goes about his business
five days, sometimes even four days. He's been nothing short of
Toronto's ace hasn't lost since April 15, a span of 17 starts in 12
He's won 13 straight decisions, two short of the franchise record set
by David Wells in 20010
On Saturday, faced with a four-game losing streak, the Blue Jays needed
Halladay at his dead-level best. That's exactly what they got: The
right-hander worked eight innings of four-hit baseball, leading the
Jays to a
10-3 win over New York.
"I think it's important for me to focus on going game-to-game and
pitch-to-pitch," Halladay said about his streak. "It's really not
I'll look back on, and I probably won't until the season's over."
Saturday's final score was augmented by the home team's late charge:
scored two runs in the seventh and six runs in the eighth to put the
Here's the impressive part: Halladay (13-2) did his All-Star act on
days' rest. It was just the second time in his career that he'd pitched
such short rest, and he made it work for his second win in those
"Physically, I feel real good. We made some adjustments in the workout
and I feel as strong as I did early in the year," he said. "I'm happy
way I feel right now and I'll try to keep it there. It's just a matter
adjustments in your throwing, making sure you don't overdo it."
"Right from the get-go, you could tell he was on his game, the same way
the last time he pitched on three days' rest," said Toronto manager
Tosca. "He doesn't cease to amaze me. That's not a lower-division team
faced. That's a team that grinds and has All-Stars up and down the
"We're treading on uncharted water here -- he is basically our
There's nothing I'd love more than to see him on four days. We'll keep
at it, and if he's OK, maybe next year we'll take a look at that."
In Halladay's latest start, New York only managed two baserunners in
five innings. Both made it to second base, where Halladay stranded
Toronto (49-45) built up a 2-0 lead in that span, thanks to a solo
Vernon Wells and a run-scoring single by Reed Johnson.
Finally, in the fifth, the Yanks (56-36) scored their only runs off
With two outs and one man on, Jason Giambi tied the game with a laser
line drive that cleared the right-field fence. That was all the AL East
leaders could produce, but it was enough to briefly tie the game.
"That's going to happen to him a lot," Tosca said about the close game.
he pitches in the rotation, he's probably going to be facing someone
No.1 or No. 2. They're going to gear up for him, and our
pretty much knows it's going to be a low-scoring game."
"You know that every time he pitches we have a chance to win the game,"
Delgado said. "You don't want to take him for granted, though. You
to go out and help him out, do what you've gotta do."
On Saturday, that meant grinding into the seventh inning, when two
runs scored on a single by Frank Catalanotto. After that, the flood
opened: Toronto plated five more in the eighth to put the game out of
With such a one-sided score, Halladay didn't come out for the final
day ended with six strikeouts and no walks. In his last 17 starts,
has struck out 80 batters with only 12 walks. Twenty-three of his 24
on balls that never left the infield -- only one, a fly out to right
made it into the outfield.
"I think that's important for me. It lets me know I'm keeping my
down," he said. "I've given up a few home runs this year, so I'm going
and keep the ball on the ground."
The victory moved the Blue Jays to eight games out of first place in
East. Toronto has one more game before the All-Star break, a Sunday
against New York. Kelvim Escobar will start that game and face New York's Jeff Weaver.
Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to
approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.