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Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Updated: June 11, 10:00 AM ET
Halladay has the tools, but can he carve out 30 wins this season?

ESPN.com

Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire

Roy Halladay is 10-1 through 13 starts this season. He also leads the majors in innings pitched with 100.

By Peter Gammons, ESPN

Roy Halladay leads the major leagues in wins with 10, and he has pitched more innings (100) than any other pitcher. As we sit here in June, the question is: Can he be the first pitcher since Denny McLain in 1968 to win 30 games?

Start with this fact: In 1968, when McLain went 31-6 for the world champion Tigers, he started 41 games. Halladay likely will start 35. Those extra six games make a big difference, and that's before we get into the fact that back during the Johnson administration, bullpens were hardly significant.

Roy Halladay

Starting Pitcher
Toronto Blue Jays

Profile

2009 Season Stats
GM W L BB K ERA
13 10 1 12 88 2.52

Halladay might have 22 remaining starts. What makes the run toward 30 wins more difficult is the fact that the Jays have 15 remaining series against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays. He has to get wins in 20 of those 22 remaining starts and, for the season, have a total of five no-decisions or losses. That makes 30 wins improbable, if not impossible.

Halladay is unique, gunning that hard sinker down and in on left-handed batters from the extreme first-base side of the rubber, which he thinks gives him a few inches on either side of the plate in hitters' eyes. He told Mike Flanagan, one of the game's great pitching minds, that he throws at 45-50 feet in his between-start side sessions to preserve arm strength and energy. According to Flanagan, the last pitcher to do that was Tommy John.

So maybe Halladay will win 27, like Bob Welch in 1990. Whether it's 25, 27 or 30 wins, Halladay is one of a kind.

Past Baseball Tonight Clubhouses: June 8 | June 7 | June 4 | June 3 | June 2

TOUCH 'EM ALL

Touch 'Em AllWho went deep? Keep track of all the home runs hit each day on "Baseball Tonight" and on the Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page.

For more, check out the Home Run Tracker page.

Home Run Tracker
NAME HR OPPPITCHER SITUATION
D. Wright, NYM4PhiHappBot 2: 1-2, 1 Outs. None on.
M. Olivo, KC6CleLeeTop 3: 1-0, 0 Outs. None on.
D. Ortiz, Bos3NYYBurnettBot 2: 2-2, 0 Outs. 1 on.
M. Mora, Bal3SeaVargasBot 1: 2-2, 2 Outs. 1 on.
C. Beltran, NYM8PhiHappBot 3: 0-0, 1 Outs. 1 on.
R. Howard, Phi18NYMSantanaTop 4: 0-1, 2 Outs. None on.
R. Ibanez, Phi20NYMSantanaTop 4: 0-2, 2 Outs. None on.
B. Inge, Det13CWSBuehrleTop 2: 1-0, 2 Outs. None on.
M. Gamel, Mil2ColHammelBot 2: 2-1, 1 Outs. None on.
N. Reimold, Bal7SeaVargasBot 5: 1-0, 1 Outs. None on.
J. Rollins, Phi4NYMSantanaTop 6: 0-1, 2 Outs. 1 on.
M. Fontenot, ChC6HouMoehlerTop 3: 1-1, 0 Outs. None on.

The complete list of Tuesday's homers

ON DECK: WEDNESDAY'S BEST MATCHUPS

Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET

Chien-Ming Wang continues his search for his first win of the season. Obviously it hasn't gone well this season for Wang, who enters with a 14.46 ERA. Tim Wakefield, meanwhile, has won three of his past four outings despite the fact his ERA has jumped from 3.59 to 4.50 in that stretch.

Phillies at Mets, 7:10 p.m. ET

Cole Hamels appears to have figured out what was ailing him earlier in the year. He has not lost since April 23, winning his past four decisions. He is coming off a gem on the road against the Dodgers, against whom he tossed a complete-game, five-hit, zero-walk shutout. On the other hand, Mike Pelfrey has not won since May 7, although that's mostly because he hasn't gotten much help. In four of his past five games, Pelfrey did not permit more than two runs -- although the exception is when he was hammered for nine runs by the Pirates in his most recent start.

Tigers at White Sox, 8:11 p.m. ET

Justin Verlander might be the hottest pitcher in baseball. He has won his past six decisions, going 6-0 in nine starts since his April 17 loss at Seattle. Four times in the current hot stretch, he has pitched shutout ball, including his most recent outing, when he went eight innings without allowing a run. In that game, the Tigers' offense didn't offer much support and Verlander walked away with a no-decision in a game Detroit ended up losing 2-1. John Danks can't quite seem to find his consistency. After three decent outings, he was hit hard his last time out in a 6-0 loss against Cleveland.

For the rest of Wednesday's schedule, click here.

BBTN ON THE AIR: WEDNESDAY

TIME WHO'S ON?
10 p.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Steve Phillips, John Kruk, Chris Singleton

12 a.m. ET
ESPN
Host: Steve Berthiaume
Analysts: Steve Phillips, John Kruk, Chris Singleton

BBTN MINUTE: WHAT NEXT FOR STRASBURG?

SIMON SAYS

Simon Says ESPN researcher Mark Simon digs deep, looking for the night's best baseball numbers.

Tonight, he looks at the Yankees' hitters who entered Tuesday's game with the Red Sox with at least a .300 career batting average against Josh Beckett. It didn't go well for those six hitters, who went a combined 1-for-14:

Notable Yankees vs. Josh Beckett
Career BA vs. Beckett Tuesday
Melky Cabrera .364 0-for-2
Nick Swisher .357 0-for-2
Jorge Posada .346 0-for-2
Derek Jeter .341 0-for-3
Robinson Cano .346 1-for-2
Johnny Damon .316 0-for-3

WEB GEMS

TUESDAY'S BEST AND WORST

BEST
Beckett• The Yankees' offense had been rolling lately. Then along came Josh Beckett, who dismissed the New York hitters over six innings of the Red Sox's 7-0 win at Fenway Park. Beckett permitted one hit -- a fourth-inning single to Robinson Cano -- and struck out eight. Over his past three starts, spanning 20 2/3 innings, he has allowed six total hits. He is also 5-0 in seven starts since April 30.
WORST
Rodney• The bullpens in the Tigers' 7-6 win over the White Sox. First, Detroit's Fernando Rodney walked the bases loaded with a three-run lead in the ninth as the White Sox scored three times to send the game into extra innings. The White Sox's 'pen immediately faltered, with Chicago's Scott Linebrink giving up a solo homer to Miguel Cabrera with one out in the 10th.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

Rodriguez Houston Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has been the team's best pitcher thus far, leading the staff in wins, ERA and strikeouts. It hasn't been because of his fastball, which has been average. His curveball, however, has been very good and has been the main reason for Rodriguez's success.

Hitters haven't hit the ball well at all, and Rodriguez also has generated a lot of strikeouts with the pitch. Nearly two-thirds of Rodriguez's strikeouts (43 of 69) have come on the curveball, and 25 of those have come on curveballs out of the strike zone. The only pitcher in baseball to generate more strikeouts on curveballs out of the zone is Toronto's Roy Halladay. No one in the National League has more curveball strikeouts than Rodriguez.

Rodriguez and the Astros take on Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night. The Cubs chase curveballs out of the strike zone at a rate slightly above league average (26.6 percent), and they are hitting .177 against the pitch, third-lowest in the National League.

Rodriguez (2009)
Rodriguez NL avg.
BA against .188 .200
SLG against .292 .297
K pct. of PA 44.3 30.9
Chase pct. 33.2 25.5

-- ESPN Stats & Information

FANTASY: PREVIEW OF WEDNESDAY'S GAMES

Fantasy Tristan Cockcroft examines the 15 games on Wednesday's slate.

Cockcroft ranks the pitchers scheduled to take the mound and supplies loads of other information that could help shape your roster for Wednesday. Daily Notes