As well as JA Happ has been pitching, I thought it might make sense to check and make sure that Halladay was still having a better season than Happ. He is.
Halladay, of course, pitches in the DL-loving American League, which is like baseball except that instead of Barry Zito striking out on four pitches, Jim Thome hits a three-run homer. Putting that aside, though, Halladay has still been better.
Happ does have a better ERA. And he has been better at preventing hits. That’s about the end of the list, though. Halladay has been better at preventing walks and by a margin that dwarfs Happ’s advantage at preventing hits. Happ has issued walks at about 2.72 times the rate of Halladay (Halladay has walked just 17 in 132 innings). They’ve allowed doubles and triples at about the same rate, but Halladay is much better at keeping the ball in the yard — Happ’s home run rate is about 1.54 times higher than Halladay’s for the year.
In the grasping-for-straws category we have that runners have been more able to run on Halladay than they have Happ. Halladay has allowed 13 stolen bases in 132 innings on the season compared to just one in 94 innings for Happ.
Halladay is just better. Of course. If you don’t remember Happ winning the Cy Young in 2002 or being a six-time All-Star or finishing in the top five in the league in Cy Young voting for the last three seasons, don’t worry, your memory is fine. That would be Halladay. More importantly, given all of the above it’s just about indefensible to suggest that Happ will be better than Halladay the rest of the way in 2009.
Still, though, there’s this and it’s pretty hard to ignore: Halladay makes $14.25 million in 2009. Happ makes $405,000. Halladay is obviously better — he’s been better so far this season and he’s a lock to be better for the rest of it. But he’s not 35.2 times better. And if you have any trouble finding that hard to ignore, just think how hard it would be for the Phillies.
This suggests that Myers could be back with the Phillies in August, pitching out of the bullpen. Insert your own Lidge-can’t-get-anyone-out joke here.
On that subject, this says that the Phillies sent a scout to watch Arizona closer Chad Qualls over the weekend.