Halladay matches single-game K mark during magical 2011 season with Phillies

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Isabelle Minasian

“I felt good. Even at the end I felt good,” Roy Halladay told the Associated Press after the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 victory in San Diego on April 24, 2011.

It felt less good for the Padres, whom Halladay struck out 14 times that game, which tied his career high.

“He’s one of the best in all of baseball,” Padres manager Bud Black told AP. “And he was on today.”

It took Halladay a season-high 130 pitches to match his single-game strikeout record, three less than the first time he struck out 14 with the Blue Jays in 2009. “Everybody makes a big deal out of it,” Halladay commented to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “but 115 to 130 is an extra 15 pitches…An extra 15, if you’re prepared, shouldn’t affect you.”

The year before, Halladay’s first season in Philadelphia seemed hard to top. In 2010, the towering right-hander led the majors in wins (21) and innings pitched (250.2), with a 2.44 ERA and a then career-high 219 strikeouts.

He carved his name into the history books throughout the season as the first Phillies pitcher to record 20 or more wins since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton, and the first pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same year.

Led by Halladay, the Phillies advanced to their third consecutive National League Championship Series, and it came as no surprise when he was later awarded the National League Cy Young Award.

In true Halladay form, however, “Doc” managed to nearly outdo himself in his sophomore season in Philadelphia. He was an All-Star for the seventh time in his career, and during the All-Star game retired six consecutive batters during his two-inning start.

Once again, Halladay helped carry the Phillies to the playoffs, though their season ended in a heart-breaking duel in Game 5 of the National League Division Series. Facing off against his friend and former Toronto teammate Chris Carpenter, Halladay allowed just one run in eight innings but that single score was all the Cardinals needed to best the Phillies 1-0.

Despite the difficult end to the season, Halladay’s 2011 was one for the record books. He threw a league-high eight complete games, with a major league best 2.20 FIP, and recorded a career-high 220 strikeouts on his way to a qualified career-best 2.35 ERA.

Halladay was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019.

Isabelle Minasian is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series