Roy Halladay tosses one-hit, complete game shutout against Yankees

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Janey Murray

Roy Halladay needed to give the Blue Jays a good start on Sept. 4, 2009.

The right-hander was in the middle of a rough patch in his final season with Toronto. He had lost his last three games, giving up at least four runs in each, and he hadn’t recorded a win since Aug. 14.

Speculation abounded before the trade deadline that Halladay would be dealt.

But he ultimately stayed put – and soon authored one of the best starts of his career.

On Sept. 4, Halladay shut down the New York Yankees in Toronto, tossing a complete game shutout and allowing just one hit while striking out nine.

"There's times when you're tested," Halladay told the Toronto Star. "You have to work on how you come to the field and stay positive. It's not something you're always ready for (losing and trade rumors). You stay positive and that's the way I address those things."

Halladay pitched 5 1/3 hitless innings to start the game.

His first blemish came in the top of the sixth, when Ramiro Pena doubled with one out for the Yankees’ only hit of the day.

After walking two, he found himself in a bases-load jam. But the one-hitter and the shutout remained intact when he struck out Alex Rodriguez to end the threat.

Halladay was asked after the game if he was thinking about the no-hitter at any point during the game.

"No ... the hit came in the middle of the game anyways, and you're never disappointed when you win," Halladay said. "I don't think you ever know, you never know what no-hit stuff is. You don't try to read too much into a good bullpen (workout) before the game. But when you're comfortable down there, you carry confidence into the game."

Once he escaped the sixth-inning jam, it was smooth sailing for Halladay, who retired the final nine batters he faced to secure the shutout. His team supported him with six runs, powered by three hits from designated hitter Adam Lind and two RBI from second baseman Aaron Hill.

“This is exactly what (Halladay) is,” Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon told the Daily News. “He went through that rough patch and the possibility of getting traded, but he showed us tonight why he’s been the best pitcher in the league.”

Halladay didn’t know it yet, but at the time, he was nearing the conclusion of his illustrious career in Toronto. In December, the Blue Jays would deal him to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he spent the final four years of his career.

But before that, Halladay went on to pitch two more complete game shutouts in his final five starts and finished the 2009 season with a 2.79 ERA.
"A lot of it is how you approach the game," Halladay said. "When it seems like things aren't going your way and the team's way, you can get tentative. So the big thing for me was to go out and put it all on the line."

"I think that's how life is in general. You accept the situation you're in and make the most of it."

Halladay was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot in 2019.

Janey Murray was the 2019 public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development

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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series