06/02/2003 10:08 PM ET
Halladay is AL Pitcher of the Month
TORONTO -- With the possible exceptions of Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay is the most visible player on the American League's hottest team. On Monday, he reaped the benefits of that status when he was named the AL Pitcher of the Month.
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
The Blue Jays won 21 games in May to pace the AL and set a franchise record, and Halladay was a huge part of that effort. The right-hander won all six of his starts in that month, becoming just the fourth Jay to do that. He also pitched seven innings in each of his turns, providing the blue birds with a consistent presence at the top of the rotation.
The fire-baller allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his six starts, and he walked just three batters during the month. Contrast that with his strikeout count -- 35 K's -- and you get the true picture of his command. He did prove to be somewhat susceptible to the longball, though. Halladay allowed six home runs during May, and he's given up 14 so far this season.
Even so, the second month of the season was much kinder to Halladay than the first one. In six starts during March and April, Toronto's ace went 0-2 with a 4.89 ERA. Strangely enough, that goes along with what he did last season. In 2002, when Halladay won 19 games and made the All-Star team, he won the grand total of zero games in April.
Last May, Halladay went 4-2 with a 2.40 ERA. This time around, he went 6-0 with a 3.22 mark. He also won on the first day of June, becoming just the third Toronto starter to win seven consecutive starts. The others: Roger Clemens, who won eight straight in 1997, and Doyle Alexander, with seven straight in 1983. Halladay will try to tie Clemens against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.
Toronto starter Cory Lidle, who went 5-1 in May, was also one of the five finalists for the award. If you combine the last 15 decisions of those two pitchers, you get a 14-1 record. That goes a long way toward explaining how the Jays have shaved 10 games off their deficit in the standings since the end of April.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.