Immediately after Roy Halladay tossed the 20th perfect game in MLB history, and an absolute gem at that—coming against a division rival in a hotly contested game, I logged on to different sports web sites to read about the reaction to such a momentous game.

Halladay’s perfect game, aside from being only the second in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies, also comes as the second of the month of May—the first one being thrown by Dallas Braden, the pitcher that had mostly been known as the guy Alex Rodriguez disrespected.

The inside story of Braden’s perfect game was that he threw it on Mother’s Day, in commemoration of his deceased mother while Braden’s grandmother was in attendance. As a nice bonus, Braden also delivered quite an embarrassing shot to Rodriguez.

Halladay’s history making game, however, comes with the virtual consensus opinion that he has now overtaken Ubaldo Jiménez as the number one contender for the National League Cy Young Award.

For baseball fans that have been conditioned to remember that the season is a “marathon and not a sprint,” this is a blithe assertion that was made in too much haste.

Jiménez, despite pitching in a slugger’s paradise, has a lower WHIP, lower ERA, more wins, two fewer defeats, and a .176 BAA to Doc’s .229. If the season ended today, like so many Halladay supporters are suggesting it has, Jiménez should still be a slight favorite.

The knock against Jiménez comes from the expectation that his numbers are going to fall victim to a proverbial slump that comes from playing the longest season in American professional sports.

But why are people so certain that Halladay isn’t going to cool off as well?

Halladay is an older pitcher and has showed signs early in the season that he’s not going to throw a gem every time he takes the hill.

Ubaldo Jiménez has allowed a total of seven runs in his ten starts this year. Halladay gave up seven runs in one start against the Red Sox—six of them earned.

In fact, in Jiménez’s one loss this year, the lanky pitcher surrendered a grand total of one run. And that one run inflated Jiménez’s then 0.87 ERA to a stout 0.93. As of his last start, it’s back to a respectable 0.88.

There is no question that Halladay’s perfect game is one of the most impressive ones that has been thrown in the last 20 years—another being Randy Johnson’s 13 strikeout perfecto against the Atlanta Braves.

But it’s Doc’s track record that has so many people unjustly writing Jiménez’s incredible season off.

Mention the name Halladay and baseball fans will revere how he dominated while playing for a less than average team in the toughest division in baseball, the American League East. Halladay almost routinely overcame the Yankees, Red Sox and the recently powerful Rays before the Phillies signed him and he moved over to the National League.

But the Cy Young Award is an award handed out for a pitcher that had a tremendous season. Not a tremendous career or a tremendous game. If baseball valued one game over the bulk of a pitcher’s work, Don Larsen would be in the Hall of Fame.

Jiménez will fall off this hot streak. It’s inevitable. If he continued this pace it would be one of the greatest seasons a pitcher has had in the history of Major League Baseball. So it’s safe to say that that ERA is going to start rising.

But Philly fans take note, that unless Halladay tosses another perfect game this season, the National League Cy Young race will be a contested one until game 162.

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