Sure the New York Mets' bottom order didn't exactly look like Murderer's Row on Thursday night, but Roy Halladay had his second straight strong outing when he threw seven scoreless innings against New York at Citizens Bank Park.
Does this mean Halladay should be an early favorite to win back-to-back Cy Young awards?
The 6'6 right-hander would have been a candidate for the most prestigious pitching award without the two excellent starts he's notched, but conceding only one run in your first 13 innings seems particularly good, even for him.
Many pitchers have early-season struggles as they improve as the season progresses, but Halladay has only given up one walk so far and has struck out 13.
Getting off to a host start is nothing new for the lanky star. Halladay got his 2010 season off to a great start last season, when he threw 16 innings in his first two starts, and only gave up one earned run, while adding 17 strikeouts, and conceding only two walks.
Surpassing that effort might be tough, even for Halladay. The 33-year-old star had a 1.80 earned run average after his first five starts in 2010.
As for the upcoming schedule, the next three teams Halladay will face will be the Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Diego Padres. Only the Brewers have a formidable offense, and that matchup will be at home, where he has excelled.
Last year around this time, Sports Illustrated put Halladay on the cover, to go along with a Tom Verducci article entitled, What Makes Roy Run. The article detailed Halladay's tremendous work ethic, and his hatred for failing. His resiliency is nearly unmatched by his peers.
With his devastating 94 mile-per-hour four-seam and two-seam fastball, as well as his nasty sinker, Halladay has the tools to continue to be a dominant pitcher. Playing with a contender after languishing in obscurity in Toronto for most of his career should also strengthen his ability to succeed.
Though it's still very early in the season, it's not far-fetched to speculate that Halladay could win it again.
The tools, heart, and his career success are certainly there to make him the favorite yet again.