He threw a complete game shutout last night, and today "rested" by hiking the summit of a 50,000 seat stadium. That's special.
Also special, is that in Spring Training he showed up everyday at 5:30AM. He also learned a new pitch there.
Rich Dubee said that Halladay approached him, and told him he has never found a comfortable changeup grip. Dubee's solution? Grip the ball like a two-seem fastball, hold it further back in your hand, and spread your fingers. The outcome? A pitch that recorded several big outs last night, including a strike out of Chipper Jones. Halladay said the grip allows him to keep up the arm speed. Arm speed is imperative to changeups because it fools the hitter into thinking it is a fastball, causing them to swing early. That sort of deception is what makes Cole Hamels' changeup so effective. Halladay never had that pitch.
Now he does.
It compliments his variety of fastballs and his devastating curve. It's allowed him to get off to a torrid 4-0 start with the Phillies. And it's caused Chad Durbin to be very bored in the bullpen.
"There wasn't much to do down there," Durbin said, "we put the voice mail on the phone."
And to give the bullpen that sort of confidence? That's special too.