Halladay, Weaver get starting All-Star nods
The 34-year-old threw the second no-hitter in postseason history _ with Don Larsen _ in his first career playoff game against Cincinnati in last season’s NL division series and has been nearly as dominant the first half of this season.
Halladay is 11-3 this season with a 2.45 ERA and 138 strikeouts, second-best in the NL. He became the first pitcher since 1991 to open a game with 18 strikes against the Mets on April 30, a start after matching his career high with 14 strikeouts against San Diego.
“You’ve got to be good, you’ve got to be having a good season and he’s the best in the game, so if anybody’s deserving of that (starting), it’s him,” said Lee, who joined Halladay on the NL team. “There’s a few guys that were worthy of that spot, but I think Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball and I think 99 percent of the people in here would agree with that. It’s an honor for him and I expect him to give us a chance to win.”
This year’s All-Star game lost some of its star power when 16 players backed out, including Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Ryan Braun and Jose Reyes, just to name a few. One of the biggest names in baseball, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, also didn’t get in because of a broken wrist.
There’s still plenty of stars left, from the NL’s Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday to Josh Hamilton and Adrian Gonzalez for the AL, but the game has a little less shine than it once did.
Halladay has the perfect build _ 6-foot-6, 230 pounds _ to be a dominating pitcher and an ultra-competitive drive to make himself one of the best pitchers in the game.
Weaver has plenty of leverage, too, along with hard-to-figure delivery and a simmering intensity behind that surfer-dude image of his.
On the worldwide stage of the All-Star game, neither one is about to ease up, whether they’re facing A-Rod or the 16th replacement player on the roster.
“Obviously, (we’re) having some success as far as pitching goes, but you never know what you’re going to run into on any given night in a given lineup, so you can’t take anything for granted,” Weaver said.