Roy Halladay, Curt Schilling
Getty Images

Who's the better pitcher?


Discuss (Total votes: 7,596)


The diagnosis: Doc is in

By Matt Meyers

Curt Schilling (who was a Hall of 100 honorable mention) is more famous than Roy Halladay (No. 92) because of a bloody sock, but there is no question that Halladay is the better pitcher.

Since 2002, Halladay trails only Johan Santana in adjusted ERA, and he has thrown more than 400 more innings than Santana. In other words, Halladay has been the best pitcher in baseball for a 10-year stretch, and there was no 10-year stretch (or anything close to it) in which Schilling was considered the best pitcher in baseball. (Fun fact: Halladay has 65 complete games in that time, which is 28 more than any other hurler in that stretch.)

Halladay is the rare sinkerball pitcher who can keep the ball on the ground and strike out a lot of hitters, fanning more than 200 on five occasions with a career ground ball rate of 54.4 percent. Schilling, on the other hand, was prone to the gopher ball, once leading the league with 37 allowed.

Any case for Schilling over Halladay rests on his postseason heroics, but one problem: Doc has been a beast in October. He has a 2.37 playoff ERA and is one of only two pitchers in history to throw a postseason no-hitter.

Schilling was great, but Halladay is better.

Schilling's edge: October brilliance

Szymborski By Dan Szymborski
ESPN Insider

Roy Halladay and Curt Schilling each finished at edge of the Hall of 100, with Halladay just in and Schilling just out. I voted for both, but if forced to choose just one of them, I have to give Schilling the nod over Doc.

Schilling has the edge on innings by about 600, with Halladay having the edge in preventing runs, with an ERA+ of 134 to Schilling's 127. If this was all about the regular season, you'd just flip a coin and call it a day.

But it isn't. The playoffs count and Schilling has one of the best playoff records in baseball history. I'm not talking a single stunning performance either. Allowing two or fewer runs in 16 of 19 career playoff spots, Schilling stands at 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in the postseason overall. That's essentially two-thirds of a Cy Young campaign right there added to his ledger, and that's only assuming the postseason is equally as important as the regular season, a thoroughly ridiculous notion.

If Schilling's case for immortality isn't given a significant boost by his sterling performances in October, then practically nobody in baseball history (except Mo Rivera) would. Halladay is a tremendous pitcher, but he's a step behind Schilling right now. Any group epitomizing baseball greatness without Schilling is missing one amazing pitcher and one very bloody sock.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.