Blog Entry

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Posted on: May 29, 2010 10:07 pm
Edited on: May 29, 2010 10:08 pm
 

Roy Halladay blew through South Florida on Saturday night with hurricane force and a surgeon's precision. Perfect? It was an understatement.

The way Halladay was hitting the corners and moving the ball in and out, it's a wonder 16 Marlins even put the ball in play against Dominant Doc. Halladay struck out 11 and dazed everybody else. You will not see a pitcher more sharp than this.

"I don't know what to say," Halladay sputtered to Phillies' television analyst Gary Matthews seconds after the lights went out -- literally -- in whatever they're calling Florida's stadium these days.

It was the perfect visual.

The Marlins were clicking out the lights for a postgame Saturday night concert.

But Halladay beat them to it.

It is the first time in modern baseball history that two perfect games have been thrown in one season, let alone in one month. Halladay's perfecto, though, was nowhere near the surprise that Dallas Braden's Mothers Day masterpiece was. Not even close.

The only surprise here is that Halladay has been pitching more than a decade and hadn't yet thrown a perfect game. Or a no-hitter. Or started more than one All-Star Game.

His years of taking a backseat to Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez or anybody else in the game have long since been over.

It's just that, because Halladay was buried up in quiet, out-of-the-way Toronto for the past decade, lots of people were late to pick up on it.

As 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels said this spring during Halladay's first few days with the Phillies, "Roy Halladay is the greatest pitcher in the big leagues. To be able to see how much he goes the distance. You envy a guy who pitches nine, 10 complete games every year. It's so unheard of in this day and age."

Saturday's already was Halladay's fifth complete game, more than twice as many as any other pitcher in the majors. Nobody else has more than two.

As he was closing in on Saturday's masterpiece, Halladay opened the seventh by punching out slumping Chris Coghlan on a 91 m.p.h. cutter away, then closed it by punching out batting champion Hanley Ramirez on a 92 m.p.h. cutter in at the knees. In-between he threw a full-count curveball -- curveball! -- to induce a harmless pop fly to left from Gaby Sanchez.

That's one snapshot of what the Marlins faced all night. Plate umpire Mike DiMuro's strike zone was liberal, he was calling pitches two or three inches off the plate at times. Didn't matter. Halladay was the Invisible Man on this night. The Marlins weren't going to touch him.

Besides, DiMuro's zone worked great for Florida starter Josh Johnson, too. And Johnson was very, very good -- the game's only run scored when center fielder Cameron Maybin butchered Chase Utley's long fly ball to center in the third, allowing Wilson Valdez to score from first.

But Halladay, whose closest previous brush to immortality came when he no-hit Detroit for 8 2/3 innings on Sept. 27, 1998, before Philadelphia-native Bobby Higginson broke it up, was as dazzling as a pitcher can be.

"We felt like we got in a good groove by the fifth or sixth," Halladay said, referring to himself and catcher Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz. "I was just following Chooch. I can't say enough about the job he did.

"By the fifth or sixth, it was a no-brainer. I was just following him."

Braden, and now Halladay. What a month for pitching. What a month for perfection.

"It was awesome," Halladay said. "I don't know what else to say."

No need. On this night, his slider, cut fastball and other weapons spoke for him.

Perfectly.

Comments

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: May 30, 2010 1:53 pm
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Francisco LirianoLiriano a star, Really? I, personally don't think that one good year quantifies being a star. And for the record, Pedro Martinez threw 9 innings of no-hit baseball only to take a no-decision. How is Halladay's perfect game any less impressive than Braden's? Even bad teams have great bats in their line-up. I could be wrong, but I beleive that was only the 20th perfect game of all time. There is nothing unimpressive about that!



Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: May 30, 2010 1:18 pm
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

As A Mets fan, I'm sure you are. The guy is in the top 5 pitchers in the league. Congrats - wish he was a Met. But ---- down with Phillie - cheesesteaks suck!!! LOL.




Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: May 30, 2010 12:34 pm
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Way to go Roy!! I'm going to echo the other Jays fans and say wish it happened here....but glad it finally happened. Hope the Phils can win the series this year. Anyone still wondering why the Phils made this deal?

BTW, lester has pitched in the bigs for what 2.5 years? Yeah his winning percentage is great. Try doing it for 13 years on a 3rd or 4th place club. That's what people don't understand. Halladay has this crazy winning percentage while playing for a .450 team. It's insane!!! Go Roy!!



Since: Jul 2, 2008
Posted on: May 30, 2010 12:28 pm
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Are you guys really not only talking about but defending being 5 games back in may? You both are aware its a 162 game season right? Rooks



Since: Jul 2, 2008
Posted on: May 30, 2010 12:22 pm
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

decent article but could have done without the cheap shot to the stadiums name that was bush newbie im a Rays fan and we all cant be the Yankee's but we sure can beat em.....



Since: Aug 18, 2009
Posted on: May 30, 2010 10:40 am
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Lumpoco,

You seem to be getting attacked for which pitchers you consider elite and who you consider marginal.  While I find your ideas on these pitchers moronic, I'm going to take a different angle.

The Marlins are NOT an inferior last place team.  The first place team in NL east is only 5 games ahead of the last place team. The Marlins have both last years batting champ and rookie of the year.  They also have a player that's tied for the leagues' home run lead.  I guess my point is that the Marlins are one of the more potent offensive teams in baseball.  I guess if you actually watched baseball games, you might know these things.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 30, 2010 10:21 am
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Yeah, you think maybe the Phillies would send us back the $6 000 000 they hosed us for when we sent them Halladay?  This still makes me crazy.




Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: May 30, 2010 10:17 am
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Agreed, Rich harden has no place on this list. He has 2 pitches, walks a ton of batters, and never lasts more than 7 innings (even 7 is a stretch), and is constantly hurt. 



Since: Apr 12, 2008
Posted on: May 30, 2010 10:17 am
 

CONGRATS TO ROY

I'm a Toronto fan and have watched Doc pitch for years.  I have said for the last few years he's one of the best pitchers in the game if not the best.  It's good to see him do this even if it's not for toronto.  I have never cheered for philly but I hope they can win another world series just for Halladay.  He deserves it.



Since: May 30, 2010
Posted on: May 30, 2010 9:52 am
 

Roy Halladay, Perfect Phillie

Ok.  Ubaldo Jimenez, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz are marginal pitchers??  Really?  On what planet?  And Rich Harden.... Francisco Liriano and Tim Hudson are proven stars?  I have an idea.... why don't you watch a baseball game once in a while.  Rich Harden is a pitch count machine.  Hudson can't break 90.   But Ubaldo and Lester have some of the nastiest stuff in the game.  But thanks for proving you don't watch the game you so gladly tweet about.... nit wit.



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