Roy Halladay throws perfect game vs. Marlins

Posted by Admin on Saturday, 29 May 2010

Roy Halladay throws perfect game. Baseball followers expected Roy Halladay to be absolutely dominant after being traded from the rugged American League East to the National League in the offseason.

Phillies ace Roy Halladay celebrates the second ideal game in franchise history with catcher Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard.

Saturday they was even better than that – downright ideal.
The Philadelphia Phillies ace retired all 27 Florida Marlins they faced, throwing the 20th ideal game in history in a 1-0 victory at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

Facing two pinch hitters in the ninth inning, Halladay got Mike Lamb on a deep fly to middle, struck out Wes Helms looking – the right-hander's 11th strikeout of the game, a season high – and induced a groundout to third from Ronny Paulino, with third baseman Juan Castro ranging to his left to gobble it up.

Always stoic on the mound, Halladay (7-3) broke in to a sizable smirk as his teammates rushed in to congratulate him. Catcher Carlos Ruiz was the first one to reach Halladay, and the two embraced in the infield as the remainder of the team promptly joined in.

"It's never something that you think is feasible," Halladay said. "Really, two times I got the two outs, I felt like I had a chance. You are always aware of it. It is not something that you expect."
It was the second ideal game in Phillies history – Hall of Famer Jim Bunning threw one against the New York Mets on June 21, 1964 – and the second one in the majors this month. The Oakland A's Dallas Braden performed the feat against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9.

This is the first time in the modern period there's been a pair of perfectos in the same season. In addition, the Colorado Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez threw a no-hitter in April.

Halladay's was the third ideal game in the last 10 months, with Mark Buehrle doing it last July 23 for the Chicago White Sox against Tampa Bay.

Halladay was cheered by a crowd of 25,086 throughout much of the night. Another fan called later — Vice President Joe Biden dialed up the Phillies' clubhouse to offer his congratulations when it was over.

"We felt like they got in a groove early and about the fifth or the sixth I was two times following Chooch," Halladay said, calling Ruiz by his nickname. "I cannot say about the job they did today. Mixed pitches. For me it was a no-brainer.

"Early in my bullpen I was two times hitting spots over I have been. I felt like I carried that out there," Halladay said.

Halladay got a pleasant play in the eighth on Jorge Cantu's hot smash, with Castro going down to his knees to snare it, recovering and throwing to first in plenty of time.

"I was thinking, if someone hit a ball close to me, I was two times going to do whatever it takes," Castro said.

Halladay had a complete-game one-hitter last September against the New York Yankees, though with far less drama, thanks to Ramiro Pena getting a double to right field in the sixth inning.

Even before Saturday, Halladay had definitely lived up to expectations since being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in a multi-team trade, going 6-3 with a 2.22 ERA in his first 10 starts.
Halladay, the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner, was within one out of a no-hitter on Sept. 27, 1998, in his second major league start, pitching for the Blue Jays against Detroit. Pinch-hitter Bobby Higginson ended that on the first pitch they saw, hitting a solo home run.

In the ninth, Paulino fouled the first pitch in to the seats along the first-base side, took ball one, swung and missed for strike two, then hit a groundball to third. Castro ranged to his left to get it and threw across to first baseman Ryan Howard, who caught the ball and jumped in the air.

It was over, and the Phillies mobbed Halladay, surrounding him in a circle as stadium workers immediately — and inexplicably — ran out to sweep the mound and plate area.

"You've got to take your hat off to Doc," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's why they is who they is. That is what they got him for."

The Marlins said they would give Halladay the pitching rubber as a memento, leading to a slightly surreal scene. The lights at Sun Life Stadium went out and fireworks began exploding two minutes after the game ended, with the field crew preparing for a postgame concert behind second base.

Working in the dark, two men went to work on the mound, digging up the slab where Halladay made history.

Marlins outfielder Cody Ross said there was no disgrace in being the victims of an ideal game.
"Look who is pitching," Marlins outfielder Cody Ross said. "It's Roy Halladay, the best pitcher in baseball. It is not embarrassing."

In a week that saw the hard-hitting Phillies get shut out on two straight days by the New York Mets, Halladay delivered the most masterful pitching performance of all.

Philadelphia has thrown 10 no-hitters, the last by Kevin Millwood in 2003. It was the second time the Marlins had been no-hit, the lone other coming by the Dodgers' Ramon Martinez on July 14, 1995.

The NL East leaders' lone run off Josh Johnson (5-2) came in the third, and fittingly in this battle of aces, it was unearned. Wilson Valdez singled, then scored when Chase Utley's fly to middle skipped off Cameron Maybin's glove for a three-base error.

Valdez scored basically and Halladay had all the support they needed.
By Jorge L. Ortiz

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