Ace Roy Halladay celebrates with catcher Carlos Ruiz after his perfect game May 29.
The Phillies offense was in a rut. So what could Roy Halladay do? Be perfect.
At a time when runs were hard to come by, the Phillies’ Roy Halladay needed only one run to best the Marlins, throwing the 20th perfect game in the Major League history.
The image of third baseman Juan Castro fielding the ball, spinning and throwing to first baseman Ryan Howard is burnt into the minds of every Phillies fan. We held our breath in the ninth, and like Carlos Ruiz jumping into the arms of Doc, we celebrated when the 27th out was recorded.
“It’s something you never think about,” Halladay said. “It’s hard to explain. There’s days where things just kind of click and things happen, and it’s something you obviously never go out and try and do. But it’s a great feeling.”
Halladay was quick to thank his catcher, Ruiz, who also caught Doc’s no-no in the post season. Chooch calls one of the best games in baseball and is a defensive asset behind the plate.
“Really, just trying to go one pitch at a time,” Halladay said about how he maintained focus. “I know it’s a cliche, but I feel like when I’m most effective, that’s what I’m doing is pitch for pitch and just trying to execute pitches. I can’t say enough about the job that [catcher Carlos] Ruiz did tonight, really. I felt like he was calling a great game up until the fourth or fifth, and at that point, I just felt like I’d let him take over and go with him.
Halladay out-dueled Josh Johnson, who’s only run surrendered was an unearned score off an error in the third. Johnson went seven innings, allowing an unearned run and striking out six.
But the main story goes to Halladay, who struck out 11 and needed 115 pitches for the perfection. It was the second perfect game in Phillies history – the first belonging to Jim Bunning on Father’s Day in 1964 – and it was the first no-hitter since Kevin Millwood’s gem in 2003.
An interesting tidbit was after the perfect game in Florida, the Marlins sold the rest of the un-bought tickets from the perfect game at face value.
This year was the year of the pitcher and one of the finest moments all season belonged to Roy Halladay himself.
10. Chooch’s walk-off HR against St. Louis
9. Taser bro
8. Moyer’s CG/SHO
7. Hamels dominates Reds
6. Broxton Meltdown Part III
5. Oswalt plays LF
4. Six-run rally against Reds
3. Doc playoff no-no
2. Cliff Lee returns
1. Doc’s perfecto