Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay Tosses MLB’s 20th Perfect Game

May 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee sat cross-legged in the Philadelphia Phillies dugout. They assumed that pose for the longest time, sitting not five feet apart on the bench, and watched their ace Roy Halladay attempt to do something very historic. The 32-year-old pitcher whom they acquired during the offseason was on the mound pitching during the eighth inning, six outs away from throwing a perfect game.

Halladay has been one of the better pitchers in baseball, with perhaps the filthiest repertoire. His movement has baffled so many teams during his illustrious career, and the Florida Marlins were the latest to fall under his spell. Twenty-one outs had come rather easily, and a crowd that was Phillies-partisan stood anticipating perfection.

Juan Castro, getting the start at third base for Placido Polanco, and made a considerable impact, keeping the perfect game intact by gobbling up a hot shot off the bat of Jorge Cantu and firing to first for the eight’s first out.

Dan Uggla was next, and he stared, bat on his shoulder, at strike three, a fastball painted on the outside corner. Four outs left. Two pitches later, Halladay walked off the mound, having induced a pop-up out of Cody Ross, as the stadium buzzed in excitement.

The Phillies clung to a 1-0 lead entering their half of the ninth inning, as they to were baffled. Marlins ace Josh Johnson was excellent over his seven innings, allowing the lone run in the third inning as an error by Cameron Maybin had Wilson Valdez speeding around to score from first .

A struggling offense would have the opportunity to extend their slim advantage and make life much easier for Halladay. They could not provide insurance. One crack of the bat by the Marlins into the near empty seats could break up the perfect-game, no-hitter, shutout, and squander the lead.

Mike Lamb pinch-hit for catcher Brett Hayes to begin the bottom of the ninth, with the few thousand in attendance on their feet—Marlins and Phillies fans alike. His at-bat ended innocently enough, as an impeccably placed Halladay fastball was lifted meekly into center field.

For the second out, the 6’6″ righthander’s handling of pinch-hitter Wes Helms exemplified that it was indeed his night, that he was as sharp as could be. A fastball clipped the inside corner, another was tipped foul, a third narrowly missed the same target, and then the fourth hit Carlos Ruiz’s glove that danced on the inner-reaches of the strikezone.

Helms walked away. The crowd cheered. The announcer’s tone grew ever-more enthusiastic. One more out and Halladay would notch the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, his first of such kind, as well as his first no-hitter.

A third-straight pinch-hitter strode to the plate. Ronny Paulino, a .280 career hitter who entered batting .310 on the season, could thwart history or be a part of it. The latter took place, as a fourth-pitch curveball hit sharply to third was consumed by Castro and fired to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Howard tapped the bag and thrust his arms in the air, as the crowd cheered as one. Halladay stood pumping his fist as the 27th straight out was recorded , hugged Ruiz, and sported the happiest of smiles as his teammates joined in on the celebration .

That smiled remained spread euphorically across his face as the few hundred Marlins fans and the few thousand Phillies fans stood and applauded. For a pitcher that dominated the American League for years with the Toronto Blue Jays, a pitcher that entered with 154 wins, including six this year, this moment was a long time coming—a moment only 19 others have experienced.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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