Phillies' Roy Halladay throws a perfect game to beat the Marlins
MIAMI -- Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in major league history, delivering the marquee performance of his all-star career in a 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins on Saturday night.
It was the second perfect game in the majors this month alone, unheralded Dallas Braden doing it for Oakland against Tampa Bay on May 9. It's the first time in the modern era that there were a pair of perfect games in the same season. There have now been three perfect games in the last 10 months, with Mark Buehrle's coming last July 23 for the Chicago White Sox against Tampa Bay.
Halladay struck out 11, then got pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino to ground out to end it, and was cheered by a crowd of 25,086.
"I don't know what to say," Halladay said. "Early in my bullpen I was hitting spots more than I have been. I felt like I just carried that out there."
Although there were a couple of good plays behind him, Halladay didn't need any great defensive work in this gem. The 33-year-old righty known as Doc was a one-man show.
"It's never something that you think is possible," Halladay said. "Really, once I got the two outs, I felt like I had a chance. You're always aware of it. It's not something that you expect."
Always stoic on the mound, Halladay (7-3) broke into a big smile as his teammates rushed to congratulate him. "That's a big emotion for him," Phillies left-hander Jamie Moyer said, laughing. "It's fun to watch."
Halladay faced three Marlins pinch-hitters in the ninth. Mike Lamb led off with a long fly ball that was caught on the center-field warning track, Wes Helms struck out looking and Paulino hit a grounder that backup third baseman Juan Castro ranged to his left to get. First baseman Ryan Howard caught the ball and jumped in the air. It was over, and the Phillies mobbed Halladay.
This was the Phillies' second perfect game. Jim Bunning threw one in 1964. On the short list of baseball's perfect games, the first two -- by John Richmond and John Ward -- were pitched five days apart in 1880, two decades before what is considered the modern era.