Phillies 1, Marlins 0
Game 48 - Saturday Night, May 29th in Miami
PERFECT!! Pitcher Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history tonight, shutting down all 27 Marlins' batters he faced in order. Doc needed 115 pitches, 11 strikeouts and a few fine defensive plays from Wilson Valdez and Juan Castro in order to achieve history. In his postgame interview, he was quick to give credit to catcher Carlos Ruiz, who he said called every pitch of the game from about the 4th inning on. He also credited pitcher Jamie Moyer who had helped him during a recent bullpen session following his shaky start against the Red Sox last Sunday.
Things could have gotten interesting had the Phillies not scored their lone run in the 3rd inning. With one out, Valdez singled. He then came around to score when Marlins' center fielder Cameron Maybin completely misjudged a Chase Utley fly ball for a 3-base error. The one run would be all Halladay needed.
In the 9th, the Marlins went with three pinch-hitters to try to get something going. Mike Lamb flew out to deep center, causing a momentary panic attack. Former Phillie Wes Helms was called out on strikes for the second out. With a 1-2 count, Ronny Paulino grounded sharply to third. Castro tracked the ball down, spun and threw to Ryan Howard for the final out. Halladay's smile reached ear to ear as his teammates mobbed him on the field.
And now for full disclosure: I didn't start watching the game until the 6th inning. Our son Doug had been extremely well-behaved all day, and I promised him we'd finish watching Return of the Jedi tonight. So as Halladay was shutting down the first 18 batters of the game, I was deep into the Battle of Endor. It wasn't until after Luke burned the expired Darth Vader on a fiery pyre when Jenna (who had been watching the game on another TV) informed me, "You should probably turn on the Phillies game now." A small part of me is bummed I didn't get to watch the entire game, but a bigger part of me is glad I didn't have to be nervous from the 3rd inning on, after Halladay had retired the first 9. And besides, it was fun watching Doug's expression when he realized the good guys had won at the end of the movie, just like his Dad had told him they would.
What a perfect (pun intended) start to Memorial Day Weekend 2010!