Halladay a perfect addition to Phillies history

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Craig Muder

Roy Halladay’s 10th start of the 2010 season proved to be his least effective of the year.

His next – on May 29, 2010 – would be one of the best in baseball history.

Halladay authored a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies on that day, defeating the Marlins 1-0 in front of 25,086 fans in South Florida. It was the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history and came just six days after Halladay surrendered six earned runs in 5.2 innings in a loss against the Red Sox.

“He hasn’t been as comfortable in his delivery,” Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “(But) he was locked in tonight. It was one of those exceptional nights.”

Halladay needed just 115 pitches over two hours and 13 minutes to complete his gem, which ended when the Marlins’ Ronny Paulino grounded out to Juan Castro at third base. Castro made one of the game’s few close plays in the eighth inning when he snagged a ball scalded by Florida’s Jorge Cantu.

“It’s something you never think about,” Halladay said. “It really is. It’s hard to explain. There are days where things just kind of click and things happen.”

The only run of the game came in the third inning when Cameron Maybin misplayed a Chase Utley fly ball into a three-base error that scored Wilson Valdez.

Marlins starter Josh Johnson allowed only eight baserunners over seven innings (seven hits and a walk) while striking out six.

But Halladay’s line was unblemished as he became the second Phillies pitcher to notch a perfect game following Jim Bunning’s perfecto on Father’s Day in 1964.

“A guy who competes like he does,” said Phillies teammate Jamie Moyer, “I’m not saying he has a chance every time, but I’m surprised he doesn’t already have a no-hitter.”

Halladay would make up for lost time in 2010, throwing a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

At 33 years and 15 days old on the date of his perfect game, Halladay became the sixth-oldest pitcher of the 20 already on that list. Twenty days earlier, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics also pitched a perfect game – making 2010 the first year since 1880 that two perfect games had been thrown.

“It looks like he never really worries about his pitches,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. “He did a hell of a job, man.”

Halladay would go on to lead the National League in wins (21), complete games (9), shutouts (4) and innings pitched (250.2) in 2010, earning the league’s Cy Young Award.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2019.


Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series