Today, May 29, 2017, is the seventh anniversary of Roy Halladay’s perfect game. Seven isn’t a big number, but since we’ve seen a lot of bad pitching lately from the Phillies it feels appropriate to remember one of the best pitching performances in franchise history.
The Phillies were facing the Marlins that day, back when they were still the Florida Marlins. And back when they had guys like Gaby Sanchez and Dan Uggla and Jorge Cantu, not to mention Hanley Ramirez and rookie of the year Chris Coghlan. But the Phillies sent out out one of their vintage lineups, too. Shane Victorino was leading off and Carlos Ruiz was batting eighth. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were there. Jayson Werth was in his last season with the Phillies, and Raul Ibanez was in the middle of his tenure. Wilson Valdez (oy) was playing for the injured Jimmy Rollins, and Juan Castro was, uh, also playing.
And of course, there was Roy Halladay. He was at his peak (and would somehow be even better in 2011, if you can believe it) and so was the opposing pitcher, Josh Johnson. It was a pitcher’s duel, with the Phillies’ only run coming on an error in the third inning. But the smallest of leads was all Halladay needed.
It should tell you a lot about the season Roy Halladay was having that he pitched four sparkling innings before anyone started getting suspicious that something might be brewing. That’s how good he was. He was a joy to watch throughout the 2010 season, but on this day seven years ago, Halladay had everything working.
I strongly urge you to watch this video of perfect game highlights, because holy shit, Roy Halladay was amazing.
I mean good Lord.
Why don’t you try the radio call on for size? You can hear Scott Franzke start his commentary at the 1:02 mark.
There is nothing I don’t love about Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen calling the end of the perfect game. I listen to the two of them call nearly every Phillies game, and hearing them sound genuinely, overwhelmingly excited is delightful and weird, mostly because it’s been so long since I’ve heard them sound that way. When Franzke describes the action, it sounds like he’s already standing up, and Larry Anderson is so amped that he can’t even speak.
The best part of Halladay’s perfect game is, of course, the end. If any pitcher and catcher were made for each other, it was Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz. After Juan Castro (!!) scooped up the ball and threw it to Ryan Howard for the final out, Halladay didn’t care about any of the other people starting to swarm around him. He only had eyes for Carlos Ruiz, who was running over to give him one of the best hugs in Phillies history.
It all feels like a million years ago now. And when you think of today’s Phillies, that whole era starts to feel like a bit of a fever dream. Did it all really happen? Was a it a collective delusion we all made up? Was Roy Halladay even real?
Roy Halladay is real. He really threw a no-hitter, and all of that good stuff really happened. And when the Phillies are playing like boiled crap, it’s nice to be reminded of that.