Top Moment #2: Perfection – Phillies Nation
2010 Top Moments

Top Moment #2: Perfection

Halladay tossed a game few of us have ever witnessed. Perfection. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

27 batters.

27 outs.

No runs.

No errors.

No base runners.


[Watch all 27 outs here]

Roy Halladay was perfect on May 29th. Matched up against Josh Johnson, Roy Halladay threw one of baseball’s greatest games in a 1-0 win against the Marlins and vaulted himself into Philadelphia history.

Halladay’s masterpiece included 11 strikeouts,  115 pitches, and 72 for strikes. Doc was so efficient that after the first inning, Halladay only threw more than 12 pitches once more in any given inning.

The 1-0 score really makes you wonder what would have happened had Cameron Maybin not botched Chase Utley’s line drive that scored Wilson Valdez. The way Doc was dealing, he probably could have thrown another nine perfect innings.

What would have happened if Juan Castro wasn’t at third base? Would Placido Polanco been able to get to the soft hit chopper that Ronnie Paulino bounced over to end the game? That’s the thing about baseball. There are so many questions that come with such a rare occurrence.

Now for the rest of our lives, we have questions, where were you during Roy Halladay’s perfect game? When did you hear that Doc was flirting with perfection? Who were you with during this amazing night in Phillies history?

Where were you when perfection struck?

NICK: I was at Landmark in Glassboro to watch the Phillies and UFC that night. Not being a hockey fan, I had to beg the bar to put the Phillies on a small television due to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup being on.  On the smallest TV at the bar, the game was on and we took notice of what was going on after Halladay had made it through the Marlins lineup once through. By the sixth inning fans started taking note of what was happening, and by the 8th inning half the bar had gathered around our table. A night I won’t forget.

PAT GALLEN: How incredible is technology? Myself along with my girlfriend and two other friends were racing to a bar in Fenwick Island, DE, while on vacation. We listened to Scott Franzke giving the play-by-play on my iPhone using the MLB At Bat app, praying that the signal wouldn’t be lost in the car. We came to a stoplight just in front of the bar (which is a Philly bar, by the way – it’s owned by family friends and it’s called Slainte, look it up!) when the final pitch was being thrown and we went insane, high-fiving in the car.

As soon as we walked in, the place was filled to the brim with Phillies fans still going nuts; people hugging and rejoicing and giving cheers with fresh beverages. It wasn’t an ideal way to celebrate one of the finest performances ever, but it’s one of those nights you’ll never forget because of how odd the circumstances were. Me, three friends, a car, and an iPhone. All you need to listen to perfection.

MICHAEL BAUMANN: I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch it. I went to the USA-Turkey soccer game at the Linc that afternoon, and between tailgating and the game probably spent six or seven hours in the scorching heat with little to no shade and nothing to drink but cheap beer. The result? As bad a case of sunburn and dehydration as I’ve ever had. That night, I went to a friend’s house to watch Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, and he turned off the Phillies in the third inning for the Flyers game, even though (and I swear to God this is true) I said, “But Halladay’s got a perfect game going!”

Anyway, I fell asleep on his sofa halfway through the second period and missed not only what was (I’m told) a very exciting playoff hockey game, but a historic moment the likes of which I was sure I’d never see again.

DASH TREYHORN: For most of us, we didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until the sixth inning or so. It wasn’t until he set down a solid enough lineup the second time that we thought, hey, this just might be something. And when that feeling hits you, it hits you like a sack of bricks. From the seventh inning on, I sat in front of my computer, listening to Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, afraid to move, afraid to breathe. And when you rely on your ears for the action, the routine plays can become less routine because you can’t see the action. A grounder in the hole at short might look like an easy out on television, but it certainly doesn’t sound that way.

When MLB Network cut in during the bottom of the ninth, I actually had to force myself out of my seat in front of my computer so I could watch the game. And you have to understand, as someone who firmly believes in the ridiculous nature of baseball jinxes, that was a tough choice. But even then, I couldn’t force myself to record the final inning, because I was so freaked out that I would somehow have an impact on the outcome. It’s like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: Objects under observation will behave differently than when not under observation. I already thought that I was tempting fate by watching the final inning, but recording it, too? No way would I mess with history. I suddenly turned into a theoretical physicist.

In my baseball loving life, I’ve never actually been part of a perfect game. I’ve seen the final innings of them a lot, but I can honestly say that I’ve never watched or listened to a perfect game, soup to nuts. So it was kind of a big deal for me. It was like watching Game Five, Part B of the 2008 World Series again. It was just one game that was sort of insignificant, but at the same time, it was everything. But that’s what baseball, and the Phillies, do to us.

KIERAN: Living in Virginia Beach the only times I really get to watch the Phillies is at the bar, while they are playing the Nationals, or on the nationally televised Sunday night games. We were at a friend’s house watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals and had the grill on and the corn hole boards out. We were all over the place in this house; the kitchen, living room, back yard.

I remember watching the hockey game and continuously checking my phone for the Phillies score. After around the fifth inning I can remember my brother peaking his head out the window and saying ’12 more outs, sssshhhhh.’ We kept doing this for the rest of the game. The broadcast of the hockey game was actually interrupted to show the final inning of the Phillies-Marlins game. In our group of friends, my brother and I are the main baseball fans except for one Yankee kid. But when Roy Halladay got that final out, the whole place erupted. Everyone was dishing out high fives and even some hugs. People were congratulating me as if I did something. All I did was witness history. And that’s just fine with me.

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  1. Dropped Strike Three

    February 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I hang my head in shame as I admit I slept through the whole game. A morning at the beach followed by No-Shower Happy Hour at the OD in Sea Isle where I consumed a few too many adult beverages had me down for the count. I woke up to screams from about a dozen roomates from that weekend and I was very confused what just happened. I rushed to my laptop to catch a bunch of highlights and clips and eventually even DVR’d the rebroadcast, but it still wasn’t the same. I willingly handed in my fan card for a few weeks after that in disgust with myself…

  2. Pat Gallen

    February 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Don’t hang your head Dropped Strike 3, happens to the best of us. I only saw bits a pieces. Even for the most rabid fan, its almost impossible to catch all 162 games. Just too much happening in life.

  3. Patricia Guidetti

    February 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I myself was at a minor league baseball game (Durham Bulls, Tampa Bay AAA team in Durham, NC). I was “watching” the phillies game case from my phone. I kept checking on it and when I noticed in the bottom of the 8th, it clicked that Roy really could get a perfect game. I was so excited that I couldn’t even sit (which is odd considering I was 4 rows behind the home dugout). For the last batter, I could not refresh my browser fast enough. And when I finally saw the last out recorded I yelled, jumped up and down and cheered and high-fived whom ever would appease me. I even drew looks from the players.

    It wasn’t until the PA Announcer declared in between innings “The Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay has thrown a perfect game…” followed by my hoots, hollers, excessive clapping and standing ovation, did the rest of the stadium understand my jubilation. We went back to my friends place and I watched the highlights. I’m not ashamed to say, I shed a few tears.

  4. Editboy

    February 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I watched most of it on my computer but had promised my young daughter we’d go to miniature golfing. I watched the end on my phone, in the middle of the 3rd hole, by the windmill. It was AWESOME.

  5. Nick Stamey

    February 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I live in NC and fortunatly I purchaced the MLB Extra Innings package. I had a buddy over (who is a Braves fan) and we were watching the game over a few beers. He actually pointed out to me in the 4th or 5th that Hallady had a no-no going… in the most subtle way possible. I texted 2 of my Phillie friends “if you can, watch the game now… and don’t call me ’till it’s over”

    So my friend and I sat there basiclly in silence until it was all over and we both went nuts when the final out was recorded. It was pretty awesome to see. Like one of the previous comments this was the first perfect game I’ve ever seen start to finish and it was cool that my friend, altough a Braves fan was there too, almost as excited as I was.

    God, I love baseball!

  6. Scott Boehler

    February 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I had the baseball package for the first few months of the season (and then switched to the TV package Extra Innings in June). I don’t get the Phils on my cable so I have to order a package. This particular evening, I was actually watching the Flyers on the TV and the Phils/Marlins on the laptop with the sound off. After about the 3rd inning, I looked at my wife and said that Halladay looked unhittable; there was something about his command that looked dominant. Now, since I was paying more attention to the Flyers, I cannot say I watched every pitch of the game. Oddly enough at the end of the 6th inning, I knew he was definitely pitching a no-no, but since I was not looking at the in-between inning linescore, I was starting to wonder if it was a perfect game since the moments I remember watching, I did not remember seeing anyone on base. I went to the boxscore on and realized my assumption was correct; he was perfect through 6.

    At this point, the nerves start to kick in (a very similar feeling I had about the 7th inning of the NLDS which I am sure is moment #1). Now my attention went from listening to the Flyers, but staring at the every pitch forward of the Phillies game. The wife thought it a jinx if I now turned the sound of the laptop on, so I went with her on it and stayed muted. It wasn’t until the final out was recorded that I turned the laptop sound on and cranked it! It was just an amazing thing to watch!

  7. Frederick

    February 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I was in bed with my laptop and my girlfriend, who was in a talkative mood. I interrupted her when it got to the bottom of the ninth inning and made her watch it with me. She’s beginning to appreciate baseball. (I was in Germany, which is six hours later than East Coast time.)

  8. phillygirl17

    February 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I was down at Rehoboth Beach with friends and family. I checked the scores on MLB At Bat App. Right after the run scored, I turned to my dad and told him that the Phils just took the lead. I was looking through the box score so far and, obviously, Halladay pitching line jumped out. We get in the car and I have him turn on the radio, everyone is looking at me like I have gone crazy, because I was so intense. I finally explained what the big deal was. My friend and I took the dog for a walk and every minute I would update my phone. When MLB pushed it through on the comp, I had them turn off the tv and watch. I was so excited.

  9. betasigmadeltashag

    February 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I live in Vermont and have the MLB extra innings and on this Saturday it was actually on TV and not a FOX regional game, because those games get blacked out on that package. I remember it well and still have it on both of my DVRs. I record all the games in the bedroom since I work most nights and I watch them once the wife falls asleep. And it is on the living room set because it was a Saturday and I was playing golf so we could both watch it in the living room when we finished the 19th hole. I remember it well because I got a text message from a friend driving home and it said something about Doc throwing a no hitter through some inning but I did not finish reading it because I did not want to know. So I drove a little faster on the way home and started it from the beginning trying to forget about the message and pretend it was live. I actually caught caught up to the live event in the 8th, and watched it live until the end, then my phone blew up, my sister, my niece, and even the yankee and red sox fans sent me text about the game. I still have it saved on the dver as a keeper

  10. Manny

    February 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I watched the whole thing… IN COLOMBIA. The last 4 or so innings with my dad. Oh and I was “jinxing” it since the 5th inning, I think. “He has a perfect game so far!” I’d tell my dad after every inning. The 9th inning I watched it standing up right in front of the TV, a total nerve wreck.

    I was jumping up and down my parent’s house like a crazy man, in Colombia lol, and everybody was like WTF is wrong with this guy. I’m so glad they were showing that game down there in the first place…

  11. Don M

    February 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I was down in St Pete Beach, FLA with the wifey… who was pregnant, wanted a vacation before the baby came but didn’t want to leave the country . . .

    Anyway.. we went to a Bar/Grille kinda place because I wanted to watch the FLYERS stanley cup game that night.. at the 1st intermission a guy with an iPhone says something about a No-Hitter going against the Marlins … and I knew we were playing the Marlins.. asked who was pitching.. he said Halladay .

    So we had the bartender turn the Phillies vs. Marlins (thank god we were in South Florida!) on half the tv’s and the Flyers game was on the other half . . . the whole bar gave a huge ovation when Halladay completed the perfect game … I ended up making friends with lots of people that took my side to route on the Flyers .. especially because there was a noisey group of like 8-10 Chicago fans in the bar.. So anyway .. Phillies won, Flyers lost .. I got drunk .. wife learned to love O’Douls … and I got to watch the final 5 outs of Halladay’s gem !!!

  12. Pat Gallen

    February 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I love it, so many great stories. And pretty awesome to hear them all. I wish I had traveled with the team (something I didn’t get to do). Hopefully this year I’ll travel and get to see some magic…

  13. Phillistein

    February 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I watched the whole game. Of course you don’t really realize what’s happening until the 5th inning or so. The last 3 innings were pure torture – hanging on every pitch.

    As always, one of my favorite things is/was watching the fans behind home plate. And as a Phillies fans it’s amazing how many replays you can watch.

  14. Lefty

    February 16, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Every time I watch this again, I’m struck by two things. How great a pitcher Roy Halladay is, he proved it all year long, AND how terrible a hitter Cody Ross was. He couldn’t hit a ball hard to save his life at that point in the season. Watch the pitches Doc threw him, inside and tight, inducing weakly hit balls or no contact at all. Throw him the same pitches four months later and they’re all bombs. The Giants hitting coach must have corrected his swing i guess. Freaking unbelievable. Sorry I don’t usually focus on the negative, just couldn’t help but noticing.

    I guess we all know what moment number one is now!

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