20 Days after Dallas Braden became the 19th pitcher to ever throw a perfect game, Roy “Doc” Halladay became the 20th. There have only been 2 seasons in the history of the game in which 2 perfect games were thrown in the same season, and the other time happened 130 years ago in 1880. When you breakdown and compare Dallas Braden’s recent perfect game to Roy Halladay’s on Saturday, it is interesting to see how two very different styles of pitching can yield the same result.
Halladay is a 13 year veteran of the majors with 6 All-Star appearances, a Cy Young Award and a career ERA of 3.43. Braden is going through his 4th season in the majors and has a career ERA of 4.50. Halladay uses 5 different pitches and gets many of his outs via strikeout. Braden relies heavily on his off speed pitches and depends heavily on team defense behind him. Halladay threw 115 pitches in his start compared to Braden’s 109. Halladay threw nearly twice as many strikeouts in his perfect game (11 compared to 6). Braden recorded 21 of his 27 outs via groundballs or fly outs (7 and 14 respectively), whereas Halladay only needed 16 (8 and 8). There really couldn’t be 2 more different styles of pitcher when you look at them.
Saturday’s perfect game was great to watch. Ruben Amaro Jr., the General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, was only supposed to stay through the 3rd inning on Saturday, but when Halladay hadn’t surrendered any hits through 4 innings of work, he didn’t want to leave. Lucky him. He would later go on to say that “other than winning the World Series in ’08, this was the most amazing moment I’ve ever seen in the game of baseball.” Judging by how the rest of the Phillies reacted to their ace’s perfect game, you could tell they all felt the same way. Saturday was a great day for Major League Baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies and fans alike, and no one is more deserving of a perfect game then Roy Halladay. Congratulations Doc!