Roy Halladay threw the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history on Saturday night, blanking the Florida Marlins for his seventh win of the 2010 season. In the process, Halladay also lowered his ERA to 1.99 on the season.
Normals statistics aside, having thrown something as significant as a perfect game gives us the chance to discuss some other interesting items, mainly to compare the gem Halladay twirled to the other nineteen that came before him. Let’s face it, what good are baseball statistics if you can’t compare them against one another endlessly?
– Halladay’s perfect game was the second of the 2010 season, succeeding Dallas Braden’s masterpiece against Tampa on May 9th. This marks just the second time in Major League history that two perfect games have been tossed in the same season. The first time it occurred was during the Dead Ball Era in 1880 when Lee Richmond of the Worchester Ruby Legs and John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays threw the first two perfect games in the history of the game.
– Halladay struck out 11 batters in the game, which is the fourth time that the pitcher throwing the perfect game has struck out 11, joining David Wells (NYY, 1998), Len Barker (CLE, 1981), and Catfish Hunter (OAK, 1968) in achieving that feat. However, it is not the record for strike-outs for a perfect game. That belongs to Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers who struck out 14 in his perfect game on September 9, 1965. On a side note, the fewest strike-outs thrown in a perfect game was 3, done by Addie Joss of the Cleveland Indians on October 2, 1908.
– Halladay needed only 115 pitches to get through his perfect game, despite striking out 11 batters, but it is nowhere near the fewest pitches thrown in a perfect game. Of the 17 perfect games with pitch counts recorded, the undisputed champion of efficiency is Addie Joss, who in that 1908 game needed just 74 pitches to spin his gem.
– Halladay joins Jim Bunning as the second perfect game in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies, and club’s tenth no-hitter. Three other clubs, the Yankees, White Sox, and Oakland Athletics have more than one perfect game in their history. The Yankees are the only club with three, with David Cone, David Wells, and Don Larsen all twirling theirs for the game’s most storied franchise.
– For all the talk about attendance issues in Florida, Halladay’s perfect game had 25,086 fans in attendance. That more than doubled the 12,288 who paid to see Braden’s earlier this year. The smallest recorded crowd to see a perfect game was also in Oakland, when only 6,298 were on hand when Catfish Hunter threw his perfect game against Minnesota in 1968.
– Finally, this is the sixth time that a perfect game has been tossed where the game was won 1-0. The most runs scored by the winning team in a perfect game is six, done by the Phillies for Jim Bunning in 1964 and the Yankees for David Cone in 1999.
So there you are, armed with your new found knowledge of the perfect game. With plenty of baseball to be played, we still have a chance to have the first season with three perfect games, but let’s all not collectively hold out breaths waiting for it to happen.
– Perfect Games, Wikipedia.com
– Roy Halladay Stats, Baseball-Reference.com
– Phillies-Marlins Box Score, MLB.com
– List of Philadelphia Phillies No-Hitters, Wikipedia.com