I remember where I was on May 29, 2010. I was at a hotel in Wildwood with a bunch of my friends watching the Philadelphia Flyers face the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL Playoffs. We were waiting for the game to end to go out for Memorial Day Weekend. It was an exciting hockey game but during the first intermission I looked at my phone to check the Phillies score. Phillies were winning and I noticed the Marlins had no hits as of yet.
The second period of the Flyers game comes on and I keep watching my phone. Marlins finish another inning with no walks or hits. I show it to my buddy. We say nothing. Continue to watch the Flyers game but knowing at the 7th inning were going to change the channel for all 10 of us in the room. Good news was with music playing there was no audio coming from the television. We get to the 7th and we just say we’re going to flick the channel over and see the Phillies. Roy Halladay finishes another 3 up, 3 down inning.
8th inning comes and we flick over again and another 3 up and 3 down inning. Now my friends aren’t stupid but we had been drinking for a decent amount of the day so they’re not exactly up to their usual standards. They start asking questions as to why we’re so interested in the Phillies game. It’s the second intermission now and the Flyers & Blackhawks are tied 5-5. Now we’re just focusing on the Phillies. The Phillies do nothing offensively in the bottom of the 8th so now there’s no commercial and they go right to a flashback of the last no-hitter in Phillies history…Kevin Millwood throwing a no hitter at Veterans Stadium. My friend blurts out “Wow Halladay is going to throw a no-hitter?”
The whole hotel exploded when Halladay finished his perfect game in Miami that night. The Flyers losing to the Blackhawks was a distant memory. We just saw the most dominant pitching performance from a Philadelphia Phillie in our lifetime. This wasn’t Tommy Greene, Terry Mulholland or Kevin Millwood. This was Roy Halladay who was really in his second month of being a Phillie. I drove to Washington to see his first start that season and run through the Nationals. I watched Roy Halladay throw a no-hitter with Juan Castro & Wilson Valdez on the left side of the infield.
Now fast forward to Roy Halladay’s first career postseason start. I remember where I was for that start against the Cincinnati Reds. At a bar with my friends hoping we would be watching a dominant pitching performance. Little did we know. After he made Brandon Phillips ground out on the first pitch of the game I turned to my friend and said, “1 up and 26 to go.” Little did I know in reality Roy Halladay was going to be one pitch…and by one pitch I mean literally one pitch away from a postseason perfect game. That pitch to Jay Bruce was a 3-2 pitch in the 5th inning with 2 outs. It was close enough that I’m surprised Bruce was able to lay off. What we watched was an epic performance for someone who had never started a postseason game before. When the game was over the consensus was there’s no way Halladay won’t lead the Phillies to the promised land.
It’s safe to say now that the possibility of Roy Halladay having pitched his final game as a Philadelphia Phillie is almost a reality. With his expected shoulder surgery and the unknown time he’s going to be out it’s safe to say if the Phillies aren’t in the playoff race come 3 months from now Halladay will not pitch this season. Will Ruben Amaro take the chance on trying to resign Halladay after the season? Maybe for the right price. With all the analysis done lately on pitchers over 35 coming back from a shoulder injury (including a great look at here on Grantland) I don’t see it happening.
Is this the end of not only Halladay’s career as a Phillie but as a Major Leaguer? The future will tell that but it’s not looking bright. People may call Halladay’s tenure as a Phillie a failure because of the lack of a World Series championship (or even an appearance but I’ll remember watching him in the 2010 & 2011 seasons as he was the most dominant pitcher I’ve ever watched in person put on a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.Tags: end of an era, injury, MLB, Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Halladay, Ruben Amaro