Got Your Halladay Fix Here
Roy Halladay allowed a two-out single to Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning tonight at Citizens Bank Park.
And there went the back-to-back perfect games.
SABR member Brian Rash found that only three pitchers who threw perfect games since 1900 retired the side in the first inning in their following start. The three who did: Len Barker, Randy Johnson and Mark Buehrle.
MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat, who covers the Cubs, passed along this great story about Halladay:
Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken held the same post with Toronto in 1995, when the Blue Jays drafted Halladay in the first round. Wilken watched Halladay play in high school in Arvada, Colo.
“You could see he was a good competitor,” Wilken said. “You could see he was a pretty strong young man.”
Halladay went to Torono’s complex in Dunedin, Fla., shortly after he signed in early July. One of the Minor League pitching coaches told Wilken that Halladay looked “awfully pale” and if he started running him foul pole to foul pole he would die in the Florida heat. Wilken put down $20 on the bench and said, “Who’s your best runner?”
The coach picked a kid from the Dominican.
“So they run, and after four pole-to-pole sprints, the Dominican kid broke down and goes on one knee and is gasping for air,” Wilken said. “Halladay is still running and just drills him into the ground, running wise. I picked my $20 up and said, ‘Never judge a book by its cover. And, by the way, [Halladay] finished third in Colorado in cross country in high school.’”
Wilken continued, “The stamina and durability, you don’t always see that with a high school kid. He had a fast arm. You hear that he has good work ethic. You never know it until you sign him and get him into pro ball and then you really find out how dedicated he is to the sport. It also showed you how sometimes players get better through perseverence. He had a hiccup in Toronto and was sent back to A ball. Roy never said a word about it. Mel Queen gave him a new arm slot and from that day on, you knew what Roy Halladay was all about.”
The Phillies named first baseman Matt Rizzotti and right-hander Scott Mathieson their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively.
Rizzotti, a sixth-round pick in 2007, hit a combined .352 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 17 RBIs in 28 games with Single-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. He is hitting .357 with six homers and 24 RBIs this season.
Mathieson, a 17th round pick in 2002, went 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA and five saves in 11 appearances. He is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA and nine saves in 21 appearances this season.