MIAMI - A perfect game was no reason for Roy Halladay to change his routine.
He woke up early Sunday for a workout. He beat his Philadelphia Phillies teammates to the ballpark. He spent time thinking about how to improve in his next start.
And somewhere in there, he might have taken a few moments to reflect on making history.
Not even 12 hours after throwing the 20th perfect game in the major leagues, the Phillies’ ace right-hander was back at the ballpark, sticking to his storied workout regimen — seeing no reason to take any time off for basking in Saturday night’s gem against the Florida Marlins.
“Journey’s always better than the destination,” Halladay said.
Oh, there was nothing wrong with this particular destination.
Halladay struck out 11 on his perfect night, working out of seven counts of 3-1 or 3-2, and getting a break or two when he needed. Halladay acknowledged Sunday that he thought the chase was over when pinch-hitter Mike Lamb led off the ninth inning with a deep fly to center.
Shane Victorino had plenty of room, making the catch with his heels on the warning track.
“Hit that ball pretty good,” Halladay said. “Probably was close to going out in 95 percent of the parks. It’s one of those things where, right place, right time, I guess.”
Right place, right time, for sure. Two batters later, it was over.
The Phillies gave him the ball that Ryan Howard squeezed for the final out, and when it was recorded, only then did Halladay (7-3) allow himself to celebrate.
He smiled. He hugged catcher Carlos Ruiz, who he credited for quarterbacking the gem. And he high-fived a bunch of guys.
Ordinary stuff for most people, although for Halladay, such signs of emotion may have as well been considered a wild party.
“He definitely smiles. It’s not like the first time he’s ever smiled,” Phillies closer Brad Lidge said. “That being said, that kind of joy, it’s fun to see on someone’s face. And I think we all thought at some point this year, it’s going to happen. It might happen again. Every time he goes out there, stuff’s so good it seems like he could do that.”
In the other clubhouse, the Marlins still weren’t smiling.
Years from now, Florida manger Fredi Gonzalez said, will be the time to appreciate having a front-row seat for history. For now, though, it goes down as just another loss for the Marlins — some of whom lamented Halladay getting the benefit of borderline calls.
“It’s unreal how he just goes about his business,” marveled Josh Johnson, the losing pitcher Saturday after giving up one unearned run. “It’s all business, know what I mean? No messing around, no joking around. He’s there for one reason. He’s there to finish the game, pretty much, which is very impressive to watch.”
It was the second perfect game in the majors in May, Dallas Braden doing it for Oakland against Tampa Bay a mere 20 days earlier. It’s the first time in the modern era that there were a pair of perfectos in the same season, and already the third no-hit effort of 2010, with Colorado’s Ubaldo Jimenez throwing a no-hitter in April.
NEW YORK (AP) - Yankees fans showed Don Mattingly the love from the moment he took the lineup card to home plate Wednesday. Hiroki Kuroda, though, wasn't feeling nostalgic when facing his old team.
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