Philadelphia Phillies: Who Just Pitched 36-24-36?

Roy Halladay’s figure might be far from perfect but Saturday he threw a 10.

I watched Roy’s own personal Man Show fittingly on a girl's night out. From a seat at Barnaby’s we celebrated, and were soon joined by a group of guys in traditional Scottish attire.

“Why kilts?” I asked.

“Just exploring our ethnic tradition,” the scholar said. “Wanna peek?”

“No thanks,” I said. “I have one of those at home.”

I wasn’t talking about the skirt.

And I don’t have to pull up Roy’s to tell you what’s underneath. Saturday’s performance tells the tale.

Pardon me, I have to change my panties.

Then Sunday I picked up the paper and read the front page headline: “Perfect.”

What I didn’t know was the article that followed was written by immortal columnist Bill Lyon. If you don’t know Bill, I’ll explain. His Excellency resides in a levitated state above a swirl of melodic words and catchy phrases in a land far, far, away. And every now and then he descends through a scripted mist to transmit prose as only he knows.

I imagine the late night email he sent to the Inquirer after Roy’s masterpiece went something like this: “Hi, this is Bill. I’ll take it from here.”

Then he graced us with giblets of sports gospel.

I started to read, sucking down the imagery with the few coherent brain cells that were spared by the eighties, and did the only thing any aging, premenstrual baseball enthusiast would do.

I wept.

That’s right. While my husband confirmed that I’m crazy, I continued to cry. It was hours before I could speak of the game without that curveball lodging in my throat.

I have bats in the belfry; Roy had angels at the plate.

And at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida almost 26 people witnessed it.

The only problem with the ace’s career quest was the scoreboard records whole numbers, and runs are tallied in increments of one.

There are no A’s for effort or badges for courage. A perfect “P” can only be attained if your team scores at least once. Achieving that seemed to be more elusive than my first “O.” But after endless days of struggling to manufacture runs, the game was ironically won on an “E.”

I’m putting out an APB on the long ball.

The Phil’s offense is as frustrated as a middle-aged babe who can’t perfect the fake press pass.

Hypothetically speaking.

Now let’s give credit where it’s due.

Imagine you’re Carlos Ruiz, an unimposing dude from Panama. You experienced brief notoriety this season as the first batter up in an extra innings game against what could be called the best team in the league.

You walked to the plate in the bottom of the tenth knowing you were the eighth guy in the lineup. If it weren’t for the pitcher, you’d have been ninth.

You’re Ugly Betty.

After a first pitch foul touched down aside of the left field pole, you watched two pitches whiz by to move the count to 2-1. Then you recognized the next pitch as your opportunity to straighten it out. You summoned the same swing and briefly admired the ball sailing toward the left center wall. With confidence you pointed to the dugout as you jogged by, rounding first as the man who’d won the game.

Last but not least, you jumped into the pile at home plate knowing you sent a little guy from section 146 home with a souvenir.

I once saw a quote that read, “It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a tendency toward subtlety.” Well, maybe this is the year for Carlos Ruiz. I can’t wait ‘til the day “Chooch” becomes a household name.

Roy gained so much faith in what Doctor Chooch was prescribing he gave him the honor of calling the game—starting in the sixth.

So Carlos knelt calmly and did what he was told to do: handle the pitchers. And he does that in English and Spanish.

He can whisper sweet nothings in my ear in Swahili for all I care.

I get a hot flash just thinking about it.

At the end of nine, Chooch added a perfect game to his catching resume, and Roy Halladay enhanced his biography.

The last Phillie to do that chose the year 1964. I had just turned two. While Jim Bunning pitched perfectly to 27 batters I was chiseling my way into my mother’s padlocked medicine case with the claw of my Fisher-Price hammer, intent on getting my fix on children’s aspirin.

Now I just Jones for the Phils.

I know they’ll work through their offensive rut but if they don’t, I won’t be the only doe still in season.

Enjoy the rest of this Halladay weekend.

See you at the ballpark.

Copyright 2010 Flattish Poe All Rights Reserved

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