Roy Halladay had to be perfect.
And he was.
The Phillies traded for the ace righthander in part because he had the ability to carry a team when it faltered in all other avenues toward victory, and on Saturday night against the Marlins he did just that, pitching the 20th perfect game in Major League history as the Phillies topped Florida 1-0 at Sun Life Stadium.
It was the sixth time in history that a pitcher threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win. While it may seem hard to believe, according to box scores on Baseball Almanac and Retrosheet.org, the five previous pitchers to do so were backed by a single unearned run:
-Tom Browning in 1988
-Mike Witt in 1984
-Sandy Koufax in 1965
-Addie Joss in 1908
-Lee Richmond in 1880
The Phillies scored their only run in the third inning on a botched fly ball by Marlins center fielder Cameron Maybin.
Halladay struck out 10, and got the final out on a groundball from Ronnie Paulino that Juan Castro fielded at third base.
The Phillies line-up featured Castro at third base because Placido Polanco missed his second straight game with tendinitis in his elbow. Wilson Valdez started at short stop for Jimmy Rollins, who is not eligible to return from the disabled list until June 6.