THE BLOG
10/07/2010 12:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dr. No No

With his free agency in the offing, Toronto's Roy Halladay didn't make a fuss, embarrassing himself or the franchise, as so many athletes often do. It wasn't, 'This team is never gonna win, get me outta here!'

It was the simple law of modern day baseball economics that the Blue Jays would not be able to afford signing him to a long-term contract.

So Halladay waived his no-trade clause and was dealt last off-season to the Philadelphia Phillies, the National League Champions and, previous to that, the 2008 World Champions.

The best pitcher in baseball, even before last night, inherited his manic work ethic from his father, a commercial airline pilot.

"I always feel I have to do something to make myself better," he said.

A 17th-round draft choice by Toronto in 1995 -- yes, 17th ROUND -- what happened last night was almost destiny.

On September 27, 1998, in just the second start of his Major League career, Halladay lost a no-hitter with two outs in the 9th inning on a pinch-hit home run by Detroit's Bobby Higginson.

But two seasons later, throwing straight over the top, after surrendering 80 earned runs and allowing 149 base runners in 67 2/3 innings, Halladay was farmed out all the way down to the Class-A Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League.

There, Mel Queen, who started his career as an outfielder but later transformed himself into a pitcher and serving as the organization's pitching coach, made one simple mechanical adjustment: he lowered Halladay's arm angle.

From that day forward, none of his four pitches -- sinker, cutter, curveball and changeup -- would ever be straight again with more plane changes than his father ever experienced in his flying career.

In 2003, Halladay was named the American League's Cy Young Award Winner.

On May 29th, the National League Cy Young Award winner-in-waiting threw a perfect game against the Marlins in Florida, only the 20th in Major League history. The consensus among his Phillies teammates last night was that his pitches were better than those he made in the perfect game.

Phils rookie outfielder Domonic Brown said, "Was that a video game out there or what?"

Halladay threw first-pitch strikes to 25 of the 28 batters he faced. He was 0-and-2 on 11 batters.

Like Don Larsen, he's the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the post-season. Unlike Larsen, he is the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the regular season and post-season in his career.

Halladay is the fifth pitcher in history to throw two no-hitters in the same season and the first since Texas Rangers President Nolan Ryan did so for the then California Angels in 1973.

As a 24-year-old with control problems, Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds threw no-hitters in consecutive starts in June, 1938, his first full season in the Major Leagues (the second was in the first night game ever played at the Brooklyn Dodgers).

Who knows if we'll ever see something like that again?

At the advanced age of 35 in 1951, the Yankees' Allie Reynolds threw a pair of no-nos and, the following year, Virgil Trucks of Detroit did the same.

Almost 1,000 post-season games were played in the period between Don Larsen's perfect game and Halladay's feat last night.

It may take that long to see another game like that ever again.