Spring training's underway, so time to get into baseball mode again. If you'll recall, last season Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS, only the second no-hitter ever thrown in postseason history. The other, of course, was Don Larsen's perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
I intend to prove to you today that Roy Halladay went to bed having had the better day than Don Larsen did.
Let's run through all the particulars:
STATUS OF GAME
Halladay: No-hitter (walked Jay Bruce in the 5th)
Larsen: Perfect game
Halladay: 1 (a perfect game earlier in the season; lifetime record so far is 169-86 with 1,714 strikeouts)
Larsen: 0 (Larsen was otherwise a journeyman pitcher with a lifetime record of 81-91 and 849 strikeouts)
ROUND OF PLAY
Larsen: World Series
STATUS OF SERIES UPON CONCLUSION OF GAME
Halladay: Phillies lead Reds, 1-0
Larsen: Yankees lead Dodgers, 3-2
GROUNDOUT/LINEOUT/FLYOUT RATIO (groundballs are preferred)
Halladay: 4 runs off 5 hits
Larsen: 2 runs off 5 hits, with a home run by Mickey Mantle
HOW THE PITCHER DID WHEN BATTING THEMSELVES
Halladay: 1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI
Larsen: 0-2, 1 strikeout, sacrifice bunt in 6th that sent Andy Carey to 2nd (Carey would score on the next at-bat)
TIME OF GAME
So far, it looks rather debatable. Larsen had the better result, brought his team closer to a title, and got his game over in 6 fewer pitches, 28 minutes faster. However, Halladay had his second no-hitter of the season, kept the ball on the ground more, had that one extra strikeout, got more support, and drove one of the Phillies' runs in himself.
There is, however, one more category to examine. Remember, we're asking who went to bed happier.
DID WIFE FILE DIVORCE PAPERS ON SAME DAY?
Larsen: Yes. They would split a month after the season; Don remarried a month after that. It was the prototypical shotgun marriage: Larsen had gotten his spouse, Vivian, pregnant, and married her out of a sense of honor. However, according to Vivian, he bolted three months afterward and failed to provide support; in addition to divorce papers, she wished his World Series money withheld.
Seems like a bit of a tiebreaker.