06/01/10 5:07 PM ET
Halladay, Cano named Players of the Week
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
OK, so maybe it isn't so easy. But Phillies ace Roy Halladay has had a knack for making the very difficult seem rather mundane throughout his illustrious 13-year career.
After retiring all 27 Marlins hitters who came to bat on Saturday night, Halladay on Tuesday joined Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano as the two Players of the Week presented by Bank of America for their respective leagues.
Halladay struck out a season-high 11 hitters and didn't issue a walk despite getting into seven three-ball counts at Sun Life Stadium. On his 115th pitch, he spun a 1-2 curveball to Ronny Paulino that resulted in a groundout to third base, a 1-0 victory for his team and the second perfect game of the 2010 season.
Thanks to Halladay's perfecto, 2010 -- which also saw the A's Dallas Braden hurl a perfect game on Mother's Day -- became the first year since 1880 to feature two perfect games in the same season.
"I think you're always aware, from the first inning on, but I don't think you're ever really thinking about throwing a no-hitter until probably the eighth or ninth," Halladay said on that magical night. "I think once you get there, you realize you're close, but you're still a long ways from it. I think once I got two outs in that ninth inning, I felt like I had a chance to make some pitches and get it."
The 33-year-old Halladay, acquired from Philadelphia this offseason in an intricate multi-team trade that jettisoned Cliff Lee to Seattle, is now 7-3 with a 1.99 ERA through his first 11 starts of the year. He joined Jim Bunning (1964) as the only Phillies pitcher to throw a perfect game and became the fifth Cy Young Award winner to accomplish the feat.
Halladay has now won five Player of the Week awards in his career and two this season.
Cano, meanwhile, continues to roll at the plate.
The 27-year-old lefty hitter is off to the best start of his career, as he goes into Tuesday's game ranked first in the American League in hits (73) and second in batting average (.363) while adding 11 homers and 40 RBIs.
Thanks to a Major League-leading .565 (13-for-23) batting average, four doubles, a homer, nine RBIs and five runs scored last week, Cano -- named Player of the Month for April -- captured his fourth career Player of the Week award.
And he's on pace for his second All-Star Game selection, too. In terms of fan voting for the All-Star Game, Cano leads AL second basemen with 811,300 votes. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox is second with 487,733.
Cano, who didn't strike out in seven games last week, hit a grand slam while batting cleanup for the first time in his career on Friday then added two hits and a run scored on Sunday, as the Bronx Bombers took three of four from the Indians. With those two hits, Cano boosted his season hit total to 71 through his first 50 games of the season, giving him the most hits by a Yankee through the first 50 contests since Alfonso Soriano also got 71 in 2002.
Entering the Yankees' game against the Orioles on Tuesday, Cano is riding a 14-game hitting streak.
"He just tries to have good at-bats and not put too much pressure on himself," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Cano recently.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.