A few pitchers are lucky enough to throw a no-hitter in their career. Roy Halladay threw two…and both of them were last year…and one of them was a perfect game…and the other was in his playoff debut! Are you kidding me!?!?
Amazing accomplishments like these make Halladay an aficionado on the art of the no-hitter. They also make him perfect for the cover of Major League Baseball 2K11. That’s because 2K Sports will once again award $1,000,000 to the first person to pitch a verified perfect game in MLB 2K11. (Gamers can start trying to throw their perfectos on opening day, April 1, 2011.)
I caught up with Halladay on the set of his upcoming commercial for 2K11 to talk about real no-hitters, video game no-hitters, and the Phillies potentially historic pitching staff. Keep reading to hear what he said...
So you’re shooting a commercial now. Does that mean you might pursue a career in acting when you’re done playing? Maybe try to win an Oscar?
[Laughs] Absolutely not.
What’s it like being on the cover of such a popular video game?
It’s cool. My boys are definitely excited because they’re big video game fans. The 2K game is a game my son has played for a while now. That’s one of the biggest draws for us, they’re getting to that age where they get to share these cool things with me. He’s not age eligible for the Million Dollar Challenge yet, but when he is, I think he’ll have a shot.
What’s the overall record between you and your son in MLB 2K11?
I think it’s skewed a little bit. He definitely lets me win sometimes to make me feel better. He’ll be killing me and all of the sudden, I’ll start getting hits and runs. I think he lets me sneak a couple wins in there.
What team do you play as when you play against your son?
Normally he gets to be me. He always wants to play as the Phillies, so we have to do an interleague game so I can play as Toronto. It’s a compromise.
How realistic do you think the game is?
What’s great about the game is, they had us come in and talk about how we handle different situations during the game and they try to take those things and apply it to the game. I felt like I had input and they tried to make it as realistic as possible.
Have you ever thrown a perfect game on the video game?
I haven’t even come close. My son has actually come close. I think he’s gotten through seven and two-thirds innings. I don’t even make it out of the first inning.
How do you treat him during his no-hitters? Do you stay away from him like players do in the Majors during a potential no-hitter?
I work him pretty good the whole time. He quits talking when he’s got a no-hitter going. I try to talk to him and distract him and he zones me out. He gets locked in.
Does he sit in one place for good luck?
Oh no, he bounces all over the place. We have to clear out the furniture.
So you have two real no-hitters, but you can’t do it in the video game, what do you think that means?
I’m a terrible video game player. [Laughs]
What tips would you give to someone trying to throw a no-hitter in the video game?
A lot of the pitching stuff is similar in real life and in the game. You can’t keep throwing the same pitch over and over. The biggest thing is the pitch selection.
Do you have any tips on keeping your cool and not getting too nervous in the late innings?
Focus on the pitches that you’re making. Don’t worry about the score or the outs or anything like that. Just keep it simple. Once you get carried away in the big picture, it makes it a lot harder.
You added Cliff Lee to an already stacked pitching staff that includes you, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. What are your expectations for the rotation this year?
Obviously the talent is there, but we have to go out and do it. People are going to be gunning for you. Nothing’s going to be given to you. There’s a good possibility that we can be a real good team, we just have to go out there and do it.
Can you make baseball history with these four guys in the rotation?
If we perform the way that we’re able to, there’s that chance. Going in, having people say that this is the best staff and blah blah blah, that’s pretty far-fetched. You have to put in that season. That’s what all of those other great staffs did. They did their jobs. You evaluate that at the end of the season. It’s better to just stand back and focus on your job.
Do you think you’ll have more wins with the Phillies or more wins against your son in MLB 2K11 this year?
Hopefully I have more wins in real-life than I do against my son, because I’m not going to win many against him. [Laughs]
MLB 2K11 comes out March 8, 2011.