Cody Ross was one of those helpless Florida Marlins flailing away at Roy Halladay's pitches on the memorable night of May 29 in Miami. He was there watching as the Phillies jubilantly gathered on the pitcher's mound to celebrate Halladay's perfect game.
Ross did his part in that bit of baseball history by going 0-for-3 while batting sixth.
Of course, few would have remembered it unless Ross himself brought attention to it, which he did without saying a word Saturday in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park.
Ross got his payback.
For the chance to do so, he had to move to the other side of the country, and he had to change into a Giants uniform, but he got it by hitting two home runs off Halladay, puncturing an air of invincibility around the Phillies righthander, who threw a no-hitter against Cincinnati in the NLDS opener.
Both of Ross's homers came with the bases empty, but they both sent significant messages in the Giants' 4-3 win. The first, which came with one out in the third inning, showed his teammates Halladay was at least hittable. Up to that point, Halladay had retired the first seven Giants and had gone 112/3 innings in the post-season without allowing a hit.
"It certainly gave us a sense of confidence in the dugout, putting us on the board like that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You're facing one of the best in the game and when somebody hits a home run like that, it settles them down."
Ross's second homer, which came two innings later, gave the Giants a 2-1 lead, and was a response to the homer Carlos Ruiz had hit off Tim Lincecum that tied the game in the bottom of the third.
When asked if he saw anything from Halladay during the perfect game that prompted him to adjust, Ross shrugged.
"This guy [Halladay], he's obviously one of the best in the game," he said. "He's got the potential to go out and do that every time he pitches. In the past, I've tried everything, waiting him out, being aggressive. Luckily, I got some good wood on it and got it up in the air."
In a way, Ross represents what the Giants are all about. It's a team patched together with several parts that didn't fit elsewhere, straining to prop up a superb pitching staff, and Ross is one of the more unlikely parts.
On Aug. 21, the Marlins placed him on waivers and he was awarded to the Giants, a move many suspect the Giants made to prevent him from going to West Division rival San Diego, who the Giants were trying to catch at the time.
When Ross reported to the Giants, he was on his fifth team in eight seasons, the definition of a journeyman. He quickly endeared himself to his new teammates with his hustle and professionalism.
He became even more popular during the NLDS against Atlanta. He homered to tie Game 4 and drove in the winning run in two of the three wins.
"Cody forced his way into the lineup," Bochy said. "He's a nice player."
Ross has had his moments. In 2006, he had two games in which he drove home seven runs. In one of them, he ripped three homers. In those two games combined, he had more homers and RBIs than he did in any other month that season.
But now, Cody Ross can tell his grandchildren about the year 2010, when he was on the wrong side of Roy Halladay's perfect game in May, but on the winning side against Halladay in October, when the stakes were higher.