After wasting year after year of excellence with the Toronto Blue Jays without a playoff appearance, Roy Halladay got his first taste of playoff baseball today with the Philadelphia Phillies. Fans of the "Doc" expected Halladay to pitch well in his first post-season start because of his awesome track record in years past and his 21-10 record with the Phils this season, but nobody could have anticipated what took place at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia this evening. Roy Halladay became only the second pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs.
After four innings, Halladay was actually perfect, not given up a hit or a walk to the National League Central Division winners Cincinnati Reds. Jay Bruce walked on a 3-2 sinker with two outs in the fifth, leading to Halladay’s first and only base runner of the evening. But after that, the “Doctor” continued his almost perfect work as the Phillies took game one of the Divisional Series by a score of 4-0. He became the only pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in playoff history since Don Larsen threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees in 1956. Ironically, this Friday, October 8, will be the 54th anniversary of Larsen's perfect game.
During a post-game interview on the field at Citizens Bank Park, Halladay said "I just wanted to pitch here (the post season),” adding, “it's a dream come true."
Halladay has been arguably the best starting pitcher in baseball for the past six years, often leading the majors in complete games, shutouts and innings pitched. The Ace joined Philadelphia this past off-season in hopes of at least making the post-season, something that has eluded him for over 10 years with the Toronto Blue Jays.
For the final out, Halladay got the Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips to hit a tapper in front of the plate. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz attacked the ball and got down on his knees as the ball rolled near Phillips' bat and threw out Phillips at first base to complete the no-hitter.
Leading the charge offensively for Philadelphia was Shane Victorino, who went 2-4 with a double, two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.
The Phillies, who are a favorite to win the World Series in 2010, will go with another former Cy Young award winner in Roy Oswalt in Game 2 against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, October 8. The game can be seen on TBS and Sportsnet channels.