Although disappointed with the Rays loss to the Texas Rangers, the thrill of watching Roy “Doc” Halladay throw a no-hitter for the Phillies against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NL Division Series certainly helped save the day. Halladay fanned eight and threw 79 strikes to lead the Phillies to a 4-0 win. Jay Bruce was the only Red to get on base with a walk in the 5th.
In addition to his pitching finesse, Halladay also had a successful day with the bat. In the second inning, he hit a single to score Jimmy Rollins. Not many pitchers can boast of getting an RBI and a no-hitter in the same game.
With two outs in the ninth, Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips hit a dribbler down in front of Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz. It rolled slowly on the wet grass and Ruiz had difficulty fielding the ball, but he threw it from his knees to first base. The fans held their breath. First baseman Ryan Howard sucked in the throw and made the out, preserving the no-hitter. The crowd went wild.
This may have been Halladay’s first postseason appearance (after spending 12 seasons with the playoffs-less Toronto Blue Jays), but he stayed calm on the mound throughout the game to make baseball history. His name will now appear next to Don Larsen, who pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series. Halladay and Larsen have the only no-hitters in postseason play.
Halladay will also join Nolan Ryan for the feat of throwing two no-hitters in one season, having previously thrown a perfect game against the Florida Marlins during the regular season in May. Ryan won’t mind sharing the limelight for now, but he might change his attitude in the World Series. This past August, Ryan bought the Texas Rangers.
The playoffs have begun. Fans expect intense games and high caliber play. They certainly received that today. Congratulations, Roy Halladay.