Roy Halladay Tosses Second Post-Season No-Hitter

Roy Halladay was as dominant as ever tonight, tossing just the second post-season no-hitter in baseball history. He needed only 104 pitches to get through 28 batters with the lone dent on his stellar outing  a fifth-inning walk to Jay Bruce. The Phillies’ prized right-hander struck out eight and induced twelve ground balls with three infield pop-ups.

With all of the great baseball moments in Philadelphia dating back to 2007, it has become increasingly hard to impress Phillies fans. Epic walk-off hits in the post-season? That’s old hat. Amazing defensive plays? Boring. Making up seven games in the standings in a short amount of time? Already did it.

Halladay, though, managed to sear himself into the memories of baseball fans with his historic performance tonight. Although he had tossed a perfect game earlier in the year and is on track to win his second career Cy Young award, many analysts and fans wondered how he would react to his first ever post-season start. It is safe to say that those questions have been answered.

Aside from confusing hitter after hitter, Halladay put on a bit of a hitting clinic in the second inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Halladay stepped to the plate against Edinson Volquez. Reds fans had to be breathing a sigh of relief as there is no other opposing hitter you’d rather see up with runners on base than the pitcher. Halladay hacked at the first pitch and sent a well-hit line drive to left field, allowing Carlos Ruiz to score to put the Phillies up 2-0. Shortly thereafter, Shane Victorino singled to center, scoring Wilson Valdez and Halladay.

Hits by Roy Halladay through one plate appearance: 1.

Hits by the Cincinnati Reds through 28 plate appearances: 0.

It was just that kind of night. The National League’s most potent offense was squelched by Halladay’s ability to get ahead of hitters and locate his pitches extremely well. Of the 28 batters Halladay faced, he threw a first-pitch strike to 24 of them (86 percent). He got to an 0-2 count with 14 of the 28 hitters and never fell behind 2-0. Pitcher Travis Wood made the best contact against Halladay, sending a line drive to right fielder Jayson Werth in the third inning. That would be the only line drive of the night.

The Reds weren’t exactly classy when speaking to reporters after the game. Shortstop Orlando Cabrera — with a .292 wOBA and 6.4 percent walk rate — thought the umpires were rather generous to Doc. Via the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fayman on Twitter:

He and the umpire pitched a no-hitter. He gave him every pitch. Basically, we had no chance.

Eno Sarris posted this chart at FanGraphs in his recap that shows that home plate umpire John Hirschbeck’s zone was pretty good.

Called strikes are the light red squares and I see only one that’s questionable. You stay classy, Reds. I made the “NL East Whining” category given all of the complaining the Atlanta Braves do about the Phillies — I’m hoping I don’t have to add an “NL Central Whining” category now. Edinson Volquez pitched with the same home plate umpire and ended up walking two and not making it out of the second inning.

MLB.com‘s Todd Zolecki has some great quotes from the man himself, Doc Halladay:

“I felt like we got in a groove early,” Halladay said. “[Catcher] Carlos [Ruiz] has been great all year, but he helps me get in rhythm, throwing a lot of pitches for strikes, getting ahead, and then later in the game mixing pitches well, mixing speeds well. So he’s done a great job for me, just trying to be aggressive.”

[...]

“It’s surreal. It really is,” Halladay said. “I just wanted to pitch here, pitch in the postseason. To be able to go out and have a game like that is a dream come true.”

Just as he did after his perfect game against the Florida Marlins, Halladay deflects the praise from himself and puts it on his teammates. What a guy.

The Phillies go up 1-0 on the Reds in the NLDS and look to take a commanding 2-0 lead as Roy Oswalt takes the bump Friday night against Bronson Arroyo.

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19 comments

  1. Dave

    October 06, 2010 08:25 PM

    Obviously Doc Halladay is a boss. The AP article says a) Roy Halladay is good, b) Phillies fans are fanatica, c) compares the 2010 Reds to the 2007 Phils and b) pretty much says that the Reds don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.

    As a Reds fan I do have to say the umpiring crew was good, mostly good calls both ways. Again, the Reds pitching (especially Travis Wood against the Phillies AGAIN) was great except for Volquez. It’s their offense which is the key to the series. Not to take away anything from Halladay at all, but tonight you saw how the Reds’ offense is so “bipolar.”

  2. Dave

    October 06, 2010 08:28 PM

    Oh yeah, about the O-Cabrera thing…Reds fans know him as a “leader of men” and a good clubhouse veteran, but not really as anything on the field. The umps were ok, it was just Volquez and the Reds offense.

  3. Chad

    October 06, 2010 08:40 PM

    Unreal. Epic.

    Orlando Cabrera embarrassed himself on the field (with that ridiculous effort in the second that led to three Phillies runs) and off the field with those classless remarks. I’m so sick of that guy.

    Kudos to Halladay. He’s a man.

  4. PhillyPhan

    October 06, 2010 08:44 PM

    Bill: Can you post the same pitch zone analysis Travis Wood received? I think that will then prove your point that the Reds are a bunch of whiny players. To me, it looked like both pitchers got the same strike zone.

  5. Patrick

    October 06, 2010 08:48 PM

    Next game is on Friday.

    Man, Cabrera is pretty dumb. How can that sort of quote be helpful to anyone?

  6. Nate

    October 06, 2010 09:07 PM

    Even without seeing the graph, I thought the strike zone was consistent all night. Why can’t Cabrera be classy like his manager or his teammate Gomes? I hope he’s ready for a lot of booing on Friday because the phans are going to give it to him.

  7. Joe

    October 06, 2010 09:17 PM

    Roy Halladay is the BEST pitcher of the past decade! Congrats on a no-hitter in the playoffs! RoyHalladay… Roy Halladay is the first starting pitcher in the history of postseason baseball to have more hits in a game than he allowed..

  8. E

    October 06, 2010 09:48 PM

    Why would cabrera care about what a bunch of people who are paying to watch a game have to say or boo ? People who hype up their “presence” in a game from the seats make me chuckle.

    Cabrera’s comment wasn’t smart, but was in the heat of the moment, something many athletes do in that situation.

  9. Scott G

    October 06, 2010 10:12 PM

    I personally don’t care if the strike zone is consistent if it’s consistently wrong. It wasn’t too bad tonight, but Umpires don’t understand that when a LHP throws a slider on the left side of the plate and the catcher catches it behind the corner of the plate, it missed the strike zone.

    Bill,

    Do you wield enough power to make a serious proposal to utilize an overhead cam instead of the VERY questionable pitch tracker? Whenever the people feel the need to use the pitch tracker, use the overhead cam replay. I’ve seen it once in a very rare while, and it’s excellent. No questions.

  10. Scott G

    October 06, 2010 10:13 PM

    Also, I don’t understand why people (including the announcers) tried to put any blame on Cabrera. He ranged to the 2B side of second, and really had no play anywhere. The fact that his flip was not accurate had no bearing on anything. Neither runner advanced.

  11. Jim

    October 07, 2010 01:03 AM

    Forgive me… I want to comment on this, I really do. But I have no words…

    This is what I posted on my Facebook on April 21: “I think we should just build a Roy Halladay statute outside of Citizen Bank Park, like, right now. And no, it’s not too early.” This was even before the perfect game. I had no idea I am such a prophet.

  12. Twilight

    October 07, 2010 09:40 AM

    Hey Bill,

    I was just wondering how the strike zone plot was generated, by hand or computer. Thanks.

  13. KH

    October 07, 2010 11:33 AM

    There is no strike zone in the world that should cause a team to get shut out let alone no hit. Roy Halladay is a great pitcher. Don’t sour grape. The swings the Reds were getting were awful. Orlando Cabrera is a bit player with a big mouth. I think we can all agree on that one point at least. Also, for the people questioning the strike zone results Bill posted I guess you are going to say your eyes are better and you totally disagree with what Bill posted. Just come out and say what you mean Red’s fans don’t dance around the maypole.

  14. Scott G

    October 07, 2010 12:25 PM

    KH,

    Maybe you should address who you’re talking to. I kind of get the feeling you’re talking about me. If so, you did not correctly interpret what I wrote. Also, I am a Phillies fan. All you had to do was click the link in my Name.

    If you were not talking to me, I apologize.

  15. Rayman5000

    October 07, 2010 02:13 PM

    @PhillyPhan:
    I’m not sure how you jump to the conclusion that the Reds are “a bunch of whiny players.” Orlando Cabrera was the only one who said anything…every other Reds player who was interviewed said that Halladay had dominating stuff. If anyone had a right to say anything, it was Rolen. Other than his strikeout, I thought the calls were consistent. Try not to generalize an entire team on one players comments.

  16. PhillyPhan

    October 07, 2010 02:28 PM

    @Rayman5000

    I didn’t make any conclusion. I was following up on this statement: “The Reds weren’t exactly classy when speaking to reporters after the game.”

  17. Rayman5000

    October 07, 2010 02:31 PM

    @PhillyPhan
    Then maybe you should actually read or listen to what those other Reds were saying after the game…instead of taking someone else’s one sentence statement for gospel.

  18. kmart

    October 07, 2010 10:54 PM

    I think it’s a little unfair to lump the rest of the Reds in with Cabrera’s comments. Votto and others were very complimentary of Halladay. Cabrera is an idiot and I hope the boos he’ll receive tomorrow cause him to continue to be off his game.

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