Roy Halladay throws no-hitter in playoff debut
Source: thepeterboroughexaminer.com — Roy Halladay said he was more excited than nervous on Wednesday about making the first postseason appearance of his 13-season major league career and the masterful right-hander made it a thrilling debut.
The Philadelphia Phillies ace became the second pitcher to throw a post-season no-hitter in a 4-0 victory on Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds, joining New York Yankee Don Larsen who tossed a perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
A great pitcher on mediocre teams for most of his 12 seasons with the American League Toronto Blue Jays, Halladay came to Philadelphia in an offseason trade and after 169 major league wins finally got to toe the rubber in the playoffs.
“If you don’t go you’re always thinking about being there,” the 33-year-old Halladay told reporters after his gem. “The longer you play, the more you think about having that chance and being able to be involved in it. It’s been fun to do here because of the atmosphere and the guys on the team. It’s been everything I’d hoped it would be.”
Halladay has enjoyed a lot of success, claiming the 2003 American League Cy Young Award while with the Blue Jays and earlier this season tossing the 20th perfect game ever in Major League Baseball against the Florida Marlins in Miami.
Beguiling the opposition in the opener of the best-of-five National League Division Series before a roaring home crowd at Citizens Bank Park was something completely different.
“It was getting louder each inning,” said the laid-back Halladay. “When it gets that loud it’s hard to ignore. The last three innings it seemed it got louder every inning.
“It’s obviously one of the most electric atmospheres I’ve ever been in. It was pretty neat. It was something obviously you can’t ignore. It was fun.”
Halladay, a seven-time All-Star who led the majors in wins, complete games, shutouts and innings this year, gave a lot of credit to catcher Carlos Ruiz.
“Ruiz has done a great job of recognising early on what is working, what’s effective and calling it in good situations,” Halladay said. “I thought we did a good job of mixing pitches. We were aggressive.”
Ruiz said he knew early that Halladay was in top form.
“You could see it in his bullpen (warm-up). Hitting both sides of the plate and his split finger (fastball) was working real good,” said Ruiz. “It was the same guy I remember from when I caught the perfect game.”
Halladay said he was helped by the team’s early 4-0 lead, which he helped build with an RBI-single in the second.
Halladay worked quickly, toiled through some steady rain and rang up a high number of first-pitch strikes to get ahead in the count and put batters on the defensive.
The post-season no-no, coming after his perfect game, made Halladay the first pitcher to throw a pair of no-hitters in a season since Nolan Ryan accomplished the feat 27 years ago.