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Sports Then and Now

Creating Baseball History: No Mercy From “Doc” Halladay

Posted on October 06, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Roy Halladay is only the second pitcher in baseball history to toss a post season no-hitter.

Major League Baseball’s “Year of the Pitcher” has a new defining moment following Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds in the opening game of the 2010 National League playoffs.

In his first-ever post season appearance, Halladay enters some heady company as he joins Don Larsen as the only pitchers in major league history to toss a post season no-hitter. In addition, he became the first pitcher since Nolan Ryan in 1973, and the fourth ever, to toss two no-hitters in the same season.

After winning 148 games while toiling away for a decade on a perennial second division team in Toronto, this season Halladay showed that he could also have success on a winner. After being traded to the Phillies in the off-season, Halladay won 21 games in the regular season to help lift Philadelphia to their fourth straight Eastern Division title.

Even though Halladay was facing the best offensive team in the National League in his playoff debut, there was little surprise when he started the game by mowing down the Cincinnati hitters.

He was perfect until surrendering a two-out walk to Jay Bruce in the fifth inning. However, he quickly regrouped and continued to mow down hitter after hitter.

Many no-hitters have at least one signature defensive play to save the no-no, but Halladay was so dominant that the only close call was the last play of the game when Brandon Phillips tapped the ball in front of the plate and Carlos Ruiz briefly stumbled before firing the ball to Ryan Howard to end the game.

Halladay’s second no-hitter of the season is the sixth in Major League baseball in 2010 (not counting the should-have-been perfect game by Armando Galarrago). That is the highest single season total since 1991 when there were seven no-hitters. In fact, during the height of the steroid era from 2000 through 2003, there were only six no-hitters during a four-year stretch.

Though the playoffs are only hours old, it will be hard for another moment to eclipse Halladay’s no-no as the most memorable moment of the 2010 post season.

Of course, for Halladay, the post season won’t be complete unless he and the Phillies are bathing in champagne when the World Series ends in early November.

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