Six Years Ago Today, Roy Halladay Threw a Playoff No-Hitter
On October 6, 2010, the Phillies began their playoff series against the Reds with the best record in baseball — 97 games won in the regular season — for the first time in team history.
Their starting pitcher for that game was Roy Halladay, making his first postseason start after a long, successful career. He’d finished that season with 21 of the Phillies wins, a 2.44 ERA, nice complete games and four shutouts — including a perfect game. But how would he handle the playoffs?
What happened was incredible. The Phillies jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings, with Halladay knocking in one of the runs. The game was basically over. Doc cruised, walking just one, and striking out eight. And though he needed some heroics from Carlos Ruiz to get that final out, the result was the same: Halladay pitched only the second playoff no-hitter in baseball history. The Phillies have been around since 1883; five years ago today was one of the best moments of their history.
Brandon Phillips, the Reds batter who made the last out, said Halladay was simply un-hittable. “If he was pitching against the Phillies today, they probably would have done the same thing we did,” he said. “That is the best-pitched game I’ve seen since I’ve been going to the playoffs and the World Series,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Many no-hitters have moments where a fielder makes a great play, or a pitcher gets lucky when a ball goes foul. The Reds really never threatened with a hard-hit ball. Halladay’s lone mistake was a fifth-inning walk. Four pitches after that walk, the inning was over.
“Once it ends, it’s a little bit surreal,” Halladay said. It was for Phillies fans, too. The game just seemed to float by. The Phillies were in control the whole time. It was a time when the Phillies were the best in baseball, and another World Series title seemed within their grasp.
They didn’t win the World Series that year, of course, but they gave Phillies fans quite the postseason moment anyway.