October 7, 2010
Last night's flawless pitching performance by Roy Halladay was utterly amazing on several levels. He helped the Philadelphia Phillies totally dominate the Cincinnati Reds, winning the first game of the series, 4-0. It was his very first appearance in a postseason game, after 12 full years in the majors (all with the Toronto Blue Jays), and he acted like he was used to the ultra-intense pressure. Most news reports seem to be emphasizing that it was only the second no-hitter thrown in MLB postseason history, the first being Yankee Don Larsen's perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series. (See MLB.com.) The only Reds player to reach base was Jay Bruce, who walked in the fifth inning. This was Halladay's second no-hitter of the 2010 season, the first being in May, when he threw a perfect game. Only four pitchers before have ever thrown two no-hitters in one season. No one has ever thrown two perfect games during the course of their careers, much less twice in one season. Halladay came within one pitch of doing exactly that, and some people thought that Bruce should have been called out on strikes. (See MLB.com.) Unbelievable!
Facebook friend Callum Hughes was live-blogging the game, and posted several great photos of the postgame celebration at mopupduty.com.
In the American League, the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers are in a commanding position to win their respective divisional series, both of them winning the first two games on the road. The Rangers won both games by wide margins (5-1 and 6-0), whereas the Yankees prevailed over the Twins by smaller margins, 6-4 and 5-2. So much for home field advantage! The Tampa Bay Rays had the highest winning percentage in the league at the end of the regular season, and the Twins did briefly a couple weeks ago, but now both teams are on the brink of elimination. Target Field has been highly favorable to the Twins' fortunes in its inaugural year, but the luster on that shining gem may be fading fast. The two series will now head to The Bronx and Arlington, Texas, where home team fans will be gearing up for big celebration. The Rangers have reached the playoffs three times, but have never made it past the first round.
In San Francisco, the Atlanta Braves could not figure out how to get hits off of Giants' ace pitcher Tim Lincecum, who allowed only three batters to reach base in nine full innings. All it took for the home team to win was Buster Posey's single and stolen base in the fourth inning, followed by Cody Ross's RBI single. Posey, a young catcher who came out of nowhere to become a star player for the Giants this year, also got a double in the sixth inning, but it didn't result in any runs. Final score, 1-0.