October 6, 2010 – The day Roy Halladay threw the first no-hitter by an NL pitcher in the history of baseball. According to @ on Twitter, the game was the 1263rd playoff game in history, and just the 2nd no-hitter. Let that sink in for a second. _PR
October 6, 2010 – A date many Phillies‘ fans (and baseball fans in general) will not soon forget. Fans of the Phillies may even remember where they were as Doc threw his second no-hitter of the season, becoming just the 5th man to do that in a season.
October 6, 2010 – The date this fan missed his favorite team’s ace throw a no-hitter because he was in French class! Are you kidding me! How did I allow this to happen? I contemplated skipping class, but I had an exam, so that was out. My only recourse to follow the game in real-time was to keep track of it on my Droid X using MLB At-Bat, and hope that I wouldn’t miss anything historic. In retrospect, I should have set my Tivo. I didn’t and I missed an historic event. What an idiot!
Enough with my rant, time to talk about the game. Much has been written, and rightfully so, about Roy Halladay’s brilliance and this post will add to those words. Roy Halladay is simply the best pitcher in baseball. He has been a beast throughout his career and his first season with the Phillies has been superlative. To quote Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley:
In his first year with the Phillies, Halladay has:
- Pitched a perfect-game against the Florida Marlins
- Made the NL All-Star team
- Pitched a complete game shut-out to help his team clinch the division against the Washington Nationals
- Led the NL in wins, complete games, shut-outs, innings pitched, strikeout-to-walk ratio, and lowest walk rate
- [Will likely] win the NL Cy Young award
- Put himself into legitimate NL MVP candidacy
- Pitched a no-hitter in Game One of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds, his first career post-season start
On the day the trade went down that brought Halladay to the Phillies, I knew that he would be awesome in Philly. I said to my wife’s uncle, that Halladay would easily have an ERA in the low 2’s (he ended the season with a 2.44 ERA) and that he was my favorite to win the Cy Young award. When I made that prediction, I didn’t know he would be this good.
How good Halladay was last night? According to the ever helpful Baseball-Reference.com, Halladay’s pitching performance had a game score of 94, which tied it with Don Larsen‘s famous perfect game for the 4th best game score in post season history! Two of the three players who finished with better game scores pitched into extra innings, adding points to their totals. Roger Clemens (the man with the best game score) struck out 15 batters in a one-hitter against Seattle. Strike outs count for something in the computation of game scores, so the Rocket grabs the top spot.
To quote Eno Sarris at FanGraphs:
But of course it was his work on the mound that was so impressive. He showed legendary control in pitching his no-hitter, only producing 25 balls on 104 pitches. He induced weak groundball after weak groundball (12 of them, to 6 fly balls). He was efficient – using only 11.6 pitches per inning. He was dominant. He had the kind of game that will go down in history right next to Don Larsen’s perfect game. He produced a game of which everyone who watched felt unworthy. He was awe-some.
That type of dominance is the reason the Phillies brought Halladay to Broad and Pattison. I can’t wait to see what Doc has in store for us as the postseason continues.
Of course, the night couldn’t simply be a celebration of Roy Hallday’s greatness, somebody had to cause some controversy. In what sounds a lot like sour grapes, Orlando Cabrera decided to spout these words, “He and the umpire pitched a no-hitter. He gave him every pitch. Basically, we had no chance.” In response to this comment, as Eno Sarris points out using data from BrooksBaseball.net, Cabrera had nothing to complain about. See the chart:
Clearly, Cabrera should take some lessons from fellow Red, Jonny Gomes who had this to say about Halladay,
I think Doc actually took the umpire out of the game by just throwing strikes. I really didn’t have any questionable strikes on me. I’m not really worried about the umpire too much. I’m worried about the guy on the mound. He did a great job — all four corners down and in, up and in, down and out. He threw all four pitches in all four corners.
Props to Gomes for showing some respect for the achievement, for the pitcher and for being a class act.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game; can the Phillies other Roy (Oswalt) pitch the Phillies to a 2-0 series lead or will the Reds and their potent offense strike back?
Oh, and if you missed the game like I did, check out all 27 outs here.