Tonight’s lead-in was going to be about a pumpkin that looked like the Phillie Phanatic.
Obviously, since one o’clock this afternoon, things have changed. Back then, there was only one post season n0-hitter on record. Now there’s two, the Phillies are up in the NLDS 1-0, Roy’s got a post season RBI, Orlando Cabrera is pissed, everyone is disgusted with Orlando Cabrera, Reds fans can’t decide if they’re impressed or depressed, and Philadelphia is still standing. For now.
But in this town, we like our pitchers perfect and our cities destroyed in celebration.
NLDS GAME 1
Phillies 4, Reds 0
The Reds tried everything in the post game to excuse their fall.
“Giving us their resume.”
“It’s even more amazing what he did because we’re the No. 1 hitting team in the National League.”
“Expressing terrified awe:”
“That was the best pitched game I’ve seen since I’ve been going to the playoffs and World Series.”
And the always welcome “doltish ignorance.”
“Another umpire, he wouldn’t have thrown a game like that. He was getting every pitch. We had no chance. We had to swing.”
Oh, so it’s a childlike temper tantrum you want, eh, Orlando?! Well bad news, that’s exactly what this site was built on.
Here’s a question. When is the last time Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter? That’s right, never. Because his last no-hitter didn’t have any walks or errors or hit batsmen, so they called it a “perfect game.” John Hirschbeck was not the home plate umpire that day.
Therefore, simple problem solving tell us that on another date, at another time, with another umpire, Roy Halladay can do exactly what you just claimed he couldn’t while sniffling into your locker.
What happened was in his first experience in the playoffs, Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter. In the Reds first playoff appearance in 15 years, they were no-hit by one of the best pitchers in baseball. That’s either hilarious or devastating, depending on which side of the baseball you were on. For us, it was like watching your favorite childhood pet tear apart a pigeon and then leave its head on your doorstep as a gift.
But in the end, it only stands for a “1,” as in, “Phillies lead series 1-0.” What it also means is that if Roy Halladay is smiling, something awful probably just happened to your team.
An entire baseball game also happened tonight; the fact that Roy was making history throughout most of it just sort of monopolized the action, so we’ll try not to mention the guy again just to give us some space between him and the endless media-stream that is sure to carry his name for the next 36 hours.
The Phillies dragged Edinson Volquez into an alley behind Citizens Bank Park and roughed him up pretty good. Their offense was sponsored by a 2-for-4 with 2 RBI Shane Victorino and Roy Halla–seriously god damn it–Roy Halladay’s RBI single.
The Reds, clearly, scored zero runs and didn’t really come close to doing otherwise. But after Edinson Volquez was forcibly removed from the game in the second inning by a grimacing Dusty Baker, he stuck Travis Wood in the wound to prevent further bloodletting.
And the thing is, it worked. Wood, as I said in my pretty stupid NLDS preview, is the guy who tried to give us the Roy Halladay Special back in the regular season. Today, his luck did not change, in that he stonewalled us and ate up the majority of the game’s remainder, going 3.1 innings and giving up a only a lonely Raul Ibanez double.
The Phillies defense was sharp, too; shout-out worthy performances belong to J-Dub, J-Roll, and Exxon.
There was no more offense to be had, but when a no-hitter is happening, nobody really notices. You don’t notice the paint chipping on the side of your house while it is in mid-explosion.
Has anybody noticed that Placido Polanco is gone? And that his back apparently is, too?
I mean, clearly we all noticed Wilson Valdez (who had base hit again–<3<3<3) and his freakishly strong arm casually streaking dead-eyed missiles across the infield today. But Polly’s gone missing, and if it’s for much longer, he could be ineligible for the NLCS.
More on that pumpkin tomorrow.