Phillies’ Halladay Remains Latest to Throw Playoff No-Hitter
Sanchez was just four outs away on Friday from becoming the third-ever to throw a postseason no-hitter, with the Phillies’ Halladay being the most recent in 2010.
Anything can happen in postseason baseball. The Phillies know that first-hand, such as from Shane Victorino launching a grand slam opposite CC Sabathia. to Jimmy Rollins‘ walk-off heroics against the Los Angeles Dodgers, to Roy Halladay tossing just the second-ever no-hitter in postseason history.
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This year, it just seems like Bryce Harper‘s former team in the Washington Nationals are destined to go all the way — after edging past the Christian Yelich-less Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wild Card Game, and surprising the world with former Phillies Howie Kendrick‘s extra-inning, Game 5 grand slam to move past the daunting Dodgers in the NLDS.
Now, the Nationals are just three wins away from their first National League pennant and World Series appearance in franchise history. Their NLCS Game 1 victory Friday evening over the St. Louis Cardinals was largely led by Yan Gomes‘ RBI double, Kendrick’s RBI single, and of course starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez.
Sanchez had retired his first 10 batters faced, before allowing a walk to Kolten Wong with one out in the bottom of the fourth. He would allow just two more runners to reach base — both hit-by-pitches — before allowing his first hit of the night with two outs in the bottom of the eighth (single). Not to mention, Ryan Zimmerman‘s stellar, diving play a few batters prior.
Sanchez, who like Halladay had previously thrown a regular season no-hitter (perfect game in Halladay’s case) against the Miami Marlins in his career (2006), was just four outs away from becoming the third-ever to toss a postseason no-hitter.
His final line was 7 2/3 scoreless innings pitched, one hit and one walk allowed, five strikeouts, 103 pitches and 67 strikes. The right-hander threw 20 first-pitch strikes out of the 27 batters he faced, while also inducing five ground balls and 13 fly balls in the winning decision.
Before Halladay’s 2010 feat against the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, the New York Yankees’ Don Larsen was the only other, tossing a perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
While Sanchez fell short of the no-hitter, he still goes down in the record books as being the first-ever Nationals pitcher to win an NLCS game.
The Yankees’ Larsen and the late Phillies’ Halladay’s shared, dual record lives on.