With the 2023 NLDS getting underway in Atlanta tomorrow, let's look back on one of the most spectacular postseason pitching performances in Phillies, and baseball, history.
On Oct. 6, thirteen years ago on this very day, the Phillies began their 2010 postseason with an incredible no-hit performance from the late Roy "Doc" Halladay. Philadelphia was looking to extend their recent run of playoff success, and what a way to start.
The incomparable Halladay had just completed a Cy Young-winning season in his first year in a Phillies uniform after being traded from Toronto. The major league leader with 21 wins and 250 2/3 innings pitched, Halladay was the obvious choice to toe the rubber in Game 1 of the NLDS.
While there was all the usual excitement and anticipation that surrounds October baseball, the day would turn out to be more memorable than anyone could have guessed.
Halladay's opponent: the Cincinnati Reds. Although it may not have mattered who he faced on that momentous evening. Don't forget, this wasn't the lamentable Reds we've been seeing for the last handful of years. This was the 91-71 NL Central Division champion Reds, whose lineup boasted a prime Joey Votto supported by the likes of Scott Rolen, Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips.
The 33-year-old took the mound for the first pitch, getting Phillips to ground out on the first offering. Two and half hours later, Halladay induced Phillips again into a weak bouncer in front of home plate to complete his historic no-hitter. Mobbed by teammates in the middle of an emotionally charged Citizens Bank Park, the legend of Roy Halladay grew exponentially in front of our eyes.
Roy Halladay was destined to create history with his no-hitter
Halladay was special. There's no other way to say it.
Even in an era when complete games weren't a rare feat, like in today's game, he was a different animal. The stoic righty was no stranger to going a full nine innings. He threw an incredible 67 regular-season complete games, leading the league in seven of his 16 seasons. He racked up 20 shutouts — even recording a perfect game earlier in the 2010 season.
His only blemish over the nine innings of his NLDS masterpiece was a walk to Bruce. Other than that, he was flawless, recording eight strikeouts on an efficient 104 pitches on his way into the history books. And in his postseason debut, no less.
That day, at the height of his powers, Halladay accomplished something that had only been done once before in the MLB playoffs and once since. Don Larsen threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series, while the Houston Astros staff combined for a World Series no-hitter against the Phillies just last year.
Although he was never able to win that elusive World Series, thanks to Roy Halladay, that memorable October evening will forever live in the hearts of Philadelphia and baseball fans everywhere.