In case you weren't aware, Wednesday (October 6) marked the beginning of the 2010 version of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Don't worry if you were too distracted by your fantasy football roster to remember, as the end of the season was relatively drama-free (save for fans of the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres, whose race came down to the final day). This year's crop of playoff teams is a mixture of the usual suspects (the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Tampa Bay Rays) mixed with a load of surprising upstarts (the Cincinnati Reds, the Texas Rangers). After yesterday's action, the Yankees, Rangers and Phillies are each one step closer to playing in the World Series, but it was the Phillies' dismantling of the Reds that really caught the attention of the sports world, as pitcher Roy Halladay dismantled the best-hitting team in the National League on his way to only the second no-hitter in baseball postseason history.
Halladay, who signed on to the Phils during the off-season after putting up stellar numbers as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, overcame a strong lineup and steady early-inning rain showers, had total command over his devastating fastball and his vicious curve. Through nine innings, Halladay threw only 104 pitches and struck out eight batters along the way. Though no-hitters are always tense affairs, Wednesday's game didn't feature any signature defensive plays to preserve the no-no. Halladay was steady, workmanlike and totally dominant.
In pulling off the feat, he became only the second pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs (the only other one on record is Don Larsen's legendary perfect game during the 1956 World Series) and the fifth pitcher in history to toss two no-hitters in the same season (Halladay turned in a perfect game back in May, adding him to a list that includes Nolan Ryan, Virgil Trucks, Allie Reynolds and Johnny Vander Meer). In honor of his stunning achievement (and in getting the playoffs started on the right foot), check out Destiny's Child's "No No No."