Halladay pitches no-hitter in post-season debut

Roy Halladay (136880_90x135)

Roy Halladay made the most of his first post-season appearance.

The former Toronto Blue Jay threw a no-hitter in game one of the NLDS, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-0 win over the Cincinatti Reds on Wednesday night.

Halladay is only the second pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs, joining Don Larsen, who pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series.

“It’s surreal, it really is,” Halladay told reporters after the game. “I just wanted to pitch here, to pitch in the post-season. To go out and have a game like that, it’s a dream come true.”

It was the second no-hitter for Halladay this year, after a perfect game on May 29 in Florida.

Halladay was able to mix his pitches well, using his electric fastball, sharp curve ball and devastating change up to baffle the Reds’ line-up.

Brandon Phillips was the Reds’ last hope for a hit, but he hit a dribbler that was picked up by catcher Carlos Ruiz, who fired to first in time to retire the second baseman.

“I felt like we got in a groove early,” Halladay said. “Carlos has been great all year, he helps me get into a rhythm early, throwing strikes.”

The 33-year-old’s only blemish was a fifth inning walk allowed to Jay Bruce, and struck out eight over nine innings.

The former Jay hurler spent 12 seasons in Toronto without toeing the rubber in the post-season, but after a trade to the Phillies last winter, the right-hander made the most of his playoff debut.

Halladay also supplied some of the Phillies offence, driving in a run with a single in the second inning and later coming around to score.

The Phillies took an early lead, when Shane Victorino doubled and stole third base in the first inning, and then scored after a Chase Utley sacrifice fly.

In the second inning, Philadelphia knocked Reds starter Edinson Volquez from the game, scoring three runs.

After Halladay singled to left to score Carlos Ruiz, Victorino drove in the right-hander and Wilson Valdez, extending the Phils lead to 4-0.

Toronto native Joey Votto had a rough post-season debut, along with his Cincinnati Reds teammates.

Votto, who will likely win the NL MVP award after hitting 37 home runs and leading the Reds to the post-season for the first time since 1990, grounded out in all three of his at-bats.