Looking back at Doc's postseason no-no

January 1st, 2024

MLB Network, launched on Jan. 1, 2009, is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2024. Through Jan. 19, MLB Network will count down the top 15 moments it has covered in its history, via weeknight segments on MLB Tonight (6 p.m. ET) as well as across its social platforms. And don’t forget to catch MLB Network’s 15th Anniversary retrospective show -- “MLB Network Legendary Moments” presented by Budweiser, with Greg Amsinger, Sean Casey and Harold Reynolds -- scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 22.

The No. 14 moment on the countdown: Roy Halladay's no-hitter against the Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series. A version of the following story about Halladay's achievement was originally published in October 2022.

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When it comes to the Phillies' greatest National League Division Series moment, there’s no question ’s no-hitter is No. 1.

Making his first postseason appearance, Halladay no-hit the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0, in Game 1 on Oct. 6, 2010, at Citizens Bank Park. By the way, the Reds were the NL’s best offensive team that season.

Only a two-out walk to Jay Bruce in the fifth inning -- one of three 3-2 counts -- kept Halladay from his second perfect game. He was more economical than in his perfect game, throwing 104 pitches, 79 strikes. Halladay struck out eight, including Scott Rolen three times. Five of the strikeouts were swinging. Only four balls were hit to the outfield. Perhaps the most amazing stat of the night: Of the 28 batters Halladay faced, he threw a first-pitch strike to 25.

With 46,411 fans on their feet, Halladay walked to the mound in the top of the ninth inning to face the eighth, ninth and leadoff hitters. Ten pitches later, it was over.

Catcher Ramon Hernandez popped out to second baseman Chase Utley, and pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo fouled out to third baseman Wilson Valdez, bringing up a tough hitter, second baseman Brandon Phillips. On an 0-2 pitch, Phillips hit a tapper in front of the plate. Catcher Carlos Ruiz pounced on the ball and from his knees fired to Ryan Howard, setting off another celebration.

“I was panicking,” admitted Ruiz after the game.

Halladay, who tragically died in a plane crash in 2017 before being elected to the Hall of Fame in '19, joined Don Larsen as the only individual pitchers with a no-hitter in the 107-year history of postseason baseball. Pitching for the New York Yankees, Larsen threw a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, 4-0.

Halladay acknowledged the Citizens Bank Park crowd.

“When it gets that loud, it’s hard to ignore,” Halladay said. “I thought especially the last three innings, it seemed like it got louder every inning. It’s obviously one of the most electric atmospheres I’ve ever been in. It’s something you obviously can’t ignore, so it was a lot of fun.”

Earlier in the 2010 season on May 20, Halladay tossed a perfect game in a 1-0 win over the Marlins. He joined Jim Bunning (1964 vs. the Mets) as the only pitchers in Phillies history to throw a perfect game.

By the middle innings five months later, Halladay admitted he sensed a no-hitter was within reach.

“You’re definitely closer,” Halladay said. “I think as soon as you try and do it, it kind of takes you out of your plan a little bit. I was definitely aware of it, knew what was going on in the fifth or sixth inning.”

Ruiz felt it earlier.

“Warming up in the bullpen, it was like, ‘Wow,’” Ruiz said. “Everything was working in the bullpen. His stuff was so good, he could have pitched another perfect game.”

For each of Halladay’s gems, “everything” included cutters, sinkers, changeups and curveballs. Command of each was exceptional.

Pitching coach Rick Dubee felt his ace was better against the Reds than the Marlins.

“I thought [Halladay] had four pitches, never really lost any of those four,” said Dubee. “He had four pitches throughout nine innings that he pretty much could throw at any time and to both sides of the plate. He was like that in Miami, but he wasn’t as consistent.”

On a lesser historic note, Halladay's no-hitter was the first in Citizens Bank Park history. And the last time the Reds were no-hit? In 1971 by the Phillies' Rick Wise.

One final note: Halladay had more hits than he allowed. He had a run-scoring single in a three-run second inning against Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez.