PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 in Game 1 of the NL division series on Wednesday.
Don Larsen is the only other pitcher to throw a postseason no-hitter. He threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series against Brooklyn. The 54th anniversary of Larsen’s gem is this Friday.
“It’s surreal, it really is,” Halladay said. “I just wanted to pitch here, to pitch in the postseason. To go out and have a game like that, it’s a dream come true.”
Halladay took the Year of the Pitcher into the postseason. The All-Star right-hander, who tossed a perfect game at Florida on May 29, dominated the Reds with a sharp fastball and a devastating slow curve in his first playoff start.
The overmatched Reds never came close to a hit. Halladay allowed only runner, walking Jay Bruce on a full count with two outs in the fifth, and struck out eight.
Halladay spent 12 seasons with Toronto, far from the postseason. A trade last offseason brought him to Philadelphia, and gave him this chance.
“This is what you come here for,” Halladay said. “It’s a good team, they know how to win. ... It’s been a great year, a fun year, we obviously have a ways to go.”
On the opposite side, Edinson Volquez allowed four runs and four hits in 1 2-3 innings. The hard-throwing right-hander was 4-3 in 12 starts this season after returning from elbow surgery.
Rangers 5, Rays 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Picking up where he left off during in a dazzling October run a year ago, Cliff Lee shut down Tampa Bay while outpitching David Price and leading Texas to a victory in the opening game of the AL playoffs.
Lee matched a postseason best with 10 strikeouts while allowing five hits — one after the second inning. During one dominating stretch, he retired 16 of 17 batters before giving up Ben Zobrist’s homer in the seventh.
The Rangers, in the playoffs for the first time in 11 years, stopped a nine-game postseason losing streak that began in 1996.
Nelson Cruz and Bengie Molina homered for the AL West champions. Darren O’Day and Darren Oliver pitched the eighth, and rookie Neftali Feliz worked out of a ninth-inning jam by striking out the final two batters.
Price, a 19-game winner, allowed five runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck eight and, like Lee, walked none.