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LAst Night's Action: The Almost Perfect Edition

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Almost Perfect. Almost 12 years after making his Major League debut for the Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies’ starter Roy Halladay made his first postseason start on Wednesday. And what a start it was as he became only the second person in history to pitch a no-hitter in the postseason joining the New York Yankees’ Don Larsen who had a perfecto against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. Incidentally that was Larsen’s third postseason start of his career having never gone past the fifth inning in his previous two games started.

It seems like in every no-hitter there is a play or plays made on the field that is extraordinary in order to preserve the game. One of those plays came in the third inning with two outs when pitcher Travis Wood, who was pitching in relief of Reds’ starter Edinson Volquez, lined a ball to right field that got Jayson Werth confused. But with a sliding grab he preserved the no-hitter, and it was at that point the no-hitter was inevitable.

Unfortunately the ultimate of superlatives cannot be used on this game because of a two-out walk to Jay Bruce in the fifth inning, but it still didn’t take away the drama of the final two innings. And that final stab by Brandon Phillips that went mere feet in front of the plate and rested on the tossed bat forced catcher Carlos Ruiz to have to make a perfect throw from his knees to first base.

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Of course in this year of the pitcher we would get the second no-hitter in postseason history. Also this marks the first time since 1973 that a pitcher has tossed two no-hitters in the same season when Nolan Ryan did it.