AP Photo/Matt Rourke
This one might come as a surprise to some people. Yes, Doc’s second no-hitter of 2010 only ranks third on our list, but to be honest, any of the top three games could have been number one. In his very first Postseason start, Doc twirled his greatest masterpiece, and with the Phillies looking to take some momentum from the Reds in the first game of the NLDS, they didn’t have a chance after this game.
Doc started off strong, while the Phillies pushed across a few early runs, one of them on an RBI single from the man himself. Other than that, the most momentous at-bat came from Jay Bruce, who reached on a walk as the only baserunner for the Reds. The offense didn’t provide more insurance, but it wasn’t an issue. With the way Doc was throwing, all he needed was a run. He had that in the first inning. If there were nerves, he didn’t show it. If there was rust from having over a week off, it was non-existant. And with the ballpark rocking, Doc entered the ninth inning just three outs away from achieving a status only one other man had. No pitcher had thrown a Postseason no-hitter since Don Larsen threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Halladay retired each of the first two with no problems. All that was left was the final out against Brandon Phillips. Phillips fell behind 0-2, and rolled one just feet in front of home plate. Carlos Ruiz stumbled to grab it as the ball rolled along Phillips’ bat. Ruiz’ throw beat Phillips in plentyof time. The ballpark exploded, and the Phillies not only had the all-important first game of the series, but were celebrating another historical ending to a ballgame.
This game actually had one problem, and though it’s unknown to me, it may be the reason I ranked it third on this list. If you look back to this game, the very first Postseason game in baseball for 2010, this was the Phillies’ World Series, from the anticipation of the first pitch, to the final out and celebration that followed. From there, the Phillies had two games that barely got them by to sweep the Reds, and then weren’t the same team against the Giants, and that cost them the chance to participate in a third straight World Series. They reached their emotional high far too soon, and that took the emotion out of the rest of the Postseason. But, on a day when Roy Halladay finally lived his dream, and made history in the process, the Phillies were celebrating perhaps the greatest thing seen on a baseball diamond in the 21st Century. If Doc’s place in immortality wasn’t cemented already, it certainly feels that way now.