"Unbelievable. Absolutely unreal." These were the words of Phillies manager, Charlie Manuel, shortly after he witnessed his star pitcher, Roy Halladay, throw a no hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in game one of the National League Division Series. In May of the regular season, Halladay through a perfect game against the Florida Marlins. Only five pitchers in Major League history, including Roy Halladay, have thrown a no hitter in the regular season and then in the postseason of that same year.
Roy Halladay deserves much credit for his well pitched game. The Cincinnati Reds offense, on the other hand, deserves much criticism. The organization that was once known as, "The Big Red Machine" due to their dominance in the National League from 1970 - 1976, has waited 15 years to get back into the postseason. Unfortunately, the current machine was not turned on in game one.
When the Reds batters came to the plate, they swung at too many bad pitches and they took way too many pitches that were probably the only good pitches Halladay would offer. Where were they? Did the damp rain that fell at the beginning of the game cause their play to become soggy? I simply did not see good decisions at the plate by Cincinnati Reds hitters.
A walk prevented Roy Halladay from throwing a perfect game. The single walk issued early in the game would be the only Cincinnati Red to reach base all evening. The Reds simply stifled themselves at the plate with bad decisions. Once they were down by four runs, it was almost as if they decided to get the game over with and try again next time.
After scoring a single run in the first inning, the Phillies would tack on three more runs in the second inning with a bases loaded double. Another of those runs was scored when do-it-all pitcher, Roy Halladay, helped himself out by getting a hit and earning an RBI. "Unbelievable. Absolutely unreal." Charlie Manuel said it first.
Reds starting pitcher, Edinson Volquez, lasted only 1.2 innings after giving up four earned runs on four hits. On a brighter note for Cincinnati, reliever, Travis Wood came in and provided three strong innings of scoreless baseball. Hits by the Philadelphia Phillies batters were harder to come by once Volquez had been pulled. The Reds bullpen allowed just one hit and no runs in 7.1 innings of excellent pitching. Sadly, Reds reliever, Travis Wood, was the only Cincinnati batter to hit the ball hard and with authority.
Fortunately for the Cincinnati Reds, they will have a day off on Thursday before resuming play Friday night in Philadelphia for game two. Roy will take the mound for the Phillies for game two. Yes, that's right. Roy. Roy Oswalt. For a just a split second, did you think I was referring to Roy Halladay taking the mound? He was so good in game one, perhaps he should.
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