Roy Halladay made his long overdue post-season debut taking on the Cincinnati Reds in game one of the NLDS. To no one’s surprise, he dominated. Halladay went the distance and, other than a two out walk to Jay Bruce in the top of the 5th, shut down the best offense in the National League.
Halladay’s masterpiece of a game could spell disaster for not only the Reds, but for anyone else that has to try to match up with the Phillies rotation this post-season.
The ace of the rotation and Cy Young favorite, Halladay, piled up 21 wins in the regular season. With a no-hitter in his playoff debut, Halladay now has 10 complete games in 34 starts. He leads the National League in K/BB ratio with 219 strikeouts to only 30 walks. He has gone 11-3 with a 2.81 ERA since the All-Star break. Doc Halladay is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history and, after tonight, any doubt that might have been lingering about his big game abilities are long gone.
Next in the rotation for Philly is their mid-season acquisition Roy Oswalt. Since joining the Phillies, Oswalt has gone 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA. The veteran seems to be pitching with a chip on his shoulder after being forgotten about on a bad Houston team. Now that he’s pitching for a contender, he’s pitching with passion again. That’s a scary sign for opposing hitters.
Cole Hamels, who won the 2008 World Series MVP, follows Oswalt in the rotation. Hamels, who started slow this season, did not get his 10th win of the season until September. But he hit his groove down the stretch going 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA. He has post-season experience and a history of success in the playoffs, which could be big for the Phillies when they need someone to close out a series.
The Phillies front three has potential to be one of the best playoff rotations in MLB history. If Halladay continues to be Doc Halladay, Oswalt continues being untouchable in a Phillies uniform, and Hamels regains his 2008 post-season form, the Phillies might not lose again until April.