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Roy Halladay's playoff no-hitter makes another indelible mark | Phil Sheridan

Phil Sheridan, INQUIRER STAFF COLUMNIST

Updated: Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 9:45 PM

Roy Halladay's no-hitter was just the second ever pitched in the baseball postseason. (David M Warren/Staff Photographer)

Roy Halladay came to Philadelphia for the chance to make it to the postseason. All he did Wednesday night was make postseason history.

Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz celebrate Halladay's no-hitter and win in Game 1 of the NLDS. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
The Phillies celebrate Roy Halladay's no-hitter and win in Game 1 of the NLDS Series at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
The Phillies celebrate Roy Halladay's no-hitter and their win in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay raises his cap in salute to the fans after his no-hitter and win in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay tips his cap to the crowd after throwing a no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS. The Phillies, won 4-0. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Wilson Valdez takes a practice swing before batting practice prior to Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer )
Shane Victorino will lead off for the Phillies in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Shane Victorino prepares for batting practice prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins chats with hitting coach Greg Gross prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Right fielder Jayson Werth waits for his turn in the batting cage prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Catcher Carlos Ruiz and left fielder Raul Ibanez gather prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins meets with hitting coach Greg Gross prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
General manager Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel huddle at the batting cage prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Wilson Valdez, who will play third base for Placido Polanco in Game 1 of the NLDS, jogs around the bases before batting practice at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
From left to right, pitchers Roy Oswalt, Kyle Kendrick and Ryan Madson shag balls during batting practice before Game 1 of the NLDS versus the Cincinnati Reds. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Fans hang a sign in support of pitcher Roy Halladay before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Roy Oswalt, left, leaps for a ball hit to the outfield during batting practice before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds. Pitcher Kyle Kendrick looks on during the play. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
An usher watches as the Phillies practice before Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Fans try to catch a foul ball hit by Carlos Ruiz during batting practice before Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
A fan holds a sign in support of Roy Halladay during batting practice at Citizens Bank Park before Game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Terri Johnson, left, and Mary Kobad, both of Schwecksville, Pa., laugh prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Bryen O'Boyle, lead singer for Mr. Greengenes, entertains the crowd prior to Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Dana Dilliplane and her father, Doug, of Pottstown attend Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Fans cheer as fireworks explode and the Phillies take the field for the start of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Fans stand for the playing of the National Anthem as both teams line the field before start of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Fans cheer the National Anthem as both teams line the field before the start of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
The Phillies are introduced before the start of the first game of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay's first pitch for Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay pitches in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay pitches in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
The Reds' Edinson Volquez pitches in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Shane Victorino steals third base in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS. The Reds' Scott Rolen is late with the tag. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay pitches in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Chase Utley drives in the first run with a sacrifice fly in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Shane Victorino slides home to score in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. ( David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Ryan Howard greets Shane Victorino, who scored the first run in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay's first pitch in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
The Reds' Edison Volquez pitches in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Shane Victorino scores on a sacrifice fly from Chase Utley in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Shane Victorino scores in the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay gets set to make a pitch in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay throws the first pitch of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Reds starting pticher Edinson Volquez throws during the first inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Scott Rolen strikes out in the second inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Reds catcher Ramon Hernandez and pitcher Edinson Volquez confer in the second inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Catcher Carlos Ruiz is safe at second base, as Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips can not get to the ball in the second inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz is safe at second base in the second inning on a Wilson Valdez single in Game 1 of the NLDS. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay helps himself with a RBI-single in the second inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz celebrates scoring the first run of the second inning in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Shane Victorino claps his hands after hitting a two-RBI single in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay is greeted at the plate after scoring in the second inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Pitcher Roy Halladay crosses the plate to score the fourth run of the game on a Shane Victorino single in the seocnd inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. Wilson Valdez and Chase Utley greet him. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Shane Victorino celebrates with Davey Lopes after driving in two runs in the second inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Wilson Valdez points to a pop-up from Drew Stubbs in the third inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. ( Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
A Phillies fan struggles to stay dry in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Fans cover up from the rain during Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
A Conan blimp flies over Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
The Conan blimp flies above centerfield during the first game of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Orlando Cabrera strikes out for the second out of the fourth inning in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay continues his no-hitter in the fourth inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
The Reds' Scott Rolen exchanges words with umpire John Hirschbeck after striking out in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay carries a no-hitter through eight innings of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Dusty Baker makes a visit to the mound in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay no-hits the Reds through eight innings of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay gets ready to pitch to the Cincinnati Reds' Brandon Phillips for the final out of Game 1 of the NLDS. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay throws the last pitch in his no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz charges pitcher Roy Halladay to celebrate his no-hitter in the NLDS Game 1 win at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz celebrate Halladay's no-hitter win in Game 1 of the NLDS. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz and pitcher Roy Halladay celebrate his no-hitter in the win in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz celebrate after no-hitting the Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay runs up to hug Carlos Ruiz after the last out in the ninth inning. Halladay pitched a no-hitter and the Phillies won, 4-0. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz gives Roy Halladay a hug after Halladay pitched a no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS. The Phillies won, 4-0. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz and Roy Halladay celebrate Halladay's no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz and Roy Halladay celebrate Halladay's no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz celebrate the no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz celebrate the no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz hugs Halladay after the no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard celebrate with Roy Halladay after his no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay celebrates his no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz celebrate at the end of Game 1 of the NLDS at Citizens Bank Park. (Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer)
Roy Halladay hugs Brad Lidge after throwing a no-hitter in Game 1 of the NLDS. (Michael Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Photo Gallery: Phillies 4, Reds 0 - Game 1 NLDS

On a chilly night, through a three-inning rainfall, the big bearded righthander they call "Doc" threw just the second postseason no-hitter in Major League Baseball's long history. Halladay allowed just one Cincinnati Reds batter to reach base. That walk was all that kept him from equaling Don Larsen's 1956 World Series perfect game.

Halladay, who threw a perfect game himself back on May 29, created another indelible baseball memory for a team and a city that has had so much to celebrate over the past several Octobers. By dominating the Reds, the champions of the National League's Central Division, Halladay gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead in this best-of-five NL division series.

And it was the focus on that, on winning an important playoff game, that allowed Halladay to wave off the building pressure of his no-hit, no-run performance. He even drove in one of the Phillies' four runs with a base hit.

"It's something I wasn't real worried about achieving," Halladay said of the no-hitter. "I think if you're not putting too much emphasis on trying to throw a no-hitter, you're going out and staying aggressive. It makes it a lot easier."

His teammates and the sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park were feeling the pressure for him. As the game wore on - as the number of outs remaining dwindled to nine, then six, then three - the Phillies dugout grew quieter while the frenzied towel-waving fans grew louder and more excited.

"About the sixth inning, it got real quiet," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "People stayed in their seats and sat there and watched the game. [Halladay] came in and went down to the end of the dugout, sat in his chair and didn't say a word. End of the inning, he'd get back up and go back on the field. It's pretty neat, really."

Out in the bullpen, the relief pitchers also stayed put. No one wants to change the energy or put a jinx on a pitcher with a no-hitter. One reliever needed to relieve himself, but Ryan Madson said he remained in place until Halladay secured the final out.

In this, the Phillies' fourth consecutive October in the postseason, the ballpark has been louder only a handful of times: when Brad Lidge got the final out of the 2008 World Series and after a couple of other series-clinching wins.

The quiet of his teammates didn't pierce Halladay's otherworldly focus. The sonic boom of the fans did.

"When it gets that loud," Halladay said, "it's hard to ignore. I thought especially the last three innings, it seemed like it got louder every inning. It was a lot of fun."

The day started normally enough. Halladay got to the ballpark at his usual time. He said he tried to treat his first postseason start as a normal work day, to "disconnect yourself from the emotions a little bit." Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who usually says a few words to Halladay, decided against it before this game.

"I said, 'Roy looks like he's in a different world right now,'" Rollins said.

What a world it turned out to be. Halladay was so good, so nearly mechanical, that there was little of the usual drama that surrounds a no-hitter. He issued his only walk in the fifth inning to Reds outfielder Jay Bruce. The only truly hard-hit ball, a line drive off the bat of relief pitcher Travis Wood, was caught by right fielder Jayson Werth.

Rollins made two solid plays, making one throw from deep in the hole at short and scooping up a ball that ticked off the mound and changed angles.

But Halladay was the story. He got through the heart of the Reds' lineup in the seventh, then got three outs, including two strikeouts, on just seven pitches in the eighth inning. When Halladay came out for the ninth, the sellout crowd was on its feet, rally towels fluttering. With each out, the stadium shook.

Ramon Hernandez popped out to Chase Utley. Miguel Cairo hit a foul popup toward the third-base side. Wilson Valdez drifted under it and caught it with two hands, as if it were a baby dropped from a burning building. That brought up Brandon Phillips, the Reds' speedy leadoff hitter.

Phillips hit a ball that traveled no farther than his bat. Catcher Carlos Ruiz made the best defensive play of the night, ending the game and the suspense by throwing Phillips out from his knees.

Ruiz rushed out to hug Halladay. Ryan Howard, who caught the final outs of both of Halladay's 2010 classics, stretched his big arms and embraced them both. Soon the rest of the team was celebrating near the mound.

A fan held up a sign, "Welcome to Doctober." Halladay's wife and kids celebrated in the stands. Fireworks filled the South Philly sky.

Roy Halladay, one of the greatest pitchers never to pitch in the postseason, had delivered one of the greatest postseason pitching performances ever.

"You want to share things like this with family and friends," Halladay said. "My family's here and I feel like my friends are on the team."

He made a few million more friends Wednesday night.

Contact columnist Phil Sheridan at 215-854-2844 or psheridan@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/philsheridan.

Phil Sheridan, INQUIRER STAFF COLUMNIST

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