NLDS Game One Review: Philadelphia

Roy Halladay? Roy Halladay. Roy Halladay, Roy Halladay, Roy Halladay. Roy Halladay!

With due respect to Shane Victorino, whose two hits and two RBI helped him lead all batters with a .179 WPA, it was one of those games where you felt like the pitcher could have won it by himself, even with a lineup filled with nine Roy Halladays. In fact, Doctober’s one hit (a liner to left that Johnny Gomes misplayed) and RBI were good for a .079 WPA, second on the team, so in this case that was true. A team full of Roy Halladays would have won this game. He accounted for 80.4% of the teams WPA.

But of course it was his work on the mound that was so impressive. He showed legendary control in pitching his no-hitter, only producing 25 balls on 104 pitches. He induced weak groundball after weak groundball (12 of them, to 6 fly balls). He was efficient – using only 11.6 pitches per inning. He was dominant. He had the kind of game that will go down in history right next to Don Larsen’s perfect game. He produced a game of which everyone who watched felt unworthy. He was awe-some.

And yet, he had a tiny bit of help, including a great play by Carlos Ruiz to close out the game. Check out this game graph from Brooks Baseball, which shows that John Hirschbeck’s strikezone was a little bit generous on the sides, but nothing that Orlando Cabrera should have been whining about:

Doesn’t matter. Halladay deserves all the credit he can get. Look at the strikezone plot of his pitches, an exercise in control and command:

We wondered how hungry Halladay was in the Lincoln-Douglas Remix preview, and it seems he’s hungry enough to eat the postseason. Second no-no in postseason history? Amazing. First postseason appearance? Legendary. There are practically no adjectives that really get it all the way right.

With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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12 years ago

Phillips was running on the grass so even if Ruiz muffed the throw, he likely would have been called out.

But still, great play by Ruiz making the play himself and taking it out of the umpire’s hands.