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.

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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

39 Responses to “NLDS Game One Review: Philadelphia”

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  1. Kyle says:

    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.

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  2. Kevin S. says:

    Somebody needs to call the whaaaaaaaaaaaaambulance for Orlando Cabrera.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • thespecialk says:

      I’m sure Philly fans will reward him by throwing batteries or vomiting on him.

      -18 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MikeS says:

      He’s whining so much you’d think LaRussa and the Cardinals had made the playoffs.

      Besides, the Reds were hacking at everything. Halladay only threw 25 called strikes. How much help from the umpire could he have gotten?

      I think the Reds hit three balls into the outfield. I don’t think a single Phillies outfielder had to go back on a ball the whole game. The farthest they hit a ball was about 250 feet.

      Looking at the second graphic, it looks to me that only one pitch out of the zone was called a strike but 4 pitches in the zone were called balls.

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  3. Santos says:


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  4. Damaso's Burnt Shirt says:

    As a Jays fan it was bittersweet to watch Doc pitch like that, but I cheered for him as he made history.

    Amazing pitching performance.

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    • 198d says:

      That’s just Doc being Doc. We’ve seen it year in and year out, and finally he had the chance to do it when it mattered. Unsurprisingly he kicked ass! Bittersweet, sure, but at least it gives us Jays fans *something* to cheer for in October… ;)

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  5. Brad Johnson says:

    I just got home from it…there are no words to describe what being there was like. Later I will try over on THT.

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  6. NEPP says:

    Doc got that strikezone because he consistently painted the black. If you consistently hit your spots like he did (and he had absolutely AMAZING control tonight) you get those borderline calls. That’s just baseball.

    Doc was unhittable tonight…and no matter what Orlando “no class” Cabrera says, the ump had very little to do with it.

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    • Damaso's Burnt Shirt says:

      Exactly. He “earned” those strikes. From what I saw, Hirshbeck was generous to both Doc and the various Reds pitchers. Volquez wasn’t consistently around the plate at all and the Phils took advantage of that as a good team should.

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      • NEPP says:

        Doc put it best in the post-game press conference “From where I sat between innings, both teams were getting the same strikezone.”

        Cabrera’s comments simply show how classless he truly is.

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  7. bflaff says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Doc do it again the next time he pitches.

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  8. alexmullen4180 says:

    How many pitchers have thrown 2 no-hitters in the same year?

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    • Mick in Ithaca says:

      I think it’s five now. Ryan was the last one.

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      • Jimbo says:

        I’d put Doc in a different class than those other guys though…his regular season no-no was perfect, and his other no-no was in a playoff setting. Unless Larsen had a no-hitter in 1956 regular season, Halladay’s 2010 is unique.

        Timmy K postulated that IF the Phils win the Series and Halladay continues to dominate, his 2010 season may be the most impressive ever. Hard to argue with that.

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  9. CircleChange11 says:

    Wasn’t Cabrera the one making the “crying eyes” gesture to Yankee fans during the 04 ALCS?


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  10. Lori says:

    My eyes aren’t so hot, I can’t make out the tiny dots in the boxes too well this am. I’d love for someone to tell me if the ump had a wide zone for the Reds as well.

    As for Cabrera? Sounds like that fox who couldn’t get at those grapes! I’m always showing my son (13) examples of good and poor sportsmanlike conduct. This will make another fine example of poor sportsmanlike conduct for us to discuss. Better to hold your head high and know you tried than look like a fool for trash talking your loss. What’s next, criticizing his own team?

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    • NEPP says:

      The zone was identical for both teams.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        There are a few dots outside the zone on the left and right edges on the first plot – but NEPP is right, there are just as many for both teams. And, looking at the second plot, it’s very probable that Doc only got one call outside the zone. The first plot only shows ‘strikes,’ which includes fouls.

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      • NEPP says:

        The really bad “strike” calls were actually given to the Cincinnati pitchers…otherwise, it was a pretty fair zone. Doc got the black because he hit all his spots.

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  11. Billy Shoes says:

    Cabrera comment was unfortunate for the Reds as a team. Take your medicine and get ready for the next game. Instead, he has now created a distraction for a young team that can’t afford to be distracted.

    Maybe someone should give him a rally towel to wipe away his tears. I’ll have to blog the Cincinatti sports writers to see their reaction.

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  12. Cosmo says:

    I find it hilarious that there are only five postgame reviews after last night.

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  13. was it equal says:

    I would like to see side by side comparrison with the Reds pitchers to see if the strike zone was consistent, he threw a lot of pitches on the black and all were called strikes, seemed like Volqy had some on the black that were not called strikes

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  14. Jonesman says:

    Looks like the only really egregious strike call was given to Reds pitcher. I think I remember it being a Travis Wood pitch. Anecdotally, I would say he got a bigger zone than Roy. Sorry Orlando.

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  15. SF 55 for life says:

    After this game I switch my vote from human element to machines calling balls and strikes.

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    • bflaff says:

      Not sure Halladay needs any more advantages.

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      • philwynk says:

        Actually, I heard that’s what Scott Rolen was saying to the umpire after he struck out the second time, the last strike for which really was an inch or two outside. Apparently he turned to the ump and said “He doesn’t need your help tonight.”

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      • bobo says:

        False — Rolen actually said “I still hear Tony La Russa yelling at me in my dreams. Make it stop — Make it stop!!”

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  16. reds fan says:

    it does not matter it only one games red are going to kill them the next three games

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