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Updated: October 6, 2010
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Copyright © 1997-2010
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2010 by Marco Stoovelaar

Roy Halladay No-Hits Reds in NLDS-opener; Rangers, Yankees win ALDS-openers
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida / PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania / MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (USA) - On Wednesday, the Division Championship Series got underway with an historic outing by pitcher Roy Halladay, who threw a No-Hitter in a 4-0 shutout-win of the Philadelphia Phillies vs. the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of the National League Division Series. The other series in the National League, between the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres starts on Thursday. In the American League Division Series both series started on Wednesday. In the first game of the day, the Texas Rangers won 5-1 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. The first day of the this years postseason ended with reigning champion New York Yankees winning 6-4 vs. the Minnesota Twins.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds, 4-0 (game one, NLDS)

At Philadelphia, Roy Halladay started for reigning National League-champion Philadelphia Phillies against the Cincinnati Reds (who played in their first postseason game since 1995) to make his debut in a postseason game. And the righthander wrote history, as he threw a No-Hitter. And this is only the second No-Hitter in postseason-history! The only other No-Hitter was a Perfect Game, thrown 54 years ago by Don Larson of the New York Yankees vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

For Halladay, this was his second No-Hitter of the season. On May 29, he threw a Perfect Game against the Florida Marlins. By throwing another No-Hitter tonight, Halladay became the first pitcher (and fifth in history) to throw two No-Hitters in one season since Nolan Ryan did it in 1973. Since August of this year, Ryan is the owner of the Texas Rangers. The first to accomplish that was Johnny Vander Meer (who was of Dutch descent) in 1938.

Halladay, who threw only 104 pitches, lost his Perfect Game in the fifth inning. After having retired the first 14 batters he faced, Halladay walked Jay Bruce with two outs in the fifth inning. Next, Bruce was force out on a grounder by Drew Stubbs to end the at bat and that was all for the Reds.

With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, there was a tense moment when Brandon Phillips hit a soft grounder in front of catcher Carlos Ruiz, who got to ball and threw it from his knees to first base, just in time for the out to complete the No-Hitter.

The Phillies opened the score in the first inning when Shane Victorino doubled with one out, then stole third base and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Utley. The Phils then added three runs in the second at bat to make it 4-0. With two outs, Carlos Ruiz walked, then Wilson Valdez singled. Next, Roy Halladay made an important contribution himself offensively by bringing in a run with a single to double the lead. After Jimmy Rollins walked, Cincinnati-starter Edinson Volquez gave up 2-run single to Shane Victorino. The Dominican was then replaced by Travis Wood, who gave up one more basehit, a 2-out double by Raul Ibanez in the third inning. But that would be the last hit by the Phillies in the game, as Wood, Logan Ondrusek and Bill Bray gave up no more additional hits in the remainder of the game. In the last five innings, only one Phillie was able to reach base, being Raul Ibanez, who led off the sixth by reaching on an error.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers, 1-5 (game one, ALDS)

At St. Petersburg, the Texas Rangers, who played their first postseason game in eleven years, also got a great outing from their starting pitcher against the Tampa Bay Rays, as Cliff Lee struckout 10 batters and gave up only five hits in seven innings. Three relievers allowed only one more additional basehit in the last two innings. Last year, Cliff Lee struckout 10 batters and went the distance for the Phialdelphia Phillies in the Opening Game of the World Series against the New York Yankees.

...Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Rangers collected 10 basehits off three pitchers, including three by catcher Bengie Molina, who was 3-for-4, scored once and had two RBI's.

The Rays threatened to open the score in the first inning when they got the bases loaded off Cliff Lee. The lefthander gave up a lead-off single to Jason Bartlett, then struckout B.J. Upton, but got the bases loaded when Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria also singled. Next, Carlos Peña had a 2-1 count when Lee's next delivery was high and inside, appearing to hit Peña's hand. But Home Plate Umpire Tim Welke didn't judged it a hit by pitch, but a foul ball instead. Tampa-Manager Joe Maddon argued the call, but it wasn't reversed. So instead of having an automatic run, the bases remained loaded and Peña remained at bat, got a full count, but then struckout. Lee then got out of the jam by also striking out next hitter Rocco Baldelli.

Texas scored its first two runs in the second inning. Ian Kinsler led off with a single, then scored when Jeff Francoeur followed with a double. With one out, the latter scored on a single by Bengie Molina.

Texas made it 3-0 in the third inning when Nelson Cruz homered with two outs and added another run when Bengie Molina also homered with two outs in the fourth at bat. The fifth run got on the board in the fifth inning. Lead-off hitter Josh Hamilton reached on an error and scored when Vladimir Guerrero doubled.

The Rays scored their lone run in the seventh inning when Cliff Lee gave up a solo-homerun to Ben Zobrist with one out.

Minnesota Twins vs. New York Yankees, 4-6 (game one, ALDS)

At Minneapolis, the New York Yankees trailed 3-0, but went on to win the opener vs. the Minnesota Twins 6-4.

After the Yankees were retired in order in the first inning by Francisco Liriano (who made his first postseason-start), the Twins got on base first in their opening at bat. Denard Span led off with a single off C.C. Sabathia and advanced on a sacrifice bunt, but then two outs followed.

In the second inning, the Yankees got two runners on base. With two outs, Marcus Thames walked and Jorge Posada singled, but then Curtis Granderson grounded out. In the home of the second inning, Minnesota struck first. Veteran Jim Thome (who is in his 20th Major League-season, but first with the Twins) was hit by a pitch and then Michael Cuddyer homered to make it 2-0.

In the top of the third inning, the Yankees appeared to do something back. Brett Gardner led off with a walk and Derek Jeter singled, but then Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira flied out. Hereafter, Liriano ended the inning by striking out Alex Rodriguez.

Minnesota then made it 3-0 in its favor scoring another run in the bottom of the third inning. Orlando Hudson led off with a single, moved to third base on a soft grounder towards first base by Joe Mauer and scored on a passed ball.

...Curtis Granderson...
...2-run triple...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
After both teams went silence in the fourth and fifth inning, the Yankees struck in the sixth at bat and scored four runs to take over the lead. With one out, Mark Teixeira doubled and advanced on a wild pitch. Next, Alex Rodriguez walked and Robinson Cano followed with an RBI-single to bring in Teixeira. Liriano then struckout Marcus Thames, but Jorge Posada followed with a single, enabling Rodriguez to score and narrow the deficit to 3-2. With Cano at second base and Posada at first, next hitter Curtis Granderson drove the ball into deep centerfield for a 2-run triple to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. It marked the end for Francisco Liriano, who was replaced by José Mijares, who ended the inning with a groundout.

The Twins came back right away in the home of the sixth inning. C.C. Sabathia started by striking out Joe Mauer, then Delmon Young flied out to deep leftfield. But then Sabathia walked Jim Thome and gave up a double to Michael Cuddyer. The lefthander then also walked Jason Kubel to load the bases and followed with another walk for rookie Danny Valencia (who made his big league-debut on June 3), which brought in the tying run. Sabathia ended the inning by striking out J.J. Hardy, his former teammate with the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2008 season.

In the seventh, the Yankees re-took the lead immediately off new pitcher Jesse Crain. With one out, Nick Swisher singled and then next hitter Mark Teixeira homered just inside the righfield-foulpole to make it 6-4. In the home of the seventh, Boone Logan became the new pitcher for the Yankees and got two quick outs, but then gave up a single to Joe Mauer. David Robertson took over the pitching, walked Delmon Young, but then ended the inning by striking out Jim Thome.

In the home of the eighth, the Twins had two runners on base with two outs when closer Mariano Rivera took over and ended the inning with a groundout. In the ninth, Rivera got two outs when Delmon Young lined the ball into rightfield where Greg Golson (who had just entered the game) made a great running, shoestring catch. However, Rightfield Umpire Chris Guccione (who officiated in his first postseason game) ruled that the ball had hit the ground before. After Yankee-Manager Joe Girardi argued the decision, a conference between the six umpires followed, but the ruling would stand, meaning Young ended up with a single. TV-replays showed Golson did caught the ball. The game then did end when Jim Thome popped up to third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

(October 6)

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