If you missed Game 1 of the Phillies-Cardinals NLDS and merely saw the 11-6 final score, the immediate thought would be that there was an awful lot of offense and very little pitching. Wrong.
Sure, the Phillies flexed their muscles offensively, pounding out 11 runs on 14 hits, including two home runs -- like the big blow provided by Ryan Howard in the sixth inning. This all came against the team that sported the best offense in the NL during the regular season. And someone had to hold that powerful offense down. Aside from the first inning, Roy Halladay did just that.
In the first, Halladay ran into serious trouble and the Cardinals gained an early 3-0 advantage on a Lance Berkman home run. From then on, however, Halladay absolutely slammed the door in the face of the Cardinals.
After Berkman's three-run shot, Halladay faced 24 batters. One of them reached base. On a single. Otherwise, "Doc" struck out seven, induced 13 groundouts, got two pop-outs and one line-drive out to left field. It was pure artistry on the hill and, to reiterate, this was against the team that was first in the National League in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
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It wasn't exactly a no-hitter like last season's NLDS opener, but we once again witnessed that -- as Clayton Kershaw told me at the All-Star Game -- "Roy is the man."
Video: Halladay, Howard talk about the Game 1 victory
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