Talk about a postseason debut.
Roy Halladay threw the second no-hitter in postseason history, leading the Philadelphia Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds 4-0 in Game 1 of the NL division series on Wednesday.
Don Larsen is the only other pitcher to throw a postseason no-hitter. He threw a perfect game for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series against Brooklyn. The 54th anniversary of Larsen's gem is this Friday.
"It's surreal, it really is," Halladay said. "I just wanted to pitch here, to pitch in the postseason. To go out and have a game like that, it's a dream come true."
Halladay took the Year of the Pitcher into the postseason.
Halladay, who tossed a perfect game at Florida on May 29, dominated the Reds with a sharp fastball and a devastating slow curve in his first playoff start.
The All-Star right-hander allowed only runner, walking Jay Bruce on a full count with two outs in the fifth, and struck out eight.
Halladay spent 12 seasons with Toronto, far from the postseason. A trade last offseason brought him to the defending two-time NL champions.
With a sellout crowd standing in the ninth and chanting "Let's Go, Doc!" Halladay got a loud ovation when he jogged to the mound to start the inning.
Ramon Hernandez popped out to second baseman Chase Utley for the first out. Pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo then fouled out to third baseman Wilson Valdez.
Halladay then retired Brandon Phillips on a tapper in front of the plate to end it. Catcher Carlos Ruiz pounced on the ball and threw Phillips out.
Halladay pumped his fist into his glove as Ruiz rushed to the mound. Just like catcher Yogi Berra did with Larsen, Ruiz started to jump into Halladay's arms. Unlike Berra, Ruiz didn't wrap up his pitcher in a bear hug.
"I felt like we got in a groove early," Halladay said. "Carlos has been great all year, he helps me get into a rhythm early, throwing strikes."