As published on CrossingBroad.com
How many watchable Super Bowls have there been? How many times has Lebron James ended up not being Michael Jordan? How many times have Crispy Chicken Nuggets been all that crispy? How many times have things just fallen so far short of expectations that we have all instinctively learned to keep our expectations low?
Let’s think about that.
Think about all the steroid-driven home runs and Photoshopped models. Think about all the comedies we’ve seen that just weren’t very funny. Think about a much touted running back named Ricky Waters, who rode into town on a high horse named For Who For What. And then let’s think about Roy Halladay, the real deal, the genuine article. A man who allowed us to expect greatness, and who delivered something even better in return.
Roy “Doc” Halladay took a postseason mound for the first time in his illustrious career on Wednesday, with all the bloated hopes of the franchise that traded for him resting squarely on his shoulders. Pile on top of that, his own expectations of getting a World Series ring after so many years of toiling in Toronto without an opportunity. Add to that the fever pitch expectations of a demanding fan base desperate to cry out “Dynasty”. Add to that the fact that Doc found himself in this pressure packed spot as a the man who precipitated the exodus of 2009 postseason hero, Cliff Lee, a move that left fans across Phillies Nation asking a lot of questions.
“An ace for an ace,” they all asked. “It makes no sense. Why not keep both? Don’t they want to win. I’m sure Roy Halladay is a damn good pitcher, but how could he ever top what Cliff did?” A good question to anyone who watched Cliff Lee a year ago. You can’t pitch better than that. Yet somehow Roy did. What’s better than Perfection? I have no idea. You’ll have to ask Roy Halladay.
Consider this: on a team that finds itself with three Aces at the top of the rotation, Halladay was a no-brainer to start game one, even though he is the only pitcher of the three with zero postseason experience. Even though, of the three, he seemed to be the one running out of gas at the end of the year. Even though he pitched more innings than anyone else in baseball this year, and should be a little tired. But we’re talking about Roy Halladay here, an Ace among Aces.
He took a rain slicked ball on a chilly day, and turned it into something transcendental, a postseason no hitter. Something that until now has only been done by Don Larsen. Once. In dusty history books, and on decaying film reels, not live and in HD, not in real time for your eyes to see. The second no-hitter in Postseason history. Against the NL’s most potent lineup. A lineup containing the NL’s likely MVP. I’m sorry, Schill, but that bloody sock has nothing on this.
No matter what else happens this postseason, we will always have this, and Doc will live the rest of his life as the only pitcher in MLB History to pitch a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter in the same year. I can guarantee that.
Even as we bathe in the afterglow of his outstanding feat, I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t half-expect that Roy would pitch exactly how he pitched in Game One.
Historically dominant in his MLB Postseason debut. Fair? No. Realistic? Not at all. After all, a postseason No Hitter is something that just never happens. But with Roy, hell, I expect him to do it again. Why not? That’s like expecting it to rain frogs, but we’re talking about Roy Halladay here. I bet if you asked Roy Halladay to make it rain frogs, he’d be mad at himself if it only rained tadpoles. Now don’t we owe it to this guy to bring him a ring? I think he’s earned his already. Phils 1 – Cincy 0. I can’t wait to see what’s behind Roy #2.
NOTE: It was said during the broadcast that Charlie Manuel called Roy Halladay a “big Greg Maddux”. That is indeed high praise. I couldn’t think of anything scarier for a hitter to face than a big Greg Maddux, unless of course you’re talking about a regular sized Roy Halladay. Now that’s Halloween scary. Or should I say, Doctober Scary?