Did that really happen? A no-hitter

Quite frankly, I still can’t believe what I saw tonight. I had never in-person witnessed a no-hitter before and the one I saw from Roy Halladay in a 4-0 Reds loss in Game 1 was only the second ever thrown in a postseason game.

It was remarkable. It was incredible. It was…almost perfection had it not been for Jay Bruce’s walk in the fifth inning.

*104 pitches, 79 strikes, 25 balls.

*25 of 28 first-pitch strikes.

*11 batters began with 0-2 counts.

Here is my game story

It’s hard to appreciate what you’re seeing while trying to work, type and everything else, but you could definitely sense it was coming — especially after Philadelphia took a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Each inning seemed to speed along and by the eighth, Halladay needed just seven pitches to retire the side.

I won’t lie — my heart was beating a little harder when we got to the ninth. Each pitch was more exciting than the previous one. A no-hitter? It’s still almost impossible to fathom that it happened and that I was here to see it.

*Credit many of the Reds players postgame. They realized they were on the wrong side of history but were graceful about it.  .

“I think words would ruin that performance,” Scott Rolen said. “He just dominated the game, from beginning to end.”

“I appreciate it right now,” Joey Votto said. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roy. To throw a no-hitter in your very first playoff game is amazing. I think our team, speaking the Reds, we keep in mind it’s just one game. We’re in Philadelphia. We just faced arguably the best pitcher in baseball. We didn’t go in with the mindset we were going to lose but we knew we’d be in for a real challenge. We’re down 1-0 in the series and that’s the most important part. We cleared the dugout with the mindset, not necessarily that we were no-hit, but that we lost a game in a best-of-five series.”

*Many also were right-on with their attitude that it was just one loss — one really rough loss to go down 1-0 in the best of five series.

“A loss is a loss. If we had lost 10-9 and gotten 15 hits, it’s the same result,” Drew Stubbs said. “We’ll come back Friday with a re-energized effort and hopefully have success.”

*Shortstop Orlando Cabrera was not thrilled however with the strike zone of plate umpire John Hirschbeck and let it be known.

“He was basically getting every pitch. We had no chance,” Cabrera said.

*Jonny Gomes disagreed and had no complaints about Hirschbeck’s calls.

“I don’t know if it was a big zone,” Gomes said. “I think Doc actually took the umpire out of the game by just throwing strikes. I really didn’t have any questionable strikes on me. I’m not really worried about the umpire too much. I’m worried about the guy on the mound. He did a great job. All four corners down and in, up and in, down and out. He threw all four pitches in all four corners.”

Some other trivia:

*The last time the Reds were no-hit was by the Phillies and Rick Wise in a 4-0 loss on June 23, 1971. That one was at Riverfront Stadium.

*The only other pitcher to have a no-hitter in the postseason was Don Larsen. It was a perfect game vs. the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.

More quotes —

“It still counts as a loss, but that was a very dramatic loss.  That is the best pitched game I’ve seen since I’ve been going to the playoffs and the World Series.  You have no choice but to bounce back.  You’ve got to put that one behind us.  Figure we got beat by a great performance tonight.” — Dusty Baker

“It was a lot of fun.  It’s just one of those special things I think you’ll always remember.  But the best part about it is the playoffs take priority, and that’s pretty neat for me to be able to go out and win a game like that and know there’s more to come for us and more to accomplish.  So that makes it a lot of fun.” — Roy Halladay

“He just pitched so well. When you’re trying to thread a needle up at the plate, it’s just miserable. It’s not fun being up there trying to hit nothing. Tonight was a nothing night. Sometimes you just don’t get pitches to hit. I took the one pitch I saw all night to hit because I wanted to see a strike. He just acted like Roy for the rest of the bat. I hate to use hyperbole, he’s an ace among aces.” — Joey Votto

“Congratulations to him. It was unbelievable what he did tonight. I’ve never seen it before. He pitched a truly great game.” — Edinson Volquez

“In the three at-bats I had, I might have had one pitch I to really do something with, and I fouled it back. He was working both sides of the plate. He was in total command of the strike zone, pounding both sides of the plate. We weren’t able to get anything going.” — Drew Stubbs

“He’s the best pitcher in baseball. I obviously didn’t expect that. I don’t think anybody did. But it’s just part of the game. At the end of the day, it’s a loss. We’ve got to come back.” — Jay Bruce

MLB. com story links:

Cabrera takes issue with strike zone  

Phillies game story from colleague Todd Zolecki

Reds tip caps to Halladay

Notebook: Edmonds, Bailey

No-no highlights feast or famine offense

Follow me on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

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