MLB Playoffs Off to Phlying Start
An exciting first week of the playoffs, folks, in case you haven't been watching. And the story thus far has been the pitching.
The Ph- in the headline is in deference to Phillies ace Roy Halladay who made waves in his postseason debut by pitching only the second no-hitter in the playoffs since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. It also makes him one of only five pitchers to throw two no-hitters in the same season. Woah.
Halladay embraces his catcher after hurling only the second postseason no-hitter in baseball history. (AP)
But, our readers saw this coming, didn't we readers? We said Halladay would dominate back when the season started, though we certainly could not have predicted this. In the can't-make-it-up department, the next day, Halladay would turn down interview requests about his historic night because he had a children's birthday party to attend. Hard not to root for him.
Tim Lincecum brought it in a 1-0 victory. He posted 14 strikeouts and gave up only two hits. (Reuters, via NYTimes)
In San Francisco, Giants ace Tim Lincecum dazzled in his postseason debut with a dramatic complete game shutout of his own. His two hits may keep his start from the same immortal status as Halladay's start, but in many ways it was more impressive. Halladay's team gave him a relatively comfortable 4-0 by the second inning. Lincecum protected a 1-0 lead against the Atlanta Braves, posting 14 strikeouts along the way. They call him "The Freak," and it's hard to argue.
We're not ones to split hairs here, but suffice it to say, if we were starting a baseball team, we'd take either of these guys. Not to mention the following two:
The "Pedestrian" Division:
Andy Pettite just won his nineteenth playoff game (a Major League record) and must think pitchers winning their postseason debuts is rather adorable. (Photo: Getty)
Andy Pettite won his Major League record 19th postseason game, with a workman-like two runs in 7 innings, the way he's been doing it his entire career. NINETEEN playoff games won. That is an entire extra season's worth of wins, and a very good season at that.
Cliff Lee struck out ten batters in seven innings. (Photo: Getty)
Texas Rangers ace Cliff Lee pitched seven dominant innings and struck out 10. He is a free agent after this season, and there are those who believe he made himself between $10-20 Million with that single performance. Let's say it's 10 -- that's a million dollars per strikeout. The moral of the story: Parents, teach your kids how to pitch lefthanded.