Roy Halladay throws second ever postseason no-hitter

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As close to perfection as one can come without actually getting there.
Roy Halladay, already with a perfect game to his credit in the 2010 regular season, dominated the Reds in Tuesday’s Game 1, throwing just the second no-hitter in postseason history. The only baserunner to reach against him was Jay Bruce, doing so on a walk with two outs in the fifth inning. Halladay retired the other 27 batters he faced to join Don Larsen as the only pitchers to throw no-hitters in the postseason.
Larsen, of course, threw a perfect game for the Yankees against the Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series.
Halladay was the first in many years to even threaten an October no-hitter. The last pitcher to go seven hitless was Jim Lonborg for the Red Sox in 1967. He pitched 7 2/3 hitless innings on his way to a one-hit shutout of the Cardinals in the World Series.
With Halladay making it clear right away that he was on tonight, this one seemed over as soon as the Phillies scored three times against Edinson Volquez to make it a 4-0 game in the second inning. That the Phillies never added another run — they managed just one hit after the second inning — has to be of a little concern.
Still, the Phillies are in a commanding position right now. The Reds must be thinking that coming back and winning Game 4 is a long shot, leaving them with no margin for error in Games 2 and 3 against Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. Oswalt and Bronson Arroyo will duel Friday.

Kevin Kiermaier on Rays’ recent moves: “I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset.”

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On Sunday, we heard from former Ray and current Giants third baseman Evan Longoria. The Rays recently traded pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Twins for a prospect and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, which didn’t make a whole lot of sense outside of a cost-cutting perspective. Longoria said, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

Today, we’re hearing from a current Ray: center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who is set to enter his fifth full season with the club. Via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Kiermaier said, “I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves. No beating around the bush. It’s one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don’t know the reasoning why. And then you see the team’s explanation and still it’s just like, okay, well, so be it.”

Longoria — formerly the face of the franchise — was traded to the Giants in December and the Rays continued to subtract with their recent moves involving Odorizzi and Dickerson. Odorizzi has a career 3.83 ERA in what has been a solid, if unspectacular, career. Dickerson put up an All-Star season, posting an .815 OPS with 27 home runs in 150 games. Moving either player was not done to fix a positional log jam. In fact, with Odorizzi out of the picture, the Rays are planning to use a four-man starting rotation for the first six-plus weeks of the season, Topkin reported on Sunday. Dickerson’s ouster simply opens the door for Mallex Smith, who posted a .684 OPS last year, to start every day in the outfield.

The Rays got markedly worse after going 80-82 last season. They saved a few million bucks jettisoning Odorizzi and Dickerson. And Rays ownership still wants the public to foot most of the bill for their new stadium.

When it was just one small market team pinching pennies, it was fine. But now that more than half of the league has adopted penny-pinching principles popularized by Moneyball and Sabermetrics (with the Rays among the chief offenders), the game of baseball has become markedly less fan- and player-friendly. This offseason has been less about players signing contracts and changing teams in trades — which helps build excitement and intrigue for the coming year — and more about front offices doing math problems concerning the $197 million competitive balance tax threshold and other self-imposed monetary restraints. Fun. Kiermaier is right to be upset and he’s very likely not alone in feeling that way.