Halladay hit hard in second postseason start

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - October 17, 2010

Halladay, the Philadelphia Phillies ace who tossed a no-hitter vs. the Cincinnati Reds last week, saw his hitless streak end in the left-field seats. He allowed two solo homers to Cody Ross and pitched like a mere mortal in a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.

Working on nine days' rest, Halladay's postseason hitless streak ended at 11 innings when Ross homered off him in the NL championship series opener.

Halladay's string of no-hit innings is the second longest in postseason history, STATS LLC said. Don Larsen put together a streak of 11 1-3 innings for the New York Yankees - he pitched a perfect game against Brooklyn in the 1956 World Series, then added 2 1-3 hitless innings in relief against Milwaukee in the 1957 Series. Johnny Vander Meer remains the only pitcher to throw consecutive no-hitters, doing it in 1938 for Cincinnati.

Halladay will have to watch for a while now, as the Phillies try to crawl out of this 0-1 hole. Game 2 is on Sunday, and Halladay won't take the mound again until Game 5 at San Francisco, if he's needed.

Ross was only 3 for 16 (.188) with 1 RBI against Halladay in his career. But the right fielder, batting eighth, hit a pair of fastballs to almost the same location just a few rows deep in the left seats. The homers hurt the 21-game winner, but it was a close call against Halladay that really aided the Giants.

Halladay retired the first two batters in the sixth, then Buster Posey singled. On an 0-2 pitch, Halladay thought he struck out Pat Burrell - and so did 45,929 towel-waving Phillies fans. Umpire Derryl Cousins, however, simply called the curve that seemed to catch the plate ball one. Instead of inning over, trailing 2-1, Halladay would leave in a bigger hole.

Burrell doubled on the next pitch after left fielder Raul Ibanez mistimed a leap to make it 3-1. Juan Uribe followed with an RBI single to stake the Giants to a three-run lead.

The extra runs proved to be the difference, as Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer in the sixth to conclude the scoring.

Halladay's line - so dazzling against the Reds with the "0" in the hit column - was ordinary. He gave up eight hits, four runs, walked none and struck out seven in seven innings. He threw 73 strikes out of 105 pitches.

"Can he pitch better than that? Yeah, of course, he can," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "But tonight, they hit some balls good on him."

Halladay threw 104 pitches, 79 for strikes, against the Reds. It was the second no-hitter in postseason history, and only added to what's been a dominant debut season in Philadelphia. He threw a perfect game at Florida on May 29 and finished 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA. Halladay led the majors in wins, complete games (nine), shutouts (four) and innings (250 2-3).

The seven-time All-Star set down the first seven Giants hitters before Ross homered with one out in the third inning. According to baseball scoring rules, Halladay only gets credit for two hitless innings against San Francisco.

Earlier in the day, Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson visited Citizens Bank Park to pick up a jersey and game-used ball from Halladay's no-hitter. The mementoes will be on display within a week at the museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Halladay won't be taking any keepsakes home from this one.

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