The Philadelphia Phillies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 11-6 on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the NLDS. Roy Halladay once again put himself in the same sentence as Don Larsen -- after a rough first inning he retired the last 21 batters he faced. According to Elias, Larsen was the last pitcher to retire at least 21 consecutive batters in a single postseason game when he threw his World Series perfect game in 1956.
After Halladay allowed two hits and a home run to the first seven batters, the next 20 Cardinals hitters couldn’t get the ball out of the infield. He's 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four career postseason starts and the Phillies have won seven of their past eight Game 1s.
HalladaySeven of his eight strikeouts came on a curveball or changeup and hitters went 2-for-18 with eight groundouts against those two pitches. In three games against Halladay this season, Cardinals righties in particular are 0-for-16 with eight strikeouts against off-speed pitches.
Halladay has started Game 1 of the NLDS twice now and he’s allowed three earned runs in 17 innings and has separate streaks of 13, 14 and 21 consecutive batters retired.
The 11 runs the Phillies scored are their most in a postseason game since Game 4 of the 1993 World Series, the only postseason game in franchise history they’ve scored more than 11 runs. For the Cardinals, it’s tied for the second-most runs they’ve ever allowed in a road postseason game.
Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning, his first postseason HR and RBI since Game 6 of the 2009 World Series. He had no homers or runs batted in last year in 33 at-bats spanning nine playoff games.
The homer came on the eighth pitch of his at-bat against Kyle Lohse; during the regular season Howard had 22 PA that went eight or more pitches and homered in just one of them. Lohse had 16 PA in which he threw eight or more pitches and allowed a home run in NONE of them.
Kyle Lohse vs Phillies Hitters NLDS Game 1
Lohse needed just 23 pitches to get through the first three innings, facing the minimum. In the fourth he threw 22 pitches and allowed hits to Chase Utley (double) and Shane Victorino (single), the latter after he walked Howard on four pitches.
It all fell apart in the sixth when Lohse allowed hits to five of the six batters he faced, four of them to left-handed hitters. The Phillies have long been susceptible to left-handed pitching, but had no problem Saturday with the right-handed Lohse.