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NLDS Game 1: Reds at Phillies

Oct 6, 2010, 9:00 PM EST

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Citizens Bank Park hosts Game 1 between the Reds and Phillies.

The road to the National League pennant has gone through Citizens Bank Park each of the last two seasons, and it will go through there again this month. Until someone proves they can beat the Phillies, no one can. And, as if Charlie Manuel's club wasn't talented enough in 2008 and 2009, now they've added Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt to a rotation that already includes World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

Halladay makes the first postseason start of his career this afternoon. That might faze some pitchers, but I just can't see this guy being scared of the spotlight. He had a fabulous season under the glare all season and will probably win NL Cy Young award honors for it. His counterpart today, Edinson Volzquez, has some of the best stuff in either league. But he pitched in only 12 games this season after coming back from Tommy John surgery, so the 27-year-old remains something of a work in progress. If Volquez is on, though, watch out.

The big pregame news out of Philly was the absence of Placido Polanco in the Phillies' lineup. The veteran third baseman, a huge contributor to the club this season, was scratched with tightness in his back. It's not believed to be serious, but it was serious enough to keep him out of the lineup today. We'll see what effect, if any, that has.

I'll try to share some thoughts along the way, and please continue the conversation with each other as well…

Where: Citizens Bank Park
Gametime: 5:07 p.m.
TV: TBS Radio: WTNT-570 AM
Weather: Cloudy, 61 degrees

2B Brandon Phillips
SS Orlando Cabrera
1B Joey Votto
3B Scott Rolen

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  1. A DC Wonk - Oct 6, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Mark, anything of substance or of interest from Kasten's show this afternoon?

  2. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 6, 2010 at 9:14 PM

    A DC Wonk: Yes, working on it right now. Story will be posted shortly.

  3. Traveler8 - Oct 6, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Unbelievable – or actually, believeable – not only is Halladay shutting them out, he's even getting his own RBIs.

  4. swang - Oct 6, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Phils in 2 on the mercy rule…

  5. dryw - Oct 6, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Kinda makes you feel better about the Nats' three-hit (or was it two) performance against Halladay a couple of weeks ago, huh? A play-off caliber team can't seem to hit him, either.

  6. BethesdaFan - Oct 6, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    Mark -My wife and I separately heard the Larsen game on the radio — 9 years before we met and married.

  7. Anonymous - Oct 6, 2010 at 11:42 PM

    This is a very cool thing … I'm certainly no Phillies fan, but I've always been a Roy Halladay fan. Congratulations, Roy! Well done, "Doc."John C.

  8. JaneB - Oct 6, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    I can't believe I'm rooting for the Phillie! He is awe.some.Someday….

  9. Jim Kurtzke - Oct 6, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Mark, hope you got home in time to see the last couple innings of the game. If you're the Reds, how do you recover from that?

  10. LoveDaNats - Oct 7, 2010 at 1:44 AM

    JaneB…..I'm with you! I found myself rooting for him to get that no-hitter. Doctober!

  11. N. Cognito - Oct 7, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Better than the perfect game. He walked at least three batters in his perfect game.

  12. Knoxville Nat - Oct 7, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    N. Cognito said,"Better than the perfect game. He walked at least three batters in his perfect game."Say what? How can a "perfect game" include three walks?????

  13. Feel Wood - Oct 7, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    "It actually was a closer play than I pictured, and Brandon Phillips' bat came perilously close to touching the ball in fair territory before Carlos Ruiz picked it up and threw to first for the 27th out."If that had happened, it would have resulted in an interesting and possibly controversial call at the end, wouldn't it? I'm pretty sure the batter is automatically out if his bat touches the ball a second time. Too bad – in this year of umpire controversy it would have been quite appropriate to have this historic no-no end with an umpiring moment.

  14. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 7, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Feel Wood: Actually, it wouldn't have been an issue at all. I looked up the rule this morning about such plays — it's Rule 6.05(h) — and it states that if a batter drops his bat in fair territory and the ball touches it, the batter is only called out if the umpire determines he intentionally was trying to interfere with the play. Obviously Phillips wasn't trying to interfere yesterday, and the plate umpire did give a quick "safe" signal as Ruiz picked up the ball, indicating everything was clean.

  15. markfd - Oct 7, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    Wow that was the greatest pitching performance not in a World Series game ever and against the offensive juggernaut that is the Reds…amazing, one of the top three postseason games of all time.

  16. Philadelphia Phillies Tickets - Oct 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    I am the biggest baseball nut of the Phillies so i really loved reading your article.I was glad i got my Philadelphia Phillies Tickets for the up coming baseball game for Phillies Stadium.





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