Postseason pitching flashbacks
After more than five decades, Don Larsen finally has company, and baseball has another game for the ages.
Roy Halladay placed himself in exclusive company on Wednesday by tossing the second no-hitter in MLB playoff history. Halladay and the Phillies blanked the Reds, 4-0, in Game 1 of their NationaL League Division Series.
Before Halladay’s historical performance, Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series stood as the lone no-hitter in MLB postseason history. Standing in the way of perfection for Halladay was a lone walk.
The Marlins can certainly feel the Reds’ pain. On May 29, they were shut down by Halladay, who tossed the 20th perfect game in MLB history that day.
In their history, the Marlins have gone to the postseason twice, and in each year captured the World Series title.
While no Marlin has ever tossed a no-hitter in the playoffs, there have been a few masterful pitching performances.
Florida’s most memorable complete game shutout in the playoffs was turned in by Josh Beckett, when he closed out the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium.
Beckett allowed five hits in a 2-0 victory that day, on his way to winning MVP honors. But an argument can be made that it wasn’t Beckett’s best playoff performance of that season.
In the NL Championship Series against the Cubs, Florida was trailing 3-1 in games heading into Game 5 in Miami. Beckett tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 11. That performance set the stage for the Marlins to return to Chicago, where they took care of the Cubs in Games 6 and 7 at Wrigley Field.
The Marlins have had four complete games in their playoff history. Livan Hernandez striking out 15 Braves in the 1997 NLCS also remains one of the top pitching performances ever by a Marlin.
Postseason Marlins’ complete games:
* Josh Beckett, 10/12/03: 2 hits, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts, vs Cubs, NLCS
* Josh Beckett, 10/25/02: 5 hits, 0 runs, 9 strikeouts, vs Yankees, WS
* Kevin Brown, 10/14/97: 11 hits, 4 runs, 8 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS
* Livan Hernandez, 10/12/97: 3 hits, 1 run, 15 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS
— Joe Frisaro