Roy Halladay did the unthinkable, throwing a no-hitter in a postseason game. Not only that, he threw a perfect game in May. A total of 55 batters faced between the two games, with just a slight change in approach. Despite being “imperfect,” I’d argue Doc was better in October than in May. Based on the month—and opponent—you may agree.
Let’s start with pitch mix, broken down by batter hand and zoomed in on first pitches.
First, all pitches to all batters in the two gems:
|NLDS No Hitter||15.4||21.2||31.7||31.7|
Nothing earth-shattering there. Let’s go to the splits.
Against left-handed batters:
|NLDS No Hitter||14.3||14.3||14.3||57.1|
Small sample, a total of just 13 left-handed batters faced (seven in the playoffs). We’ll say he threw lefties more off-speed stuff in the no-hitter.
Against right-handed batters:
|NLDS No Hitter||15.7||22.9||36.1||25.3|
Yawn. Nothing to see here.
Let’s collapse the splits and look at first pitches, the 0-0 counts:
|NLDS No Hitter||10.7||17.9||39.3||32.1|
Halladay threw a few more cutters in the no-hitter. The curveball and the sinker both took the hit, while the change-up actually got a little more usage.
Throwing the splits back in, here are the 0-0 counts against left-handed batters:
|NLDS No Hitter||28.6||0.0||14.3||57.1|
Hello. Sure, it’s just a baker’s dozen, but the pitch selection was not the same.
Finally, first pitches to right-handed batters:
|NLDS No Hitter||4.8||23.8||47.6||23.8|
More hard stuff in those 0-0 counts in the no-hitter, but not much difference from what he showed the righties in the perfect game.
And now, a few of my favorite metrics:
|NLDS No Hitter||.535||.352||1.0||.523||63||5*||16||16|
The no-hitter had more strikes, both by “IWZ” (in wide zone) and the umpire calls (B:CS). Doc got more swings and more whiffs per swing. Even on batted balls, the Reds
didn’t muster a managed just one line drive and hit more ground balls and pop-ups than the Marlins did. That’s domination above and beyond.
*correction:: Travis Wood hit a line drive against Halladay, but his atbats were excluded due to an obscure bug (assumption, feature) in my code