It turns out, Roy Halladay is hittable after all.
The Philadelphia Phillies pitcher who tossed a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds last week saw his hitless streak end in the left-field seats. He allowed two solo home runs to Cody Ross and pitched like a mere mortal in a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
"You never expect it to be easy," Halladay said. "If you can't handle failure at this point, you're in the wrong business."
Halladay's hitless streak ended at 11 innings when Ross homered off him in the third inning of the National League Championship Series opener.
"He's going to give up some runs sometimes," Charlie Manuel, the Phillies manager, said.
Ross was only three for 16 against Halladay in his career. But the Giants' right fielder hit a pair of fastballs to almost the same location just a few rows deep in the left-field seats.
Halladay was also hurt by a close umpiring call. He had retired the first two batters in the sixth inning, then Buster Posey singled.
On an 0-2 pitch to Pat Burrell, Halladay thought he had a strikeout - and so did 45,929 towel-waving Phillies fans. But Derryl Cousins, the home plate umpire, called the pitch ball one.
Burrell doubled on the next pitch to make it 3-1, and Juan Uribe followed with an RBI single to make it 4-1. Halladay refused to criticise Cousins.
"It's part of it," he said. "There were obviously calls they wanted, too. If you don't get a pitch, you have to make the next one."
The extra runs proved to be the difference. Jayson Werth hit a two-run homer for the Phillies in the sixth, but they could get no closer.
Halladay gave up eight hits, walked none and struck out seven in seven innings.
"Can he pitch better than that? Yeah, of course, he can," Manuel said. "But tonight, they hit some balls good on him."
NL Championship Series
San Francisco v Philadelphia
Game 1: San Fran 4, Phil 3
Game 2: San Fran at Phil, late Sunday
Game 3: at San Fran, tomorrow
Game 4: at San Fran, Wednesday
Game 5: at San Fran, Thursday*
Game 6: at Phil, Saturday*
Game 7: at Phil, Sunday*
* if necessary