NLDS: Powerful Phils pitching plows way into third straight NLCS

If this had been most playoff series, Cole Hamels'(notes) five-hit, complete game shutout in a clinching 2-0 victory in Game 3 of the NLDS would have gone down as the best pitching effort of the set.

But with Roy Halladay(notes) throwing only the second no-hitter in postseason history against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1, this was not most playoff series. (Sorry, Cole.)

Nevertheless, the pre-series script of H2O (Halladay-Roy Oswalt(notes)-Hamels) being impassable held form and the Philadelphia Phillies are advancing to their third straight NLCS after finishing a sweep of the Reds on Sunday night. Despite being matched against the National League's leading offense, the Phillies allowed only four runs over the three games and surrendered only a total of 11 hits, a new LDS record. One shudders to think what this group is going to do against a punchless lineup from the Giants or Braves.

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