PHILADELPHIA — Edinson Volquez looked as if he was making his first post-season start, and the jittery Cincinnati Reds played as if they hadn't been there in a while, either.
Unlike Phillies ace Roy Halladay, Volquez couldn't sink much lower. The Reds' righty fidgeted on the mound, took deep breaths between pitches and played with his hair and hat like a nervous schoolboy — when he wasn't getting hit hard.
Volquez symbolized all that went wrong for the Reds in their first playoff game since 1995. He was the surprise choice by Dusty Baker to start Game 1 of the NL division series and the move backfired in a 4-0 loss on Wednesday.
While Halladay is perhaps the best pitcher going in baseball and the NL Cy Young Award favorite, the Reds never made adjustments and let him pump in first-pitch strikes in at-bat after every futile at-bat during his no-hitter.
"He threw a no-hitter today. I don't think anything that we did would have mattered," first baseman Joey Votto said.
Maybe so — Halladay threw a perfect game this season and won 21 games. But the NL Central champion Reds' inexperience showed.
"So what, it's only one game," second baseman Brandon Phillips said. "How many teams have bounced back from one game to still win the series. If you're going to lose, we should lose the way we did today. That's how I look at it."
Post-season history is against the Reds. In the 60 previous division series, the team that won Game 1 advanced 43 times (72 percent).
They'll send Bronson Arroyo to the mound for Game 2 on Friday. Arroyo was the only member of the playoff rotation who had pitched in the post-season before Wednesday. Catcher Ramon Hernandez, third baseman Scott Rolen and shortstop Orlando Cabrera are the only starting position players to get there.
Volquez flopped from the first inning in front of the third-largest crowd in Citizens Bank Park history. He allowed a one-out double to Shane Victorino then gave the Flyin' Hawaiian all of Maui to steal second base. Victorino was ignored at second, turned a walking lead into a steal and eventually a run.
Volquez allowed four runs in only 12⁄3 innings and labored through 56 pitches (24 balls) in an ugly outing. Volquez was coming back from right elbow surgery and had gone 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 12 starts since his return.
After the game, he chilled out in the clubhouse like he tossed a shutout. Volquez rested his clasped hands on his stomach and rocked in his chair, showing more poise in answering questions than he did on the mound.
"I wanted to pitch like he did tonight," Volquez said of Halladay.
He wasn't alone in having some first-game jitters. Left fielder Jonny Gomes let Halladay's blooper fall in front of him in the first inning, then bobbled the ball for an RBI single.
"Edinson's done a great job for us up to this point," Gomes said. "He couldn't command his pitches tonight. He was throwing hard, his velocity was there, his change was there. They just did a good job of waiting him out."
The Reds were an unlikely candidate to get no-hit. They led the NL in batting average, runs, hits, total bases, home runs, RBI and slugging percentage — just about every offensive stat that counts — and had 13 hits against Halladay in his first start against them this season.
The Reds went down meekly this time against Halladay. "It was like a situation where you're almost helpless because the guy was dealing," Baker said.
Jay Bruce was the only Red to reach base against Halladay on a two-out walk in the fifth.
"There's a little shock factor right now, but we'll be ready to go," Bruce said.