A Rookie No-Hitter
Last night was special.
As I sat working in the family room, I had the Red Sox game on in the background. Clay Buchholz, a rookie pitcher making just his second major league start, was steadily getting outs. Suddenly the game began to demand more attention – at least in the top half of each inning – as the announcers reminded viewers how Clay had still allowed no hits and it was now the sixth inning.
The 7th inning went by without any hits. Then the 8th inning. All the while, Clay was impressing everyone with his dazzling assortment of pitches: curveballs, changeups, fastballs. Fastballs in the 90’s. Curveballs and changeups in the 70’s. Simply beautiful pitches.
Various fine plays in the field made the no-hitter possible. The best was when Dustin Pedroia made a stunning defensive play which saved the no-hitter in the 7th. Both Coco Crisp and Clay himself had other nice defensive plays in the 6th and 8th innings, respectively. After walking Brian Roberts in the 6th, Clay picked him off 1st base, allowing a return to a full wind-up thereafter. Roberts would be the last Oriole to reach base. Catcher Jason Varitek deserves credit for calling a really good game.
Everybody at Fenway was standing during the entire 9th inning. And the rest of us at home just stopped working to watch the game!
More on the story here, here, and here.
This is baseball at its best: It is now September, nearly every division has a close race between teams, and then we get this beautiful no-hitter. What more can you ask for?!
Clay is only the 3rd pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in either his first or second start. Not bad for a kid who just turned 23 several weeks ago and was only called up from the Pawtucket AAA team the day before!