September 2, 2007

A Rookie No-Hitter

Donald B. Hawthorne

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!


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"What more can you ask for?!" . . . you say . . .

I'll tell you what more;

How about winning at least ONE GAME during the recent Yankee series?

How about a pair of Red Sox spikes on the collective throats of the Evil Empire?

Posted by: brassband at September 2, 2007 9:06 AM

Okay, I agree!

The no-hitter took away the pain of those 3 losses for at last a few hours last night.

Seeing them lose 3 straight to the Yankees in the last week brought back horrific memories of when I was at Fenway last year for the first of what would be five straight losses to the Yankees.

We shudder when recalling both moments and hold on with hope for it not to happen again.

Posted by: Donald B. Hawthorne at September 2, 2007 9:19 AM

I too was working while the game was on. I was with my wife, cooking in preperation for the big family cookout tommorrow (today.) As the outs added up I couldn't pay attention to the potato salad,I was glued to the TV. Even my wife, Cheryl, no baseball fan, was caught up in the excitement.

How seldom things actually work out the way we want. It was a great night, family, food, and a great RedSox win!

Posted by: michael at September 2, 2007 10:13 AM

Youth has been served!
First Buckholz and his no-no last night.
Today Jacoby Ellsbury went 2 - 3 hit a homer stole a base and made two defensive gems in the outfield. Brandon Moss got a hit yesterday and made a very nice play in left today. Lefty babyface pitcher Jon Lester looked good today and our young fist pumping closer Pap was lights out as usual. Let's not forget our fantastic second baseman who is a bigtime threat to win rookie of the year. Dustin Pedroia is unbelievable. This Red Sox team is going to be very good for a long time to come. These kids just called up have already energized this team. Hopefully right into October.


I understand your frustration but look on the bright side. The Yanks just lost 2 out of 3 at home against one of the worst teams in baseball and did so without having to face the 2 best pitchers on the Devil Rays. Despite the carnage of a few days ago the Yankees have their own problems that aren't going away. Payback against the Yankees is going to taste oh so sweet on September 14 - 16.
Joba who?

Posted by: Tim at September 2, 2007 9:01 PM
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