I've been attending MLB games since....well....since Andre Rogers was the Cubs SS and Bob Buhl was one of our starters. I've seen hundreds and hundreds of games, in a multitude of parks.....but until today, I've never seen a 9-inning no hitter in person.
Oh, of course, it's spring training.....and the A's did manage a 10th inning hit...but those of you on WGN just had to have been on the edge of your seat? What a marvelous exhibition of young pitching! And, to my eyes, Sean Marshall (his line is in another diary) wasn't quite as sharp as he was back on Tuesday's start against the Brew Crew! But still...he was getting the A's out on that nasty curve...his fast ball, up in the strike zone....not really hitttable...that led to four BB's. Angel Guzman entered in the 5th...and was even better...of course, the no hitter continued, as Guzman's off speed pitch --
slider, I guess (Len and Bren probably told you more) was wicked! A 9-inning perfecto! Sure would have been nice to have seen that game-winner in the 9th -- bases loaded, but no luck there. (via 2 intentional walks, after a single) And while this transpired, I kept the cell lines busy to Al in Surprise...and he wished he was in Mesa, watching this gem!
Truly, I've never been so excited at a meaningless game. Strangely enough...many in the crowd didn't quite 'get it.' Probably, the change of pitchers threw many (and, at times a barely viewable scoreboard due to the glaring sun) and I heard some mumbling of..."nothing's happening!"
I turned back and said....this is the 8th inning of a no-hitter!!!! He said...."Oh, yeah...wow."
Well, the crowd DID get it by the 9th.....and hung on every pitch by David Aardsma!
That 10th inning hit by Dan Johnson deflated the crowd a bit, but the 10th inning rally by the kids -- Casey Kopiskie's single, followed by Brandon Sing's game winning double....A thrilling end to a memorable Cactus League affair. It's an old saying -- you never know when you are going to see something at a ball park you've NEVER seen before. Today was the day for me.
Other highlights -- I hope you saw the intoduction of Buck O'Neil and ex Cub George Altman before the game -- as Rodeway Express sponsored a tribute to Negro League baseball. There was a private exhibition in the lot prior to the game -- Buck was there, as was George -- Jim Hendry held a short Q & A (I say private because you couldn't cross into the 'party' area, where the food and drink was, but the stage area was open to all to observe from behind the 'rope line.') And -- Ronnie W. (oops, sorry Al, but ya gotta report the facts) was also a part of the festivities. He did the usual, and....metaphysically, I was 16 again, in the LF bleachers...and there was this strange guy going..."Banks...woo!" Beckert, "Woo!" Who knew?
Low lights? The White Sox fan, (he was wearing a Sox cap) next to me at the sink, (in the facilities) telling his friend...." it was kind of boring."
Oh, for the love of......stay in Tucson if THAT'S your only observation!
And for GM, as we are fair and balanced here -- A's pitching struck out 10 Cubs...8 for the A's Rich Harden, who is ready to tackle the AL West.
Good luck to the A's -- that's a nice-looking team.