Last night one of the more magical things happened in baseball. A no-hitter. It was an exceptional game thrown both by Pirates starter A.J. Burnett and Cincinnati's Homer Bailey. How awesome was it? The game ended 1-0 and outside of the first inning there really wasn't anything going on. In today's game of baseball where people just want to see a home run this might have seemed boring but for people like me who love great pitched baseball games that are usually low scoring this was awesome.
The problem was that the Pirates were the ones that were on the wrong end of the no-hitter. The no-hitter for Bailey was the seventh of the season in the entire major leagues which is just one off a record. Bailey allowed only three base runners on the day and struck out ten. Actually you would have thought that Bailey would have struck out more times as ten is actually pretty good for them. (sigh)
Bailey was on. There are no two ways about it. If you don't have your stuff you aren't going to throw a no-hitter no matter how bad the other team is. He was really good but the Pirates lineup was really, really, bad.
The Pirates sent up only one player hitting over .280 last night and it was just brutal to watch Jordy Mercer and Alex Presley try to bat last night (among others) but it was all Bailey. He did throw 115 pitches but it didn't matter. The Pirates didn't have a single player that looked like they had a clue. The best chance they got came in the ninth inning when Pedro Alvarez and Travis Snider put some good wood on a couple of pitches but they were right at people.
This was also the 279th no-hitter in MLB history since 1875. Whoa.
The Pirates haven't been no-hit since 1971 when the Cardinals Bob Gibson and held the third long streak in between getting no-hit so that streak was obviously snapped. I know some people are all up in arms about this but this rarely happens to the Pirates and it is something that happens. It has actually happened a few times this season. Since 2009 Tampa Bay has been no-hit four times including twice in two months in 2010 so this isn't something that only happens to horrible teams.
If this had happened when the Pirates were 12 games over .500 or so this wouldn't be a huge deal. No-hitters happen and sometimes you just run into a buzz saw (they did). You move on to the next day. Only the Pirates weren't 12 game over, they were four games under (now five) and this loss clinched a non-winning season for the year.
As you know I am not a big believe that the Pirates had to break the "streak" and stuff like that but after being as many as 16 games over .500 on August 8th and now they are five games under going 13-34 since the time they were 16 games under. For some people breaking the streak is big and getting no-hit was more of an appropriate way to assure people that they wouldn't do that. It sucks. Being that good and then falling flat on your face for the second year in a row stings.
I haven't been able to watch much of the Pirates the past couple of weeks and that probably is a good thing. It is hard to watch. This season is almost over and well, who knows.
I will tip my hat to Bailey because no-hitters are truly awesome, but I wasn't rooting for it. The Pirates were bad and Bailey was good. Sigh.