SAY IT AIN'T SO

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The Phillip Hughes of Down Under
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by Different Matt

THE BRONX, NY – If you were up late Wednesday night watching the Yankee game, you were treated to a stellar pitching performance from Phil Hughes. Hughes got through the 7th inning without allowing a hit. The A’s finally broke through in the hit column with one out in the 8th, and Hughes had to settle for a solid 1-hit performance.

I realized that Hughes was on early in the ball game. He had all of his pitches working and he was locating his pitches well. By the end of the fourth inning, I though it might be a special game. Then it happened. Ken Singleton mentioned the no-hitter after the fifth. I’m not a very superstitious person and I’m not sure when or why it became taboo, but mentioning a no-hitter in progress has always made me uneasy.

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Working at Yankee Stadium for ten years starting in the late ‘90s, I was fortunate enough to witness a few no-hitters. The first came in 1996 when Doc Gooden threw his no-no in pinstripes. I remember fans saying things like, “You see what Doc is doing?” and “Notice anything about the scoreboard?” but I can’t remember anyone actually saying the words “no-hitter” until after the last out was recorded.

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In 1998, when David Wells threw his perfecto, I remember a fan in the upper deck being doused in beer for mentioning the no-hitter in the 7th inning. The beer seems to have worked and the perfect game was preserved. A year later David Cone threw his perfect game without incident.

I don’t know why I get caught up in this superstition. I almost turned off the game Wednesday night when Singleton mentioned the no-hitter. At that point I was certain the no-no wouldn’t happen and figured I’d go to bed. I eventually decided to keep watching and after the sixth inning I was feeling better about my decision. I convinced myself that it was a stupid and arbitrary superstition and that it had no bearing on the game. I was an idiot for caring about the perceived taboo.

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    Hey Ken, what are Hughes doin’?

I remember watching Mike Mussina’s bid for a perfect game in 2001 (against David Cone) without sound for fear of Statler & Waldorf in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth at Fenway mentioning the no-hitter. With two outs in the ninth and a two-strike count to Carl Everett (who doesn’t believe that dinosaurs ever existed by the way), Mussina grooved a pitch that Everett lined for a base hit. Everett celebrated like he had just won the World Series after the hit.

I’m sure that Mets fans can’t relate to my feelings about no-hitters. No pitcher has ever thrown one in a Met uniform. Sure plenty of pitchers have thrown no-hitters after leaving the Mets, like Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Hideo Nomo, and the aforementioned Dwight Gooden and David Cone, but, amazin’ly, no ones ever done it for the Mets.

Eventually Hughes gave up the hit, and I went to sleep, dreaming of what could have been if Singleton had honored the stupid superstition.

Sneak Peak Saturday, tomorrow.

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  • jgclancy

    My A’s won one against the Yanks and remain in FIRST PLACE!
    A-Rod shows he is still a blue ribbon jackass
    Poor Poor Devils…

  • Angry Ward

    Cookie, Tebow is a real bible thumper so he’ll fit in fine in the high altitude of Denver because that will put him that much closer to God. As for what kind of QB he’ll make, I’ll leave that to Dr. Diz.

  • Angry Ward

    Diff’rent Matt, I completely believe in that superstition as well. It reminded me of a Yankee game back in the 70s or early 80s when someone on the Yankees (Guidry maybe?) had a no-no going against the Brewers (when they were still in the AL) and Phil Rizzuto was saying things like “now let’s not say anything ok?” All of a sudden Bob Uecker ducks into the booth and says: “Hey you guys see Guidry’s got a no-hitter going?” Rizzuto went ape and one or two hitters later the no-no was gone. It was hilarious.

  • Different Matt

    I would love to have seen a reality show with Bob Uecker and Phil Rizzuto. Any interaction between those two would be priceless.

  • Ed Kranemule

    Holy Cow, that s a good story AW. Think about all the great pitchers the Mets have had and they still dont have a no-no. Its incredible. By the way, “Where is Superstition?

  • Grote2Dmax

    I don’t believe in superstitions any more, it is childish to believe otherwise. Whatever someone says has no bearing on what happens on the field. Step on a crack and break your mama’s back.

  • All Blacks Rule

    Mate! You got me hook, line and sinker with the Phillip Hughes picture. Thoughts were that you (or hughes) were going to go on with the cricket! Oh well… Here’s our Phillip Hughes;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp8XuZlgfJg&feature=related

    Above Link for Video Inserted here by MTM IT Dept

  • Dude

    if a met ever pitches a no-hitter it will probably be a loss…

    i agree diff’rent matt NO ONE should mention a no-no until it is complete, this superstition might as well be in the baseball rule books, the announcer should be fired immediately

    a-rod has shown again he has no class, overblown or not. keith said it best: i don’t know about that rule but i would never do that.

  • Angry Ward

    Go walk under a ladder Grote.

  • King Ronan

    Angry, the Rizzuto/Uecker story is hilarious!

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Bill Parcells is superstitious. If driving, and his path would be crossed by a black cat (or walking for that matter), he would deliberately return to the point of the feline ambulation and cross JUST beyond it and then, returning to his original direction, continue on his way. I know a film director who will not depart a pick up point or hotel, unless everyone is sitting in exactly the places they were the day before.

    This just in. Power Plays are BULLs..t. Icing should not be allowed during them. Also, Gary Bettman is useless. If the NHL does not go to Sochi, he should be tarred and feathered.

    Mara and Tisch have a corp sponsor for their whorehouse now, yes? Will their fees cover the cost of buying my family’s Giants tix back from the folks we gave the rights to because we didn’t want to spend 28 K to keep them? Locally grown produce? How about locally grown sports?

    Just thinking (please refrain from the easy, “no, King, I don’t think you are”).

    Thank you……….

  • West Coast Craig

    These stupid superstitions are part of the fun…like everybody clearing out and leaving the pitcher all alone at the end of the bench. Actually, that seems kind of cruel now that I think about it.

  • rugbybob14@aol.com

    I bet Parcells would cross that path if he was on his way for a cheeseburger

  • Finns

    Co’ach (Short Matt) always mentioned the no-no or the shut out a real retart.

  • Angry Ward

    King Ronan, don’t get me started on Mara and Tisch and every other owner out there and their PSLs. Right before Mara hit Giants fans with the PSL letter Sports Illustrated manchild Peter King wrote something along the lines of: “I know John Mara is going to have a hard time sleeping at night knowing that he’s going to have to charge his loyal fans personal seat license fees.” It was easily one of the dumbest things ever written and I wrote that back to Mr. King myself. I said, Mara would sleep just fine on his pile of money, it’s the fans that were now tossing and turning.

  • Randy Levine

    Before the cream sits out too long.

  • King Ronan

    I could get ad hominem re: Mara and Tisch all day but in the end, I would suffer calamitously from self consciousness at having been far too crass for a man my age. I am serious, though. BOYCOTT PRO SPORTS. It is a hard thing to say on this friendly website without thinking you are ruining everybody’s fun.

  • Different Matt: Once again, you lend a ‘different’ look at the local baseball scene, one that Tall, Short and Replacement Matt wouldn’t necessarily consider. Well done, friend.
    Finns: What goes on on the bench, stays on the bench. (Finns is referring to our time laboring in very minor league baseball together – Ed Kranemule labored their as well)
    A-Dubya: Be careful, King Ronan has been known to lop off the odd head of those that tell him what not to do…
    All Blacks Rule: Thank you for that video. You guys talk funny, though.
    jgclancy: We feel for Jacques Lemaire – the poor Devil.

  • mezmanhattan

    No, i don;t know what it’s like.. hopefully Johan can make at least 1 dream come true… for cryin out loud… hopefullr he’ll get a start against Pittsburg this season

  • The Situation

    D-Wright is cool but the Mets can’t make that happen. That’s Yankee territory. Cone and Gooden know the situation.

  • Junior Blaber

    You know what Diff, you and your yanks can go kick rocks for all I care!!!

  • The Grunk

    I’m torn about the whole superstition thing. John Sterling pays it no mind and I believe talked about it throughout Cone’s perfect game. That perfect game was pitched on Yogi Berra day when it was about 115 degrees in the shade so Cone had to overcome the heat AND Sterling’s possible jinx.

    Really, though, isn’t this the best no hitter (I don’t care what the record books say) in history?

    No-hitter
    On July 1, 1990, Andy Hawkins pitched a no-hitter for the Yankees against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park but lost the game. Hawkins dominated the White Sox into the eighth inning, where he retired the first two batters. After that, Sammy Sosa reached on a throwing error by Yankees third baseman Mike Blowers. Hawkins then walked the next two batters. That brought up Robin Ventura, who lofted a fly ball to left field. The blustery winds buffeted the ball, and rookie Jim Leyritz, normally a third baseman, booted it, allowing all three baserunners to score. The next batter, Ivan Calderón, hit a fly ball to right field, which was lost in the sun and dropped by Jesse Barfield, allowing Ventura to score. The final count for the inning was four runs, no hits, three errors. The Yankees, who had not scored all game, were unable to score in the 9th inning, giving Hawkins the loss.
    The 4-0 loss was the largest margin of a no-hitter loss in the 20th century, and Hawkins became the first Yankees pitcher to lose a no-hitter. On September 4, 1991 the Committee for Statistical Accuracy, appointed by Commissioner Fay Vincent, changed the definition of a no-hitter to require that a pitcher throw at least nine full innings and a complete game. Since Hawkins played for the visiting team, the White Sox never batted in the ninth inning and Hawkins lost the credit for a no-hitter.
    A high-priced free agent in the second year of a three-year deal, Hawkins struggled for a poor Yankees team in 1990. On May 8, with just one win and an ERA of 8.56, Hawkins was offered his outright release, which he accepted. But an injury that night to pitcher Mike Witt changed his mind. Hawkins pitched much better in his next three starts, although he still had only a 1-4 record prior to the no-hitter.
    In his next appearance, he faced the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium in the opening game of a doubleheader. Hawkins pitched a shutout into the twelfth inning but wound up losing 2-0 – the last time a starting pitcher has pitched into the twelfth inning or later. In his following appearance, the Yankees lost a six-inning no-hitter to Melido Perez and the White Sox.

  • Different Matt

    Love the andy hawkins story. Throw a no-no and get shut out. Thats pretty brutal.

    Also brutal is what happened to Pedro in 95. He threw nine perfect innings for the expos, but they couldn’t get him a run in regulation. The expos finally scored in the top of the tenth only for pedro to serve up a double to the first batter in the bottom of the tenth and be taken out.

  • jgclancy

    Anything Cone has ever done can never be the best of anything.

  • Nick C

    Mike Torres and Jose Deleon hooked up in a classic at Shea.
    In the second game of a doubleheader, Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jose DeLeon entered the ninth inning dominating the Mets lineup, striking out 11 while not yielding a single Mets hit. DeLeon got the first ninth-inning out when center fielder Mookie Wilson lined out to right field, but Hubie Brooks stepped up to the plate and singled to left to kill the no-no. DeLeon got out of the inning by getting Keith Hernandez to hit into a double play and the game remained scoreless after nine.

    Workhorse 6-foot-4 righthander Kent Tekulve held the Mets scoreless for two more innings, giving up only a 10th inning single to Darryl Strawberry. Manny Sarmiento got the call in the bottom of the 12th and gave up a leadoff single to Wilson. After Brooks advanced Wilson on a sacrifice bunt, Sarmiento intentionally walked Hernandez. George Foster hit a grounder and the Pirates got the force at second but couldn’t complete the double play and allowed Wilson to score, giving the Mets a 1-0 victory.

    It’s not often a starter can pitch 11 scoreless innings and not get the win, but that’s just what Mike Torrez did this day. The victory went to Jesse Orosco, who began the day with a 5-5 record and ended it at 7-5, having earned the “W” in both games of the doubleheader, which both went 12 innings.

  • Dude

    i think pedro’s no-no flirtation with the mets in ’05 was jinxed by tall matt who razzed dodger fans in his section at dodger stadium and then watched gerald hernderson drop a fly ball while filling in for center fielder beltran, who probably would have made the play.

    the andy hawkins story is the most likely scenario for a met to throw a no-hitter, tho i guess he would have to lose in the 10th to get the credit.

  • Tall Matt

    I was screaming ‘NO HITTER” at Dodger Stadium from about the 3rd inning. It was fun city for the next 4 innings until that henderson drop. I know I was screaming after that (and after the Mets lost) but I was drunk at the time so I can’t remember what it was. Dodger fans are pantywaists so I had no fear of verbal or physical retribution. May have vomited on someone too. Not on purpose. That’s low.

  • gollytwo

    Tall Matt – try to remember they are FAKE Dodgers

  • Sams A Fan

    I’ll talk about a no hitter, but I’ll never say something like “Hey, there’s no traffic! We’re making great time!” until I’ve passed Poughkeepsie.

  • King Ronan

    Don’t know where to post non-specific items but I had to alert the crowd to another disaster from the Meadowlands Morons:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/jersey_field_of_oabCIiTLOJ1QzPFltXiniO?sms_ss=facebook

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