Tuesday, May 20, 2008
NO H IN HIS NAME, NO HITS IN A GAME: JON LESTER THROWS NO-HITTER!!!
You just never know what's gonna happen in this game.
In the 139 year history of professional baseball, only 255 times had a team ended a full 9 inning game with 0 hits. Last night, the Kansas City Royals became team #256, as Jon Lester threw 9 no-hit innings in a 7-0 Red Sox victory.
Lester threw a career high 130 pitches, 86 of which were strikes. He got ahead in the count, and finished the Kansas City batters with a devastating curve, and a potent fastball. His stuff was electric, and the way he and Varitek changed things up - high to low, inside and outside, fast and off-speed - was like watching two bullies playing Keep Away with a small child.
This was Lester's first career complete game, and obviously his first career shutout. He's the first Red Sox lefty to toss a no-no since Mel Parnell blanked the White Sox in 1956.
An assist goes to the Red Sox defense. Jacoby Ellsbury made a sensational diving grab in the 4th to rob Jose Guillen of a 2 out single. He also stole 2 more bases.
Even Julio Lugo looked good in the field. The only sloppy defensive play came from Lester himself, throwing away a pickoff attempt.
The last no-hitter thrown in the Majors was, of course, Clay Buchholz's in September of '07. The last time a team has had two no-hitters in a row like this was when Nolan Ryan tossed no-hitter #3 in 1974, and #4 in 1975; both for the California Angels.
In the young 21st century, there have been 12 no-hitters thrown. Four of those have been by Red Sox pitchers. The Marlins are the only other team with multiple no-hitters in this century with 2.
And how about Jason Varitek? He becomes the first man in baseball history to catch 4 no-hitters. The fact that he's caught no-hitters from 4 different pitchers speaks volumes about his strategic value as a game caller. He also had a great night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a 2 run homer.
It's just a nice story. Only 20 months ago, Lester's career and his life were in jeopardy. And now, he's made history.
Justin Masterson faces Gil Meche Tuesday night.
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AP Photo/Charles Krupa