Boston Red Sox's Near No-Hitters In 1992
Fans at Dodger Stadium witnessed history on Saturday night.
Well, if not history, certainly something weird, something that you don't see in a ballgame very often.
The Dodgers were no-hit, but were able to score a run on a pair of errors and sac fly, and wound up beating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 1-0.
(Sidebar here: It's been a tough weekend for the Angels' bats; they were shut out in back-to-back games by the Dodgers, and scored just one run in a 1-0 victory on Sunday.
The last time that this type of dominance in pitching in Los Angeles, as far as I can recall, came in 1991, when the Expos and Dodgers hooked up for a three-game series.
Montreal's Mark Gardner no-hit the Dodgers for nine innings, but Los Angeles won it in extra innings, 1-0, in the first game. Bob Ojeda then shut out the Expos the next game, before Dennis Martinez pitched a perfect game, beating Mike Morgan 2-0.)
In the case of the Angels on Saturday night, they didn't even get credit for an official no-hitter, since the Dodgers were at home, and since they were ahead, didn't have to bat in the ninth inning.
Thus, the Angels' Jered Weaver (six innings) and reliever Jose Arredondo (two innings) did not allow a hit but it wasn't a no-hitter.
The rule was actually changed in 1991, which wiped out quite a few no-hitters (and two perfect games) from the history books.
Before 1991, if you'd pitched a no-hitter for eight innings, but the home team didn't have to bat because your team was trailing, you were still credited with a no-no.
Thus, Andy Hawkins of the Yankees, who no-hit the White Sox in 1990 but lost 4-0 because of a few errors in the outfield in the eighth inning, had his no-no wiped out of the record books.
The rule also affected games in which a pitcher pitched nine no-hit innings, but the game went into extra innings; if a hit is given up in extras, the no-no does not count.
Thus, Harvey Haddix, who pitched 12 perfect innings for Pittsburgh against the Milwaukee Braves in 1959 before an error, walk, and a double gave him the loss, had his perfect game deleted from the books.
Years ago, Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth was ejected in the first inning after walking a batter, and Ernie Shore came in and retired everyone else for the next nine innings, and was originally awarded a perfect game, until the rule changed in 1991.
But enough of history from that long ago. I actually wanted to talk about the 1992 Red Sox.
Matt Young of the Red Sox—yes, the lefty who got a ridiculous three-year, $6.3 million contract from Boston (a huge contract at that time and still now) and basically was injured or stunk—was the last pitcher in the big leagues before Saturday to throw a no-no and see his team lose.
That was weird too, and I remember that.
The 1992 Red Sox, expected to contend in the AL East, finished in last place when seemingly everyone except Roger Clemens had a career-worst season. Wade Boggs, a perennial .330 to .360 hitter, batted .259. Jack Clark hit zero home runs at Fenway.
The point is, the Red Sox couldn't hit despite playing half their games at Fenway Park.
They went into Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium in the opening weekend of the season, and in the opener, were shut out for 14 straight innings by the mediocre Indians bullpen (the Cleveland starter was KO'ed early), before winning the game in the 19th.
Then came a doubleheader. Matt Young did not allow a hit in his eight innings, the Red Sox scored a run for their pitcher, and they still lost, 2-1. Part of the reason was Young walked seven. Still, I suppose if you allow no hits, you should win.
(Just for the record, rookie Kenny Lofton walked, stole second and third, and scored an error. The Indians later scored another run when Young walked two and allowed an RBI fielder's choice.)
Ironically, in the second game of the doubleheader, Roger Clemens allowed two hits and won, 3-0.
That was in the first week of the season.
In the final week, the Red Sox wanted to play spoilers when they took on the Blue Jays at SkyDome (now Rogers Centre).
Matt Young was scheduled to pitch in the final game of the series in Toronto, but from what I recall, Frank Viola wanted to go on three days' rest, just so he could face the Blue Jays in a meaningful game, well as a spoiler anyway.
Viola pitched eight no-hit innings, duplicating Young's feat, but then allowed a single to Devon White in the ninth. Boston won 1-0.
(P.S. What was with the Red Sox signing washed-up left-handers and giving them stupid contracts during that era, by the way? Young, Viola, and a few years later, Steve Avery...all dumb signings. And the one lefty that was good—Jamie Moyer—they practically gave away to Seattle in '96.)
So, the '92 Red Sox had two near no-nos, but they didn't get either one, and they finished in last place.
At least the 2008 Angels are in first place and are contenders.
Oh, by the way, Matt Young did not win a single game in 1992. He should have had one.
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