Monday, September 01, 2008

CC throws a maybe-no-hitter

Of course I had family get-together day yesterday, so I listened on the radio and didn't get to see the incredible CC deliver once again.

In case you were asleep last night, CC Sabathia threw a one-hit shutout yesterday. The one-hit is incredibly debatable and likely should have been called an error. There was a swinging bunt by Andy LaRoche that CC tried to pick up and dropped. The guy was safe at first and the official scorer decided that above-average play would have been needed to throw LaRoche out and therefore it should be scored a hit.

ESPN has the video up in the game recap here.

The one-hit shut out would be the Brewers first since Teddy Higuera did it in 1987.

Of course, if it were a no-hitter, it would be the Brewers first since Juan Nieves did it in 1987.

The Brewers are appealing the official scoring decision. They have put together a DVD of every possible angle of replay and sent it in to MLB.

We appealed a decision earlier in the decision in which an error wasn't given and Guillermo Mota was charged with runs to his ERA. We appealed, the error was given and Mota's ERA went down on a day he didn't even pitch!

CC's not too worried about the whole thing. He's surprisingly non-chalant:
Sabathia accepted the scoring call calmly, blaming himself for LaRoche getting on."The ball was still rolling and I probably should have picked it up with my glove. We probably wouldn't be having this conversation," Sabathia said. "I think if I pick it up with my glove, I get him."Sabathia wouldn't speculate whether he would have gotten LaRoche if he had picked the ball up cleanly barehanded.

Ned, however, is absolutely pissed. Watch here.

For his part, Andy LaRoche said he thought the call could go either way, but selfishly wants it to be called a hit since he's hitting just .160.

But whether or not the call gets over-turned, the no-hitter means almost nothing. It lost all it's excitement and anticipation the second LaRoche's bunt was ruled a hit. If CCs awarded a no-hitter, it just won't be the same.

I almost think if I were him, I wouldn't want it awarded. It's like the dreaded Barry Bonds asterisk. It's now tainted. There should be edge-of-your-seat drama. There should be shots of the pitcher sitting by himself at the end of the bench while no one dares talk to him. There should be arguments about whether ESPN and the announcers should be saying the sacred "no-hitter" words.

Michael Hunt of the Journal-Sentinel puts it best:

The thing that makes the no-hitter one of the genuinely spellbinding experiences in all of sports is that tingly, palm-sweaty anticipatory excitement. From the seventh inning on, every movement becomes magnified, breathtaking. The casual mood that often accompanies a regular-season game is transformed into the heightened awareness that maybe, just maybe, you might be watching history.

Outside of the post-season, there is no greater drama in baseball.

So even if the Milwaukee Brewers win their appeal on behalf of CC Sabathia to overturn an official scorer’s call in Pittsburgh, everything that makes a no-hitter such a near-singular experience is already gone. The handful of people at PNC Park, those watching or listening back in Milwaukee on such a gorgeous Sunday for August to go out, the players, coaches and managers, everyone who was denied the chance to live that special kind of moment on every Sabathia pitch, well, we’ll never get that back.

Those once-in-a-franchise sensations left the yard when the hit was ruled and then inflexibly upheld, leaving many with the vague, empty hope that the Pirates would get a clean hit so that they wouldn’t be left feeling so . . . cheated. The upside is that Sabathia might be awarded a retrospective no-no. Then again, Heath Ledger might get a posthumous Oscar for his portrayal of The Joker. But just as Ledger won’t walk up to the podium, Jason Kendall might never get the chance to risk a hernia by lifting a joyous Sabathia in the kind of celebration the Brewers haven’t experienced in 21 years.

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