Searching for a no-hitter? Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports
Thursday, I really screwed things up. I broke the code, and the baseball gods saw it. Scheming in the clouds above San Diego where they constantly sit, they shot down their bolt of lightning to end what could have been history. I’m getting ahead of myself though.
The San Diego Padres took on the Colorado Rockies in the finale of a 4 game set Thursday. The Padres Andrew Cashner, who ominously openly stated that he “wants to throw a no-hitter” which seems to openly shake his fist at the clouds above him. Of course, he did just throw a masterful one-hitter against Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers last week.
So as Ian Kennedy took the mound Thursday afternoon, the crowd was feeling pretty optimistic. A come from behind victory Tuesday, Andrew Cashner’s victory Wednesday let’s take this series from the Rockies.
Early on, it looked good. Xavier Nady hit a powerful home run early to give the Friars a 1-0 lead. Through five innings, the Padres were up by one, and the Rockies had yet to get a hit. That is when it happened. First though – more background.
Baseball is full of unspoken, unwritten rules. None perhaps more ingrained than the those concerning no-hitters. See what I did in the paragraph above? I jinxed it. If a pitcher is pitching a no-hitter, it is NEVER to be talked about. In the dugout, he is to get the silent treatment, sitting by himself on the bench where no one might accidentally talk about it. Once in Little League, I was throwing a no-hitter after five innings of a six inning game. Up came Fermin Garcia, the equivalent of Juan Pierre. I knew he was going to bunt. I told the third baseman to move in. “I haven’t allowed a hit yet” I said to him, in a hushed voice. He bunted. The throw was late. No no-no.
So this Thursday afternoon after an outstanding catch by Everth Cabrera to keep the no-no in tact through five, I took to Facebook. “Ian Kennedy has only allowed a walk through five innings. Everth with a great snag at short.” It was good as written in stone it would end now. I feel silly for letting myself slip. I know all of the unwritten rules and follow accordingly. I never wear a rally cap until the 7th inning or later. I use the shark rally cap appropriately (only when the tying or winning run in scoring position), I avoid the actual words “no-hitter”, though now I am considering revising that one.
In the sixth inning, Nolan Arenado hit a sharp grounder towards third base. Alexi Amarista was filling in for Chase Headley, which might be okay since he has four errors already, but had played well. Then, after a bolt of lighting from above, the baseball inexplicably bounced OFF the third base bag, over Alexi’s head (so approximately 4′ into the air) and into left-field for a double. No chance for instant replay to change the call to a foul ball. Clear as day. The no-hitter was over and it was all my fault.
I was there September 22, 2006 when Chris Young got one out in the 9th with a no-hitter. I know how close you can get and still fail. I didn’t jinx that one, but that was a heart-breaker.
I have predicted that either Andrew Cashner or Tyson Ross will throw one before the end of the 2015 season, but now I wonder. Did I jinx it? Are they doomed to NEVER throw one now that I, just one man, have predicted it? I sure hope not.
So Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner, and Padres fans everywhere, sorry about yesterday. It won’t happen again. I just hope a Padres no-hitter does before I die.