We all saw Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers was taking a no-hit bid into the ninth inning of last Friday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, and then we watched David Ortiz snap it in half with the swing of the bat. Well, that’s what we thought we saw. As it turns out, Ortiz did in fact break up a no-hitter; he just did it two innings earlier.
In the seventh inning of the contest, Ortiz hit a towering pop fly to shallow right. The surrounding fielders all made it there easily, but the ball dropped after they apparently failed to communicate. The ball didn’t hit a glove, but it was still initially ruled an error. That didn’t really matter, though, because Ortiz stepped up to the plate two innings later and didn’t leave any question marks with a ripped single into right field.
Now, I don’t want to focus on the fact that Ortiz went through an appeals process to be credited with a second hit in a game in which the Red Sox lost 8-0. I want to look at it from the other side of the dugout, in the shoes of Darvish who has surely been unable to get that lone single out of his thoughts.
For fun, let’s say Ortiz comes up to the plate in the ninth and instead slaps a grounder to Dustin Pedroia at second, he throws him out at first and Darvish is able to celebrate the no-no. Five days later, after reviewing Ortiz’ seventh inning pop-up, officials rule it a hit and consequently take away Darvish’s no-hitter, instead saying he shut down only 20 consecutive batters.
First of all, I have a hard time believing MLB would make such a ruling in that situation. Darvish is a gem from overseas. Why sabotage the highest moment of his young career? But this is hypothetical. Can you imagine the uproar that would have caused? I’m willing to bet it would become a larger story than Jim Joyce’s infamous safe call in the ninth inning of a Detroit Tigers game in 2010 which spoiled Armondo Galarraga‘s perfect game.
Fortunately for the sanity of us all, though, Ortiz made sure of the break-up in the ninth and we don’t complain or rejoice. Instead, Darvish can silently be thankful for the fact that a no-hitter wasn’t taken away from him by way of an appeal.