MLB: Slowey’s No-Hitter Cut Short

MLB: Slowey’s No-Hitter Cut Short

words_Nick Engvall

Another not-quite a no-hitter? Yep.

Kevin Slowey's no-hitter cut short.This time it wasn’t a bad call or a hit that ended what was headed for the first no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins in over 10 years. It was manager Ron Gardenhire’s decision to pull Kevin Slowey before the start of the eighth inning. Slowey had thrown 106 pitches and had been experiencing some tendinitis in his right elbow, which caused him to miss his previous start. Gardenhire went the safe route.

Of course, the fan side of me is disappointed, and I doubt that I’m the only one. Who wouldn’t want to see a young up-and-coming pitcher like Slowey solidify his place in baseball history by age 26 with a no-hitter to his name? Oakland A’s fans are obviously an exception here.

Slowey even got himself out of a jam with a double play to end the seventh inning, which would seem like maybe he could continue. The top of the inning ended with Slowey and the Twins up 1-0. In the bottom of the seventh the Twins added three runs thanks to a Jim Thome home run. So you might think that with a four-run lead, Gardenhire might reconsider his decision and give Kevin Slowey a shot at continuing his bid for a no-hitter.

Gardenhire, however, took the “safety first” approach and pulled Slowey, and just two batters into the eighth inning replacement pitcher Jon Rauch gave up a double which ended the no-hitter. Rauch gave up two runs before being pulled out by Gardenhire. The Twins were able to hold off the A’s and get the victory 4-2.

Gardenhire said after the game, “I would boo me, too. I took a pitcher out with a no-hitter going. But I would do it 1,000 times the same way.”

I guess it’s understandable, but slightly disappointing still. Even Slowey himself was even a little disappointed, but at the same time understood the reasoning behind the manager’s decision to play it safe.

With that said, it begs the question of whether or not the pitch count should always be the deciding factor in a pitcher exiting the game. Should it be the manager’s decision or the pitcher’s choice in a situation like this?

Depends on whether you’re on the field playing or in the dugout coaching it seems.



MLB: Slowey’s No-Hitter Cut Short

Dallas Braden’s Perfect Mother’s Day

words_Nick Engvall

Dallas Braden may have lost his mother years ago to melanoma, but with “his rock” cheering him on from the stands, Braden was perfect on the mound, on the perfect day. On Mother’s Day, Braden’s grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, who cared for Dallas and steered him clear of trouble while he dealt with losing his mother as a teenager, was in the stands watching as Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s became only the 19th player in Major League Baseball history to pitch a perfect game.

Braden’s path to perfection has been filled with shortcomings, but the time to get it everything right could not have come on a more perfect day. With his grandmother in the stands watching, Dallas gave the best performance of his life. Dallas faced the minimum amount of batters against the best offensive team in baseball this season, the Tampa Bay Rays, striking out six along the way to one of baseball’s biggest feats.

The 27 up and 27 down wasn’t just for grandma though. Braden’s hometown of Stockton, California, seems to take up most of the seats every time Braden takes the mound at Oakland Coliseum. Dallas, proud of the struggles he has overcome and always grateful to his hometown, after calling for his grandmother, pointed to his fans in section 209 (the Stockton area code) as if to remind them once again that he is proud to have their support.

The 26 year old lefty became just the second player in Oakland A’s history to throw a perfect game. The other was Hall of Famer Jim “Catfish” Hunter, who pitched his perfect game May 8th, 1968 against the Minnesota Twins.

For Dallas Braden, his grandmother, and his fans from the 209, this Mother’s Day will be the one that won’t be forgotten any time soon.

via yahoo

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/09/MNA11DC0TA.DTL