For the second time in just over a year, Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish came tantalizingly close to throwing a no-hitter. This time Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz ruined the bid with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Darvish started the ninth by getting Dustin Pedroia to ground out to third base and striking out Shane Victorino swinging. With Ortiz up, Darvish dropped a fastball on the outside corner for strike one, then missed with his next two pitches. With the count at 2-1, Darvish fired a fastball inside that Ortiz pulled to the right of second base, but with the shift on, the ball got by shortstop Elvis Andrus and the diving effort of rookie second baseman Rougned Odor going back to his right on the outfield grass for a clean single.
Here's how the whole thing went down:
No-no no more. David Ortiz's seeing-eye single breaks up Yu Darvish's no-hitter with two outs in the ninth. VIDEO: http://t.co/snmGzkcEEK— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 10, 2014
Had he managed to complete the no-no, there would have been some complaints over a seventh-inning play, in which ruled a Boston hit was ruled an error by a very partial scorekeeper. The "error" not only broke up Darvish's perfect game, but also broke baseball analyst Harold Reynold's brain:
Harold Reynolds on "error" that preserved Darvish's now-spoiled no-hitter: "The worst ruling in Major League history" http://t.co/Ii3Y44jB8f— Deadspin (@Deadspin) May 10, 2014
Objections aside, Darvish is not alone in this Sisyphean feat.
Yu Darvish and Dave Stieb are the only pitchers in the expansion era to have multiple no-hitters broken up in the 9th inning.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 10, 2014
Remember, there are less than 300 no-hitters on the books in Major League Baseball history.