Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More fun with Retrosheet today, as we go back in time to August 18, 1993.

The 1993 season was a pretty dismal one for the Sox, as they finished the year two games under .500, 15 games behind the eventual World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays. However, this game was one of the highlights.

I went to Fenway with my friend Bismo. Danny Darwin started for Boston against the White Sox Jason Bere. Darwin was the very definition of a journeyman, playing for eight teams over a 20 year career, including two stints each with Houston and Texas. However, on this particular night he had the magic.

A big crowd of 31,550 watched Darwin befuddle the White Sox for 7 and 1/3 innings, as he held the Pale Hose (I love calling them the "Pale Hose", by the way) to no hits. The Sox had built up a 5-0 lead, including a solo home run by John Valentin. Darwin got one out in the top of the 8th and then the immortal Dan Pasqua hit a long drive to center field. Center fielder Billy Hatcher ran back and leaped at the wall, but the ball just eluded his reach. Pasqua ended up with a triple, ending the no-hit bid. Darwin then got Lance Johnson to ground out and Mike LaValliere flew out to Mike Greenwell in right to end the inning. Darwin set down the White Sox 1-2-3 in the 9th, striking out Joey Cora (Alex's older brother) to complete the 1-hit shutout.

This was the closest I have ever been to seeing a no-hitter live. I remember telling Bismo at some point that I was so nervous that my teeth hurt. A no-hitter is such a tenuous thing. A little flare into the outfield or a ground ball deep in the hole at shortstop by a speedy runner can end the whole thing. It was incredibly exciting, and the excitement was enhanced by having a nearly full house at Fenway to watch what was a mediocre team.

Back to the present, the Sox beat Baltimore 5-4 tonight, maintaining a 7-game edge on the Yankees. No Gagne tonight, but I'm sure we'll see him soon enough.


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