Friday, June 25, 2010

Edwin Jackson No-Hits The Rays

It was no perfect game.

Far from it.

But Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson returned to Tropicana Field and threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays. The D'Backs won 1-0. Their only run came on a solo homerun by Adam LaRoche.

A no-hitter appeared to be the furthest thing imaginable when Jackson walked seven batters over the first three innings. But Jackson became stronger as he went on. Despite hurling 149 pitches his fastball was clocked at 95 MPH in the ninth inning.

This has to be so sweet for Jackson. He was a member of the Rays from 2006-2008. Although Jackson won 14 games for the Rays en route to an American League championship he was left off the playoff roster and would be dealt to the Detroit Tigers in the off season.

Jackson, of course, became a D'Back via a three way trade with the Tigers and New York Yankees.

This is the fourth no-hitter of the 2010 season. The other no-nos belong to Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics and Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies. Braden and Halladay, of course, threw perfect games. (Armando Galarraga should have had a perfect game. But life isn't fair.)

It also marks the second time this season the Rays have been on the wrong end of a no-hitter. The Rays were on the receiving end of Braden's perfecto. Mark Buehrle also threw a perfect game against the Rays during the 2009 season.

I watched the last three innings of Jackson's no-no on the MLB Network. I wondered if A.J. Hinch would pull a Preston Gomez and take Jackson out of the game because of his pitch count. In case you are wondering, Gomez (who died in 2009) on two occasions removed pitchers who were throwing no-hitters. He did it first with Clay Kirby while managing the San Diego Padres in 1970 and then did it again with Don Wilson while managing the Houston Astros in 1974. While both pitchers were losing their games when Gomez removed the strategy did not pay off on either occasion.

But after the no-hitter, Jackson said he told Hinch in no uncertain term he wasn't coming out of the game. Will this adversely affect over the rest of the season? Maybe. Maybe not. But Edwin Jackson will forever be in the record books as having pitched a no-hitter and nobody can take that away from him.

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