Buchholz No-Hits Orioles in 2nd Start
Sunday, September 2, 2007
BOSTON, Sept. 1 -- Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in his second major league start, just hours after being called up by the Boston Red Sox.
The lanky Texan baffled Baltimore with an assortment of curves, change-ups and fastballs in the Red Sox' 10-0 victory Saturday night. He struck out nine, walked three and hit a batter in becoming the first Boston rookie to throw a no-hitter.
"I sort of tried to zone everything out, but it was sort of hard with 40,000 people screaming," he said. "I'm in a blur right now."
The crowd stood through the entire ninth inning, cheering every pitch and taking pictures of the young right-hander in his windup and as he paced around the mound between pitches. A groan rose from the stands when Corey Patterson hit a line drive to center with one out, but Coco Crisp easily moved over to catch it.
Buchholz started Nick Markakis with a ball, then went ahead 1-2 when the batter fouled one off with a check swing. The crowd grew even louder, the flashes were constant, and Buchholz threw a 77-mph curveball that Markakis watched go by.
Plate umpire Joe West hesitated, but catcher Jason Varitek rose from his crouch to run to the mound. The rest of the Red Sox soon joined him there.
No one stopped cheering until Buchholz appeared on the center field scoreboard for a television interview, and the fans hushed to try to hear him. But when "Clay Buchholz, No-hitter" appeared on the message board, the ballpark erupted anew.
Buchholz, who turned 23 on Aug. 14, pitched the third no-hitter of the season -- following Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox against Texas on April 18 and Justin Verlander of Detroit against Milwaukee on June 12.
Buchholz became the 17th rookie to throw a no-hitter. The last one to do it was Florida's Anibal Sanchez against Arizona last Sept. 6.
The Boston newcomer became the third pitcher since 1900 to throw a no-hitter in his first or second major league start, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Bobo Holloman did it in his first start on May 6, 1953, for the St. Louis Browns at home against the Philadelphia Athletics, and Wilson Alvarez did it in his second start on Aug. 11, 1991, for the Chicago White Sox at Baltimore.
The closest the Orioles came to a hit was when Miguel Tejada led off the seventh with a sharp grounder up the middle. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia raced to his right and dived. He backhanded the ball, stood up and fired to first, where the throw easily beat Tejada, who slid in headfirst.
"I mean that was the turn of the game for me, to see him make that play and throwing him out at first," Buchholz said.
On June 7 at Oakland, Red Sox teammate Curt Schilling came within one out of his first career no-hitter before Shannon Stewart lined a clean single to right.