Jerry Reuss, considered washed up only two seasons ago, wrote another chapter to his amazing comeback story tonight by pitching the first no-hitter of the baseball season and the first by a Los Angeles pitcher in a decade. It brought the Dodgers an 8-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Reuss, a 31-year-old left-hander acquired by the Dodgers from Pittsburgh prior to the 1979 season, struck out two batters and did not issue a walk. He lost his shot at a perfect game when shortstop Bill Russell made a throwing error to first on Jack Clark's routine grounder in the first inning. Clark was the only runner to reach base against the 6-foot-5, 217-pounder.
Reuss had an easy time jof it against the Giants, bringing his 1980 record to 9-1. There were no hard-hit fair balls and only six were hit beyond the infield.
In the eighth inning, leadoff batter Larry Herndon hit a medium-speed grounder to the left of third baseman Ron Cey. He dove to spear it, scrambled to his feet and threw Herndon out by several strides.
Prior to that, the closest thing to a hit was pinch hitter Terry Whitfield's line drive down the left field line in the sixth inning. It landed about 20 feet beyond third base, foul by only inches. Then Whitfield grounded to Russell.
In the ninth inning, with the crowd of 20,285 cheering the visiting pitcher on, leadoff batter Mike Sadek hit 1-2 pitch to Cey, who scooped the ball up easily and threw him out.
Rennie Stennett, batting for relief pitcher Gary Lavelle, hit a 1-2 pitch to Russell, who threw him out with ease.
And then, Reuss took Bill North's 1-0 one-bouncer back to the mound, threw to first and had the no-hitter.
For Reuss it was his second straight shutout, stretching his scoreless inning streak to 24. He lowered his earned-run average from 2.09 to 1.88, having allowed only four earned runs over his last five starts including the no-hitter.
In 1972, when he was with Houston, Reuss took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Philadelphia but Larry Bowa broke it up with a single.
The Dodgers pounded Vida Blue (9-5) in support of the first no-hitter in the majors since April 7, 1979, when Ken Forsch of the Houston Astros did it against the Atlanta Braves in a 6-0 victory in the Astrodome.
The last time the Giants were no-hit was Sept. 18, 1968, by Ray Washburn of the St. Louis Cardinals. It came at Candlestick Park only one night after Gaylord Perry, then with the Giants and now with the American Leagues's Texas Rangers, no-hit the Cardinals.
The last Dodger to throw a no-hitter was Bill Singer, on July 20, 1970, a 5-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles.
The only other Los Angeles pitcher to achieve a no-hitter -- 15 of them was hurled by Brooklyn Dodger pitchers -- was Sandy Koufax, who had four of them.
The last no-hitter as windy Candlestick was on Aug. 24, 1975, Ed Halicki of the Giants over the New York Mets, 6-0.
The Dodgers chased Blue in the fifth with seven straight two-out hits that resulted in five runs and a 7-0 lead.