Friday, July 24, 2009

Baseball In The Daytime: July 24 2009

As is often the case on Fridays, we've got Chicagocentric baseball during our daytime. In a rare twist, it's not just the Baby Bears but the Pale Hose making an appearance--and fresh off a perfect game to boot! Mark Buehrle became the 18th man in the history of the sport yesterday to go 27 up, 27 down. No-hitters are pretty hard themselves, but that's happened 262 times. Dime a dozen. Hell, all Nolan Ryan ever did was throw wild pitches for 23 years, and he ended up with seven of them.

So head with us to the breezy Second City, where the Nationals host the Redlegs and the tavern televisions will show the Americans battling the Motor City Kitties...

White Sox @ Detroit, 11:05 Mountain If you're in the market for a few more fun facts about Buehrle's feat, disco. If you're not, you've come to the wrong Otter Pop stand, fella. Buehrle chucked a garden-variety no-hitter back on April 18, 2007. The same umpire, Eric Cooper, was behind home plate for both yesterday's no-no and the '07 game. Both games took two hours and three minutes to elapse. But my favorite piece of data about Buehrle's perfection concerns his catcher.

Ramon Castro called balls and strikes yesterday at U.S. Cellular, and earned himself a spot in the record books. Why is this notable? Because Ramon Castro had never caught Buehrle before. Pitcher and catcher were completely unfamiliar with one another, yet somehow they kept the team with the third-best on-base percentage in baseball from, you know, getting on base.

Best of all, Castro has been with the White Sox for less than two months, after spending the last five years with the Mets. Those Mets have never had a no-hitter in their entire history, dating back to 1962, and Castro snares one in his first turn catching Mark Buehrle. Crazy game. Today the White Sox send Jose Contreras into the Tigers' den at Comerica Field to tussle with Justin Verlander--who also threw a no-hitter in 2007.

Cincinnati @ Chicago Cubs, 12:20 Not nearly as much interesting trivia is circulating around Wrigley today. The Cubs last saw a no-hitter from one of their pitchers on September 2, 1972, when Milt Pappas turned the trick. Is that the same Milt Pappas once traded for Frank Robinson, you ask, in one of the worst MLB deals ever that did not involve Dayton Moore? One and the same. Today young Randy Wells (no relation to David Wells, who threw a perfect game for the Yanks in 1998) starts opposite Aaron Harang (who tries to replicate Tom Browning's '88 perfecto for the Reds). Remember, boys, if you allow even one baserunner you're an abject failure, now go Play Ball!