No-hitters don't always tell the whole story
No-hitters are fun.
They're fun to be in the stands for as the excitement builds each inning. It's fun to be in the field for one, knowing your defense could possibly make or break it. And, of course, it's fun to pitch one, as you not only gain the ultimate professional satisfaction, but the glory that comes with it.
No-hitters, though, can be misleading.
Matt Harvey proved that Tuesday night at Citi Field against the White Sox. His pitching line was just obscene: nine innings, one hit, no walks, 12 strikeouts. The lone hit came from Alex Rios in the seventh inning on a slow-roller in the shortstop hole.
For fun, let's compare his performance to Johan Santana's no-hitter against St. Louis last year. In that game, Santana walked five, struck out eight, and did get some luck when Carlos Beltran's liner down the left field line was called foul, despite replays showing otherwise.
Because Santana didn't technically allow a hit, he game goes down in baseball/Mets history. The pictures from that game will be all over Citi Field for years to come, he'll sign autographs with that date for the rest of his life and all over Flushing, people still wear shirts marking the occasion.
Harvey, however, was better on Tuesday than Santana was. If Harvey missed on his pitch to Rios and it was hit harder to Ruben Tejada at short, he finishes with nine no-hit innings. No-hitters are great, no doubt, and a whole lot of fun to experience, but sometimes there's more to the story.
Matt Harvey showed us why on Tuesday.
In this age of mega money, where players often mail in games whenever they face slightest bit of adversity, the Chicago Bulls are a breath of fresh air.
After their shocking Game 7 win at Brooklyn Saturday without Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and, of course, Derrick Rose, they followed it up with an even more shocking triumph on the road against the Heat Monday night. Whether Chicago wins another game in this series (a major question), its season, full of one injury after another, is refreshing to see and, hopefully, it will inspire other teams and players.
That would make for a better sport.
What else can be said at this point about Torrington's Sydney Matzko? Twenty strikeouts in consecutive games, 265 on the season, with still two regular season games to play plus the postseason. Three-hundred is certainly a possibility.
I often get asked by friends/readers what my favorite baseball stadium is so I thought I'd quickly give my recommendations for this summer. All-time is the old Yankee Stadium and nothing comes close. Of the current ones, Camden Yards is No. 1, followed by Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Least favorite is the new Yankee Stadium, which reeks of commercialization and has a terrible atmosphere. Stay away.
Locally, among the minor league parks, New Britain and Bridgeport are both worth your time and definitely worth checking out. And my favorite amateur park is Muzzy Field in Bristol. Its history, which includes a Babe Ruth appearance, is worth the time of your research.