For as long as Larry Rutledge has been in the HDL, no pitcher had ever recorded a “no Hitter.”
On June 5, 2016, Juan-Jose Castillo had a No-hitter going into the last inning when Ryan VanDinter spoiled Jose’s bid for a No-No. I doubt PW Burnett realized it or not, but if PW had allowed Jason Mayrena to reach base, he also would have had to face Ryan VanDinter, the “No-No Spoiler.”
Everyone in the park was holding their breath the final inning, in anticipation of this historical event. When I (LR) was in left field during the final inning, there was a surrealistic atmosphere with all players focused on either being the one who was trying for the “golden hit” or the defensive player who might allow a sharp hit ball to slip through their reaching grasp and have it ruled a base hit. I swear during the final inning, there were spans of time when the entire park was frozen in silence.
Yet, when the final out was recorded, the players on either side, did not know how to react. In MLB TV games that we have all witnessed, at the end of a No-Hitter game, players would be jumping on their star pitcher to congratulate him on this unique accomplishment. This is something (Celebrations) we will have to work on.
One reason the HDL has had a deficiency of “No Hitters” in the past is because the HDL is pretty solid with much better defensive skilled players than a few years ago. As a pitcher, I know first hand that you can have your best stuff during a game but if there is any weak link in the defensive players behind you, a routine fly ball can easily become a base hit. Another point to make is, traditionally, the HDL is all about who is the best hitter, not necessarily the best pitcher, even though, good defense starts with good pitching.
Game Details – Cardinals 9 – Tigers 0
The game between the Prudential Tigers and the Robert Miller Cardinals started with both teams having to borrow or recruit players. The Tigers were able to pick-up Juan-Jose Castillo and the Cardinals added, Brett Delk. This Sunday was Larry Robinson’s first game as Robert Miller recruited Larry to help the injury plagued Cardinal lineup who needs to fill-in or replace key positions that are depleted. Larry Robinson is a versatile player who can Catch, Pitch & Hit. As many of you remember, Larry Robinson was inducted into the HDL Hall of Fame last November.
The Tigers had Travis Hill on the mound for them and other than giving up 3 runs in bottom of the first, Travis Hill was just as effective as PW in controlling the Cardinals batting order.
In first inning, Travis allowed 4 hits but 3 of the 4 hits he allowed were on pitches the batters were fighting off because they were just trying to keep from striking out. The only “Legit-Hit” was PW Burnett’s rocket launch blast on the 1st pitch Travis layed right down the middle because PW has recently been taking the first pitch. By the time PW’s rocket landed in the gap between left & center field it was at the fence and the Cardinals up 2-0. After the first inning, Travis Hill did not allow another run until bottom of the 5th inning when his pitching arm started to throb from absorbing a line drive from Brett Delk in the bottom of the 2nd inning.
This game was all about PW Burnett’s pitching. His main focus was on preserving the shut-out, not realizing he was also throwing a No-Hitter. For the game, PW recorded 12 Strike-outs and allowed only 1 base-on-balls. Three Tigers batters reached base on errors that were debated and unanimously agreed the ground balls were “routine” outs that fielder error allowed batter-runner to reach base.
Early game – Orioles Come From Behind Win
Another HDL game affected by player shortages. Both team managers, Carlos Varela and Bo McMinn were in need of a fill-in player. Larry Rutledge and Patrick Belote were only extra players available to fill-in for Lost Pizza Orioles. The V-Brothers A’s had 8 players and just needed someone to play right field until Jose Castillo arrived late.
The game was delayed starting until 9:20 AM, but since umpires were ready to start, the Game clock was started at 9:15. Otis Edwards singled off Orioles starter, Bo McMinn, but did not score. In bottom of the 1st inning, Orioles Centerfielder, Johnny Gonzalez, facing A’s pitcher, Alex Vivas, sent a fastball on a line-drive over the A’s Left Fielder’s head. When the ball hit the top of the fence, it popped straight up and landed on the other side of fence for a Solo Home Run. This was Johnny’s first Home run since HDL mandated Wood bats.
In top of 3rd inning, Bo McMinn walked Andy Gray. A base hit by Jose Castillo put 2 runners on when Oscar Zamudio went opposite field into the right-center gap and cleared the bases with a Triple. Oscar would score on Otis Edwards 2nd hit of game. Bo worked out of jam but A’2 were now ahead 3-1.
Pitching and defense was excellent for both teams so no more scoring until bottom of 6th inning when Larry Rutledge walked with bases loaded. Rutledge had a good AB, fouling off numerous Castillo pitches before taking ball 4. Larry Hunsucker followed with a bases loaded single to score 2 more. The final score of 4-3 was preserved when Bo McMinn was able to strikeout Jose Ortiz to end the game.
Next HDL Games:
Friday, July 15th – 7:00 PM – Tigers vs Orioles;
Sunday, July 17th – 9:30 AM – Dodgers vs Athletics
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