The weather was perfect and as usual, the crowd was pouring into the stadium by the pack. The stadium never seemed able to fill up, even though traffic outside would be bumper-to-bumper up until the third inning. June 18, 2014 was not going to be just any day for me and the two gents with whom I was watching this Dodgers v. Rockies game.
When you go to the ballpark, it’s normal to hear people talking about who’s pitching, who’s hitting well, and of course, which players are racking up points for fantasy teams. But you never hear any conversations about no-hitters, cycles, or the mythical perfect game. Despite this, immediately after my pals and I took our seats and the lineups were read, I looked over at my buddy, Brian, and said, “We might see a perfect game.” Startled, he looked back and said, “Say that all you want but if he goes through three, don’t speak of it again.”
Keep in mind that I have been to a lot of baseball games while growing up , and I have never seen a pitcher complete five perfect innings. So, the anticipation was building faster than you can imagine with every play. Kershaw was throwing nasty stuff towards that plate.
After the third inning, I couldn’t help but think about the perfect game that I was witnessing. I kept looking across the diamond at Kershaw’s stats and I was completely baffled, waiting for one of the Rockies to get a base hit so that the monkey was off all of our backs. At this point I couldn’t shut up about the potential perfect game; Brian was about to climb out of his wheel chair and beat me with whatever was in his reach.
Kershaw was dominating; if it wasn’t for one seventh-inning error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez, he would have thrown a perfect game. But, monkey was gone and now everyone knew he had a no-no in his bag of tricks. Out after out we gasped at the slingshot throws and close foul balls that were so close to ruining what we were watching there, in person.
My boss and his son, Brian, have a love for baseball that is apparent and rare, as they keep the score from every game they watch on their score cards to save them in a baseball memorabilia room they have. Brian and his father kept hushing me before the game because they bought a new score sheet and were trying to figure it out. Little did they know the work they put into this new score sheet would prove to be a no-hitter – something none of us have ever seen.
With every pitch putting the last out on the line, the air in the stadium was sucked out and you could feel the pressure Kershaw was under. Then it happened, STRIKE 3! I JUST WITNESSED A NO HITTER! We jumped, we screamed and I still have chills from that amazing night. Thanks boys, that was one helluva game.
See the last pitch off Kershaw’s No-No