Let’s see if anything exciting happened in this game. A quick look at the card shows that the Sox scored a lot of runs. All those black diamonds just pop out at you. How about the Devil Rays? Let’s see. No runs. Woohoo! Wait a minute though. There are two zeroes in the line score. Quick, look at the bottom of the card. Yup. Derek Lowe pitched the complete game with all those zeroes, including the one in the hit column.
This is, obviously, the scorecard from Derek Lowe’s no-hitter. It might be the coolest game I’ve ever been to. It wasn’t like a playoff game, or a great pitchers duel. You know when you’re going to those games that it is going to be special. Nobody knew this was coming. It just evolved as the game went on. Pretty amazing.
Things started off great for the Sox, with Rickey Henderson adding to his record total of lead-off home runs. A fast 1-0 lead is just what the doctor ordered. The Sox really broke it open in the third scoring six runs, and giving Lowe a comfortable lead to work with. All the offense took the fans attention away from the fact that Lowe hadn’t given up any hits. After all, if a Red Sox pitcher was going to throw a no-hitter, it’s Pedro that you tracked it for. But, by the time the eighth inning rolled around, everyone in the park knew exactly what was at stake. So, for the only time I can think of, the last thing I wanted to do was see the Red Sox score a lot of runs. I wanted Lowe to get right back out there and finish the thing off. Of course, looking at the card shows that it didn’t exactly happen. The Sox almost batted around giving Lowe plenty of time to sit in the dugout and contemplate his place in baseball history.
Thankfully the wait didn’t hurt him. He finished off the string of zeroes to complete the no-hitter. The offensive hero on the day? (not that anyone would remember there was even an offense) I’m going with Jose Offerman. Three runs scored on a 2-3 day. The goat? For a ten-run game there are a surprising number of candidates. But, I’ll go with Trot Nixon. Sure, he was 2-5. But, he struck out twice. He also didn’t score or drive in a run, the only player in the line-up who could make that claim.
So, long before every Red Sox pitcher started throwing no-hitters, this one broke the drought. It was Varitek’s first career no-hitter caught. It let everyone know that maybe, just maybe, Derek Lowe could make it as a starter after all.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.