Two pitcher on two separate teams made quite the impression today. One pitched a no-hitter hurling a 149 pitches, the other a former no-hitter threw a major breakdown. So one pitcher makes history and possibly cements his status as a Diamondback and the other pitcher could have possibly began the end of his tenure of the only team he has ever known.
It was a homecoming of sorts for Edwin Jackson when he returned to Tampa Bay, the place where he spent the 06-08 seasons with before being traded to the Detroit Tigers before the 2009 season. Jackson’sstop in Detroit was short only being one season before being sent to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three team trade which sent Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.
In tonight’s game againstthe Tampa Bay Rays Jackson threw a record 149 pitches for a no-hitter beating the previous record by 11 which was when Randy Johnson threw his first no-hitter for the Seattle Mariners in 1990. Jackson started the game and had a rough first three innings. He walked seven in the first three innings, even to the point where he walked the bases loaded before pulling a Houdini and getting the next out on a fly out, then finishing the inning on two ground outs.
The Diamondbacks have only been in existence since 1998 and so far they have won one World Series and had one Perfect Game thrown by Randy Johnson in 2004. So Jackson’s n0-hitter tonight is only the second n0-hitter in their short history. The eight walks were high, but it does not hold the record for number of walks in a no-hitter. This is the second game that the Rays have been no-hit this season with the first perfect game thrown this season by Dallas Braden of the A’s against the Rays. Last season when Mark Buehrle tossed his perfect game it was also against the Rays, to they have become accustomed to it.
The record for most walks in a n0-hitters is 10 by Jim Maloney when he walked 10 in a Cincinnati Reds uniform in 1965. I am sure that Jackson having the opportunity to return to the place he left shortly after appearing in the 2008 World Series was quite memorable for him. I am sure he had a little extra thinking, that he should show the Rays what they are missing.
The highlight of the game was supposed to be the B.J. Upton- Justin Upton match up since this would be their first match up up in their MLB careers. In some regards I am sure both of them were glad that Jackson threw the no-hitter because it took the attention off of them, but I bet B.J. had wished he could have gotten a hit off of Jackson, although today was his day and congrats to Edwin Jackson.
Now to the major breakdown, Carlos Zambrano has been known for his toughness on the mound and letting his emotions show. We have seen him breakdown, get ejected and then get pissed and throw the umpire out of the game. We have seen him go into the first base dugout at Wrigley Field and beat the hell out of the Gatorade Machine with a bat. We have seen him get into a physical conflict with his catcher Michael Barrett.
But has Zambrano seen his last temper tantrum in a Cubs uniform? After he has a rough first inning where he only pitched 21 pitches, he began to engage in a argument with first baseman Derek Lee over Zambrano’s perceived lack of hustle on a play by Lee and other members of the Cubs defense. In the Cubs defense they may have been a little tired after finishing a marathon 13 innings with the Mariners in Seattle and then returning back to Chicago on Thursday.
I understand that the game of baseball is emotional. Everyone involved from the Front office down to the players, to the fans, to the announcers, to the ground crew, the game can become emotional. I can honestly say that since 2004 baseball has evoked all kinds of different emotions in me, whether that be in a win or a loss for my team.
The one thing that Zambrano needs to realize is that the Cubs are only going to put up with his childish behavior for so long before they ship his immature, underachieving self elsewhere for some prospects. So if he is so passionate about the Cubs and wants to see them win a World Series he needs to step up, grow up and become a leader, not a distraction. Thanks to his little ordeal he will be viewing the Cubs game tomorrow the same way you or I would, if we cared to watch the Cubs AT HOME!