soft hands.

in local news

some people know how to pitch, unlike certain other people who shall remain nameless:

Tyler Clippard made history on Thursday, tossing the first no-hitter in team history as the Trenton Thunder blanked the Harrisburg Senators, 9-0, at Commerce Bank Park.

Clippard (10-10) struck out nine and walked four on the way to his seventh straight win.

"Surreal, it didn't settle in at first" were the 21-year-old right-hander's thoughts immediately after Richard Lane took a called third strike to end the game. "It is unbelievable, an unforgettable night, something I will always remember.

"You always kind of know you have something special going on, but you don't think it will come to fruition until the later innings. I really started to feel like it may happen when there were two outs in the eighth."

Clippard got some stellar defense to protect the first no-hitter in Trenton's 13-year history. With one out in the seventh inning, first baseman Randy Ruiz made a diving stop of Josh Whitesell's grounder and flipped to Clippard covering first.

The second defensive gem came two innings later, when center fielder Brett Gardner made a sliding catch on Kory Casto's deep fly ball.

Long before Gardner's catch, Clippard thought he had surrendered a homer to Casto in the first. But the ball died on the warning track and was caught. The Florida native said balls were not carrying all night, so he wasn't sure about Casto's blast in the ninth.

"I said, 'Oh, gosh, but I turned and saw (Gardner) had a great jump and was going to track it down, and I knew I may get (the no-hitter)." [milb]

I was at work last night finishing up my headlines and editing for the Mets-Nationals game when my cell phone rang. It was my mother, screaming into the phone excitedly to the point where the first discernable word I could make out was "BlueClaws."

"Why are you yelling?" was my first question.

"Because we're at the BlueClaws game!" she said. "We just saw the first no-hitter in their history!"

Of course, I had to give her the facts and clear up the true history. The BlueClaws started off throwing a no-hitter in their first home game, when Keith Bucktrot tossed a seven-inning no-no in an 11-1 Lakewood win back in 2001. The following year, Gavin Floyd lost a 1-0 no-hitter -- which at least went nine innings -- because of his own throwing error to first base. I covered both games, and although I missed this one, at least the family was represented at FirstEnergy Park.

Two no-hitters in two years was a pretty good pace; with last night's, the BlueClaws now have three in six seasons -- all at home, no less -- which is not a bad average, either.

So if anyone who works in the Phillies front office or minor league development happens to read this, we'll need a no-hit-capable pitcher in Lakewood before the end of the 2008 season. Thank you. [jersey baseball blog]

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11:21 AM :: ::
  • i am totally going to a BlueClaws game someday
    i think the last time I saw the thunder they were a tigers farm team

    By Blogger Mr. Faded Glory, at 4:42 PM   <$BlogItemControl$>
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