Sunday, September 02, 2007

Now THAT’S a day in sports...

At the start of the day, it looked like the lead story would be Virginia Tech returning to the field for the first football game since April’s tragic on-campus shooting.

That, though, was soon trumped by a game. Not just any game, but the No. 5 team in the country losing to a team from a lower division -- an unheard of level of upset.

Now, I personally figured nothing would top that -- then Clay Buchholz went out and threw a complete game no-hitter in his 2nd career major league appearance.

I already covered the Appalachian State-Michigan game in a post Saturday afternoon, but here’s some of my favorite stuff from the Clay Buchholz game:

• First off, it was the 2nd straight night a pitcher took a no-hitter into the 9th inning. Scott Baker did it for the Twins the night before. It was the first time in 6 years that pitchers took no-nos into the 9th on consecutive days.

• Did you know: Clay Buchholz was selected by the Red Sox using a compensatory draft pick they received when Pedro Martinez signed with the Mets? Not a bad trade off based on this season’s stats (of course, Pedro hasn’t actually pitched yet this season).

• Jason Varitek has been behind the plate for the last 3 Red Sox no-hitters. One more and he’ll tie the major league record for most no-hitters caught. Plus, he gave me my best graphics title of the night (Tek Support).

• Clay Buchholz was the 21st rookie since 1900 to throw a no-hitter. It was also the 17th no-hitter in Red Sox history. By themselves, neither of those stats seems too impressive. But consider this: Buchholz was the FIRST rookie in Red Sox history to throw a no-hitter. And the kid just turned 23 a couple weeks ago.

Personally, at the end of the night, I think the Appalachian State story is still a bigger deal than the no-hitter, but for both to happen on the same day is pretty damn awesome. And I thank God I have the next two days off.

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