John Lackey pitched 8 1/3 innings of no-hit ball at Fenway Park last night, as Dustin Pedroia broke up the no-no with a clean single to left in the ninth, and then Kevin Youkilis broke up the shutout with a two-run home run. But the Red Sox fell short, losing to the Angels, 6-2.
It brought back not-so-nice memories of September 2, 2001, when Mike Mussina came within one out of a perfect game over the Red Sox, before Carl Everett (who I will always respect for it) singled to break it up.
I was also thinking of the post I put up 10 days ago about the 50th anniversary of the last time the Sox were no-hit at Fenway, by Jim Bunning of the Detroit Tigers. (I have to admit when I wrote it that I might have been putting the whammy on the Sox.) Once again, thank goodness for Dustin Pedroia.
And as the bottom of the ninth was about to begin, I enlisted some "help" to try to get the Red Sox in the hit column. I called my mom in Brooklyn and asked her to put the "Hungarian Evil Eye" on John Lackey and his no-hit bid. My mom is partially of Hungarian descent and it has been a funny thing for years that my mom would put "the evil eye" on someone or something. And lo and behold, it worked! I announced to the crowd at Trivia Night that the HEE had cost Lackey his no-hitter to some laughs and some strange looks as well.
I have to admit feeling more relief than anything after the game ended last night. Getting no-hit is embarrassing more than anything else. Lackey is a good pitcher and there's no shame in that he pitched a terrific game. But last night showed that the Sox need some kind of spark, on offense especially. Clay Buchholz also belongs back at AAA. The defense hurt him last night, but the Red Sox need a good fifth starter to eat up innings so Buchholz can go back to Pawtucket.
I wonder what Bronson Arroyo is up to these days...