Monday, January 19, 2015
Unhittable for a day
Back in the 1990’s, every year the Yankees won the World Series, they also had a no-hitter. In 1996, Dwight Gooden no-hit the Mariners. In 1998, David Wells threw his infamous perfect game versus the Twins. Then, just one year later, David Cone pitched a perfect game against the Expos.
In the year 2000, I actually got nervous entering the playoffs. The Yankees didn’t no-hit anyone this year, I thought. I was young, and just figured these types of things went hand-in-hand. Well, the Yanks went on to win World Series titles in both 2000 and 2009 without a no-hitter, so certainly my theory proved incorrect.
In fact, David Cone was the last Yankee to throw a no-hitter back in 1999. Somehow, it’s been 15 years! It just goes to show how hard it is. Many teams wait far, far longer than that. I’m sure I’ll see another Yankees no-no, I’m just not sure when. Will a healthy Masahiro Tanaka or Michael Pineda be the next? Will CC find a few late-career bullets left to throw one well after his prime? What about someone no one would think of, like Nathan Eovaldi? That’s the fun part about no-hitters. They can come from someone you least expect.
That’s why I love this dual relic of Doc Gooden and David Wells. These two are forever linked by no hitters in May, just two years apart. Dwight was not the Doctor K from the mid-80s when it would have been no surprise if he threw a no-hitter. He was a guy who overcame a lot to get back on the mound, figuring out how to pitch without the stuff that made him a Cy Young Award winner. Wells, on the other hand, while a very good pitcher, but had a rough start to his Pinstripes career. Just as it was dubbed for Don Larsen, Wells pitched a perfect game by the imperfect man.
Two pitchers, neither the ace of their staff, unhittable for a day.