You watch enough baseball, you get that feeling. There was certainly a buzz in the ballpark. Giants fans were standing up on two-strike counts from the moment I tuned in. They seemed to know. My 14-year-old nephew is up visiting from Florida. He has been here two weeks and we already watched the end of the Johan Santana no-hitter. My wife and T.J.’s dad are Mets fans, so he called his dad on the phone, giving him the play-by-play as Santana pitched through the ninth. The three of us jumped and hugged and celebrated together as Santana completed the no-no.
On this night, T.J and I sat on the couch. I told him I think he can do it, Cain’s stuff looks unhittable. The changeup and two-seamer have great movement. Then came the catch.
The greatest I’ve ever seen. Gregor Blanco did not catch that ball. Impossible. Not where Jordan Schafer hit it, leading off the seventh inning. We yelled and cheered as Blanco ran forever, hauling in the uncatchable with a miraculous diving grab snared in the fingertips of his glove. My wife came downstairs, wondered what happened. We showed her the replay and counted Blanco’s strides: 15? 18? No, maybe 20. What is that, 60 feet, 70 feet?
Willie Mays, you have company.
This is what baseball can do. Gregor Blanco, a small speck in the dust of baseball history, will now be remembered.
As the ninth inning began, I reminded T.J. that his other uncle and cousin had once been at a game at Fenway Park when Mike Mussina lost a perfect game with two outs in the ninth. Many perfect games and no-hitters have been lost with three outs or fewer to go.
But not on this night. Two easy fly balls to left field. And then Jason Castro, left-handed batter, squibbed a 1-2 grounder to third baseman Joaquin Arias, who stumbled back a step as he fielded the ball, recovered and threw a laser to first base. Good thing the Giants didn’t have of these new-fangled shifts going on. A perfect game. “He did it!” we shouted in our living room in Connecticut, two baseball fans enjoying the moment. (via ESPN)