St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha nearly threw the third no-hitter of the MLB season and first of his career, but he surrendered an infield single to Ryan Zimmerman with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday night.
Wacha sat down the first 14 Washington Nationals batters he faced, and he lost a perfect game bid when Adam LaRoche reached on an error in the fifth. The rookie issued leadoff walks to LaRoche and Zimmerman in the seventh and eight respectively, and he was going for the no-hitter with two outs in the ninth when Zimmerman hit a chopper that barely got over his head. Shortstop Pete Kozma attempted to make a barehanded play, but his throw was off the mark and Zimmerman beat it out.
Though losing a no-hitter on an infield single is heartbreaking, the scorekeeper made the correct call by declaring it a hit and not an error. Closer Trevor Rosenthal got the last out of the game to preserve the victory for Wacha, who went 8.2 innings allowing one hit and two walks while striking out nine.
A first-round pick out of Texas A&M last year, Wacha maintained good spirits despite losing the no-hitter:
Wow what a night! Tough way to lose it but a great win nonetheless! It was a lot of fun and a great baseball atmosphere #CardinalNation
— Michael Wacha (@MichaelWacha) September 25, 2013
“I guess it just wasn’t to be,” Wacha said after the game, via The Associated Press. “But it was still a pretty special night.”
Wacha is the third pitcher this season to lose a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. Yu Darvish lost a perfect game against the Houston Astros in April, and Yusmeiro Petit lost a no-hitter earlier this month. Tim Lincecum and Homer Bailey threw no-hitters in July.
The last Cardinals pitchers to throw no-hitters were rookies; Bud Smith did it in 2001, while Jose Jimenez accomplished the feat in 1999. Unfortunately, Wacha couldn’t join the group.Google+