Here’s why we enshrined these four Mets players into their own mountain carving. All four – from left to right, Bud Harrelson, Hubie Brooks, Ron Hodges and Eddie Bressoud – have broken up no-hitters in the ninth inning.
Oddly, none of these games wound up as one-hitters, and the Mets went on to win three of the four. Here are some details:
Bressoud hit a double to left, killing both Dierker’s perfect game and his no-hitter. That must have done something to Dierker, who threw a wild pitch to Ron Hunt (pinch-hitting for left fielder Danny Napoleon), allowing Bressoud to reach third.
Hunt hit a walk-off single to right and the game was over – Mets 1, Astros 0. New York’s Jack Fisher got the shutout complete-game victory despite giving up six hits.
That left the no-hitter in the hands of reliever Jack Baldschun, who gave up a leadoff single to left to Mets’ shortstop Bud Harrelson. The no-hitter was done, but the game was not over.
Ken Singleton advanced Harrelson to second on a sacrifice bunt, so Baldschun issued an intentional walk to Art Shamsky (replaced by pinch runner Mike Jorgensen). After Cleon Jones singled to load the bases, second baseman Wayne Garrett struck out looking and it seemed like Baldschun might escape the inning down by just a run. But third baseman Joe Foy stepped up and singled to left, driving in Jones and Jorgensen. The Mets won 3-0, as Jim McAndrew retired the final three batters for a complete-game, three-hit shutout.
Ron Hodges, July 6, 1973 – When Atlanta Braves hurler Ron Schueler entered the bottom of the ninth with a 2-0 lead, the crowd at Shea had yet to see a Mets hit. Backup catcher Ron Hodges (who had already killed Schueler’s perfect game in the third inning with a base on balls) led off the inning from the eighth spot and hit a single to right, erasing Schueler’s no-no. Ed Kranepool (pinch-hitting for starter Jerry Koosman) then flied out to center and Willie Mays struck out looking. Second baseman Felix Milan singled to center to keep the rally going, but the inning and game ended when Ken Boswell flied out to center. Mets lose 2-0.
Hubie Brooks, July 31, 1983 – In the second game of a doubleheader, Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jose DeLeon entered the ninth inning dominating the Mets lineup, striking out 11 while not yielding a single Mets hit. DeLeon got the first ninth-inning out when center fielder Mookie Wilson lined out to right field, but Hubie Brooks stepped up to the plate and singled to left to kill the no-no. DeLeon got out of the inning by getting Keith Hernandez to hit into a double play and the game remained scoreless after nine.
Workhorse 6-foot-4 righthander Kent Tekulve held the Mets scoreless for two more innings, giving up only a 10th inning single to Darryl Strawberry. Manny Sarmiento got the call in the bottom of the 12th and gave up a leadoff single to Wilson. After Brooks advanced Wilson on a sacrifice bunt, Sarmiento intentionally walked Hernandez. George Foster hit a grounder and the Pirates got the force at second but couldn’t complete the double play and allowed Wilson to score, giving the Mets a 1-0 victory.
It’s not often a starter can pitch 11 scoreless innings and not get the win, but that’s just what Mike Torrez did this day. The victory went to Jesse Orosco, who began the day with a 5-5 record and ended it at 7-5, having earned the “W” in both games of the doubleheader, which both went 12 innings.
(Visit No-Hitters Broken Up in the Ninth Inning Since 1961 written by Stew Thornley for a list of all Major League ninth-inning breakups and some other no-no trivia.)
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