Dodgers lefty Rich Hill lost his perfect game on an error in the ninth inning and lost his no-hitter on a leadoff home run in the 10th.
Josh Harrison delivered the only hit the Pittsburgh Pirates needed in their amazing 1-0 win Wednesday night.
What do the two men have in common, besides this incredible show on an August night in Pittsburgh?
They both once played for the Boise Hawks.
Hill (9-5), who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs, spent 2002-03 with the Hawks, getting his career off to a not-so-hot start. He was 0–2 with a 8.36 ERA in six games in ’02 and 1–6 with a 4.35 ERA in 14 starts in ’03. He did lead the Northwest League in strikeouts that second year, with 99.
Harrison, also a draft pick of the Cubs, spent 2008 in Boise, playing 33 games and hitting .351 with 25 RBIs.
When their paths crossed in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday, it was in extraordinary circumstances.
The Pirates didn’t have a baserunner until Jordy Mercer led off the ninth with a sharp grounder that hit off third baseman Logan Forsythe’s glove for an error. Hill then retired the next three batters.
Having thrown only 95 pitches in a 9-inning no-hitter, Hill came back out for the 10th, and Harrison sent his 99th pitch of the night into the first row of seats in left field, just out of the reach of Los Angeles left fielder Curtis Granderson.
“We knew we had a chance to win with one hit,” Harrison said.
Hill, who struck out 10, became the first pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1995 to take a no-hit try into extra innings. Martinez, then with Montreal, lost his perfect game in the 10th at San Diego.
To get official credit for a no-hitter under Major League Baseball rules, a pitcher must complete the game – going nine innings isn’t enough if it goes into extra innings. Back in 1959, a Pirates pitcher had perhaps the most famous near-miss of all when Harvey Haddix lost his perfect game and the game itself in the 13th at Milwaukee.