Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 5/18/12

Despite their famous streak of futility, the Pirates somehow haven’t been no-hit since Bob Gibson did it in 1971. That’s the second-longest active streak in the league, behind only the Cubs (go figure – not that it means anything). You’d think that with all the terrible lineups they’ve sent out and all the great pitchers they’ve faced, it would happen eventually. They HAVE come close. Tonight, they came about as close as it gets.

Justin Verlander has already thrown two no-hitters. He’s one of the best, if not the best pitcher in baseball at the moment. The Pirates’ lineup is a mess. People were calling a no-hitter before the game started, and they were perfectly justified in doing so.

Verlander came out dealing right away. He walked Neil Walker in the first, so the threat of a perfect game was gone quickly, but after that he retired 18 in a row before walking Andrew McCutchen in the seventh. The Bucs only hit a few balls hard – Josh Harrison and Walker had semi-well-struck flyouts. He struck out twelve and once he got into the seventh and started pumping 98+ with ridiculous breaking balls, you had to think the no-no was a sure thing.

In the ninth, with the crowd on its feet and the entire country tuned in,  Michael McKenry grounded out. That brought up Harrison, who waved horribly at two breaking balls in the dirt and looked hopeless. As he often does, though, J-Hay seemingly threw his hands towards the ball and slapped a soft liner into center to break up the no-hit bid. Amazing. It felt like a victory at the moment (for some, at least. Some were rooting for the no-no, which I suppose is acceptable when the game is well out of hand), but then two outs later the Bucs’ lost 6-0.

Charlie Morton was obviously out-pitched by his mound opponent, but it wasn’t one of his better games to begin with. He had a rough first, allowing two runs. After that he was able to battle through six innings, but allowed two more–which was more than enough to put the Tigers comfortably ahead. Chris Resop allowed two more runs in the seventh to make the final 6-0.

Tigers 6, Pirates 0 / Box / 2012 Record: 18-21 / Next: Saturday, at Tigers, 4:05

MVP: Lincoln (+.001) / LVP: Morton (-.150) / Key play: Cabrera’s first inning double

©2012 Raise the Jolly Roger. All Rights Reserved.

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