As fans across the entire baseball world know by now, St. Louis Cardinals rookie right-hander Michael Wacha came within one out of throwing a no-hitter against the Washington Nationals Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. The 22-year-old lost his gem on an infield hit with two outs in the ninth.
Pulling Wacha from the 2-0 game with a runner on first, manager Mike Matheny assured that his starter could not lose the contest, important in his club’s quest to win the National League Central. Trevor Rosenthal collected the final out to preserve Wacha’s fourth career win in his ninth start.
Interestingly, the last two no-hitters thrown by Cardinals pitchers were also authored by rookies. Even more interestingly, both of the hurlers were soon traded away.
On September 3, 2001, 21-year-old Bud Smith no-hit the Padres in San Diego. It was the left-hander’s 11th start with St. Louis and only complete-game shutout in an MLB career shortened to two years due to injury. Smith went to the Phillies...