A weird no-hitter that wasn’t
By Ken Peters
LOS ANGELES ó Although the Dodgers didn’t get a hit, it was no no-hitter.
They even won what was one of the weirdest games in recent years, with an unearned run all they needed to beat the Angels 1-0.
Jered Weaver, lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, came away with only a loss to show for his six hitless innings on Saturday night. Jose Arredondo, who retired six consecutive batters over the next two innings, won’t go into the record book for a combined no-hitter, either.
Since the Angels were the visitors and the Dodgers didn’t have to bat in the ninth, it wasn’t officially a no-hitter.
The Angels got five hits, but the Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley and two relievers held them scoreless.
It was only the fifth game in the majors since 1900 when the winning team didn’t get a hit, and first since Boston’s Matt Young lost one in 1992, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre said, “That’s about as bizarre as you can get.”
The Angels’ Torii Hunter shook his head and said he hadn’t seen anything like it, “Not ever, not even in Little League. We had a no-hitter and we lost.”
The Angels’ offense didn’t leave Weaver any room for error, and he made a critical one. In the fifth inning, the lanky Weaver charged off the mound to field Matt Kemp’s spinning squibber, but bobbled it. Kemp later stole second, went to third on catcher Jeff Mathis’ throwing error and scored on Blake DeWitt’s sacrifice fly.
“The ball had a lot of spin on it and it took a little hop before it hit my glove,” Weaver said.
He wasn’t overly concerned about not giving up a hit, just that the Angels lost.
“It’s tough, any loss. It doesn’t matter what the line(score) is,” he said. “I’m sure you guys are going to eat this up a lot more than I am. I don’t call it a no-hitter for me. I only went six innings.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, “That’s certainly a weird linescore. But it’s just a loss, that’s what it is.”
Still, Hunter felt sorry for Weaver.
“Weaver is out there busting his butt. We’re trying to get a run across and couldn’t do it. It hurts,” Hunter said. “He had a no-hitter going and we had to pinch-hit for him.”
Dodgers catcher Russell Martin called the game the strangest he’s ever been in, adding, “But I don’t think any of us are mad about not getting any hits. We’re happy we won and that’s all that matters at the end.
“You ask them ó they would rather have won than thrown a no-hitter.”
Baseball’s other no-hit losers in baseball’s modern era were Andy Hawkins of the Yankees in 1990, Steve Barber and Stu Miller of Baltimore in 1967, and Ken Johnson of Houston in 1964.
The Dodger Stadium scoreboard first flashed “hit” on Kemp’s dribbler, but official scorer Don Hartack ruled it an error.
“I believe if he just picked it up with his bare hand and flipped it, he gets him by a good step and a half,” Hartack said. “So my thinking was, it really wasn’t a bang-bang play.”
Kemp agreed with the scoring.
“I hit it off the end of the bat and it had a little funky English on it,” he said. “He could have made the play, but he just dropped the ball. It was an error. I mean, if they’d have given me a hit, I’d have been happy. But it was an error by far.”