Throwing a non-attacker, you could say, is like a lasso on the moon. You can see the distant glow, attracting and irritating at once. Can you really get there? Probably not. But you can dream.
On August 13, 1969, in Auckland, Jim Palmer made a giant leap for the Baltimore Orioles with nine unsuccessful passes against Athletics. That same day, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins slid up Broadway and down Michigan Avenue for cassette parades in New York and Chicago, followed by a state dinner with President Richard M. Nixon in Los Angeles.
Now Palmer, 75, has never been to the moon, of course. But the non-striker expanded his universe in a way that no other Oriol had experienced until Wednesday, when John Mines became Palmer̵
Four Orioles combined without a hit in 1991, but crossing the distance separated the feat of Mines. It was his 44th career start and the first to continue after the seventh inning. His working days will never be the same.
“Placing a non-striker – and placing a non-striker with full game now because they’re so rare, it’s kind of like a hole in one, “Palmer said on the phone Wednesday night. “It’s funny when you’re a good golfer, you watch par-3, you want to go green, you want to make a bird. And then you make a hole in one and for the rest of your life, every time you take out a level 3 ball, you don’t think about birds – you think about the possibility of “You know what? I could have a hole in one.
“So for the modern pitcher, if you’re John Mins, you’ve never played a full game. You never put one, not one, not two, not three, because you never put nine innings. So now, every time he takes the ball, he is well aware – as he did – that he can shoot a non-striker, make a full game. There are already a lot of things that suddenly come into play. “
Palmer’s journey led to three Sai Young awards, a place in the Hall of Fame and a long career as an Orioles broadcaster. He did not work in the match on Wednesday, but closely follows the rise of the Mines from the selection of the 11th round in 2014 to an unlikely place on the list of the opening day five years later.
“I was sitting with him in his locker in 2019 and he said, ‘You know, I wasn’t one of the real high-profile prospects, so I could always fly under the radar,'” Palmer said. “Until he made the club – and it all started the first weekend. He made three or four passes with relief at Yankee Stadium, against their squad A, and they didn’t stand a chance. I think he made a hanging change and Gary Sanchez hit a home run. That was it.”
The 28-year-old Maine hasn’t made much change since. He made the All-Star Game this summer and was runner-up in the American League Rookie of the Year award, coming out at 12-11 with an average of 3.60. This season he is 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA
Last season, however, was unbearable: Funds lost his father, Alan, to pancreatic cancer in August. On Wednesday, as he prepared to secure the attacker, Mines thought of his father.
“I looked at my glove just before I went out there for the ninth, it had its initials on it and I said to myself, ‘He wouldn’t care, he’s just glad I’m having a good time.’ “Honors and all that have never mattered to him.”
Even so, Mines said, it took him a while to come together against Dylan Moore, the lead striker in the ninth.
“I got a little out of Jell-O’s legs, I started to feel a little shaky,” he said. “But after I threw the first pitch, I managed to lock up again.”
Moore jumped to the third basel in foul territory. Then Sam Hagarty made a difference, the weapon that the funds learned from boarding coach Chris Holt at the spring training in 2019, the separator who took him forever to the specialties.
Mines threw another pitch, his 113th, and JP Crawford hit him quietly on the line to stop Ramon Urias, ending the game. The means were faced by the minimum 27 strikers and 26 strikes were inflicted on the first field. The only bully to reach base was Hagarty in the third inning, with a third breakaway ball that jumped over hunter Pedro Severino. Hagarty was thrown first, but then caught stealing.
It was the third nine innings without a hit in the 2021 season – after those of Joe Musgrow of the San Diego Padres and Carlos Rodon of the Chicago White Sox – but Mines’ performance was unique in modern baseball history: nine innings without a striker, with the only runner reaching strike / wilderness base.
Only twice before the pitcher failed to throw a perfect game, although he faced a minimum of 27 shots, while not allowing hits or walks. This happened in 1960 with Lew Burdette of the Milwaukee Braves, who hit the dough, and in 1990 of Terry Mulholland of the Philadelphia Phillies, who allowed the dough to reach base by mistake. Both runners were eliminated in double games.
Severino said he felt “very bad” when he let the ball get out of him, although he recovered by nailing Hagarty to the second, like Phyllis’ third basser in 1990, Charlie Hayes, who made up for his mistake. throwing himself to copy the liner and seal Mulholland’s non-impact.
In any case, Mines was hardly disappointed by missing a perfect game that no pitcher scored after Felix Hernandez of the Mariners in August 2012. The media said he always wanted to throw a non-striker, but never thought he could even reach the big ones. As a boy, he said he would write “MLB player” when asked at school about his life goals, but he thought that sounded unrealistic.
“I was never that kid who had a lot of confidence in himself,” Mines said.
Then he learned the change and began to assert himself. On Wednesday, he explored the outer limits of his talent, launching into land that a pitcher of orioles had not been visited by the greatest of all more than half a century ago.
“It was such a whirlwind of experience and I don’t think I was able to handle it yet,” said Mines. “But to be in the same breath as Palmer, I don’t think it’s much better than that.”