After a promising lead-off walk of Marco Scutaro, Cleveland Indians pitcher Cliff Lee narrowly missed taking a no-hitter into the 2nd inning, a feat he has yet to achieve in 2009. Hopes seemed high after walking Scutaro, Lee even saying, “I was really feeling it before the game started, and even during the first batter.”
His hopes of a perfect game shattered with only 27 outs remaining, Lee decided he would settle down and slide through by simply pitching a no-hitter.
“After walking [Scutaro] the bench got real quiet. No one would talk to me, no one wants to jinx the no-no.”
Toronto Blue Jays Second Baseman Aaron Hill spoiled the party, however, getting a hit off of Lee with no outs in the first inning. “No one wants to be that team that gets no hits into the second inning,” Hill said after his history-breaking bloop single.
Indians manager Eric Wedge says that he nearly missed this historic event, “It’s a little bittersweet, I want Cliff to get a no hitter, but I wanted to witness it too. I reached to get a drink of water, and by the time I looked back, they’d gotten a hit.”
This was the second time this season Cliff Lee had pitched without getting a no-hitter into the second inning, a feat that has Cleveland Indians season ticket sales through the roof.
“We know it’s going to happen,” a fan in an Albert Belle jersey said, “I just want to be here to see it.”
After giving up a hit with no outs in the first, potential Cy Young winner Cliff Lee recovered to give up four runs in five innings, lowering his ERA on the year to 9.90 in what was his most promising start of the year.