Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yeah, about that no-hitter...

From the Elias Sports Bureau:

Washington erased a 4-0 deficit in its 9-5, 10-inning victory at New York, spoiling the major league debut of Brian Bannister. Last season, the Mets were 25-0 in home games in which they led by at least four runs.

Bannister held Washington hitless until Jose Vidro doubled with one out in the sixth. The last starting pitcher to take a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his major league debut was Cincinnati's Brian Reith (5 2/3 innings vs. Arizona. May 16, 2001).

Ryan Zimmerman's game-tying homer off Billy Wagner in the ninth inning spoiled Bannister's bid for a victory. Over the last 20 years, the only starter to win his major league debut this early in a season (his team's first or second game) was Rolando Arroyo (1998 Devil Rays, game #2).

The Nationals had a habit last season of turning journeyman pitchers into latter-day Walter Johnsons, so no one should jump onto the Brian Bannister Bandwagon just yet. If you know any Mets fans, though, you'll have to endure today insipid comparisons of Bannister to Dwight Gooden. We'll see if Bannister is capable of anything close to yesterday's performance as he makes his way through the National League. I'm not holding my breath.

Speaking of Gooden, he was sentenced yesterday to a year and a day in prison for violating his probation by using cocaine. As we said last year, Gooden's descent from baseball great to petty convict is one of the game's great tragedies.

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