By Michael Point
Nashville pitcher Manny Parra, making only his second start at the Triple-A level, didnâ€™t have a win to his credit when the game began Monday night. He had a perfect game to call his own when it ended.
The 24-year old left-hander retired every Express batter that came to the plate. It was 27 up and 27 down as he threw the first no-hitter in Dell Diamond history. Nashville picked up a 3-0 win in the process but the â€œno hits, no runs, no errorsâ€ final line was the biggest story of the game.
Express manager Jackie Moore didnâ€™t enjoy the game but he recognized Parraâ€™s accomplishment as something special. â€œYou just got to tip your hat to him for that performance,â€ Moore said. â€œThe young man did something very rare tonight and Iâ€™m sure heâ€™ll remember it for the rest of his life. I congratulate him but I wish heâ€™d done against someone else.â€
The Express, currently fifteenth in the league in hitting, is certainly no offensive juggernaut at this point in the season but Parraâ€™s no-hitter was undeniably legitimate. Parra, facing a lineup with four hitters with extensive big league experience, finished the night with 11 strikeouts as he threw only 107 pitches, a dozen fewer than Express starter Matt Albers who left the game after seven innings. His mastery of Round Rock hitters was so complete that he didn’t need any of the defensive gems common to most no-hitters as he simply overpowered Express batters from start to finish.
Parraâ€™s control was impeccable in the early innings and only wavered a bit toward the finish as his adrenaline went into overdrive. His fastball was still hitting the mid-90s in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Express fans were cheering him on.
And while it wasnâ€™t an impressive performance by the Express team it may have been their fanâ€™s most shining hour. As the final outs were recorded one by one the stands were buzzing with excitement. When pinch-hitter Jesse Garcia lofted a soft popup to Nashville first baseman Brad Nelson to conclude the perfect game the fans rose for a sustained standing ovation as Parra was mobbed on the field by his teammates.
The applause didnâ€™t stop as public address announcer Derrick Grubbs congratulated Parra and fans continued to celebrate the achievement. A major league scout taking in the whole scene commented, â€œYouâ€™ve got some genuine, old school baseball fans here. This is the way itâ€™s supposed to be.â€
With no Express baserunners to slow things down the game zipped by in two and a half hours. Albers, allowing only one run on eight hits, pitched well but Nashville repeatedly squandered scoring opportunities. They ran themselves out of two runs in the seventh inning, foolishly sending a runner when a throw went over catcher Humberto Quinteroâ€™s head and then botching a squeeze play.
Nashville ultimately scored two runs off reliever Paul Estrada in the gameâ€™s final inning but the single run Texas Tech ex Joe Dillon knocked in during the top of the first was all they needed on a night when Parraâ€™s pitching perfection put the game out of the reach of the Express and directly into the Dell Diamond record book.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog