Baseball is full of unwritten rules: You don’t walk in front of the catcher. You don’t talk about a no-hitter during a no-hitter. And you never, ever, bunt to break up a no-hitter.
Because, if you do, then things get crazy like they did when the Hartford Yard Goats played the Trenton Thunder on Tuesday night.
According to Sporting News, “Starting pitcher Rico Garcia did most of the damage, pitching six innings and recording 11 strikeouts. Then relievers Jordan Foley and Logan Cozart each pitched one inning without allowing a hit. Ben Bowden came in for the save, and recorded one out before facing Trenton’s Matt Lipka.
“With just two outs to go before finishing the no-hitter, Lipka decided to bunt on the first pitch he saw. It went down the first base line and he was safe at first.”
Of course, in electing to bunt, Lipka committed the heinous sin of breaking up a no-hitter by bunting. This led to a strong reaction from the Goats as the two teams cleared the benches.
Aftermath of a near fight at the end of the @GoYardGoats and @TrentonThunder game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. 3-0 win for the Goats allowing only one hit as a team. #NoGoatsNoGlory #Pride #NBCCT @NBCConnecticut @GLucivero pic.twitter.com/N1QL5XUWFo
— Paul Ross (@RealPaulRoss) June 5, 2019
It is literally Lipka’s job to try to get on base. Which makes Hartford’s emotional reaction kind of puzzling. However, for his part, Goats pitcher Rico Garcia didn’t seem all that bothered to have the no-hitter broken up by a bunt.
“It is what it is,” Garcia told reporters, via MiLB.com. “[Lipka] was doing what he had to do. And we were really passionate about getting the no-hitter. It is what it is. I can’t really speak for what he was trying to do or what he was trying to accomplish. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get the no-hitter. Emotions were high after.”
The scandalous bunt and ensuing extracurriculars did not alter the outcome, however. The next two Thunder hitters were retired and the Goats won 3-0. Though, one can only imagine the fainting and pearl-clutching that would have occurred among baseball purists had that bunt sparked a rally that would have won the game for Trenton.
I mean, imagine the nerve of the other team actually trying to win the game? As a great American once said:
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn