No-hit bid includes ejection of Pierzynski
HOUSTON -- Yu Darvish's no-hit bid in a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros was lost Monday with one out in the eighth inning.
Before that, the Texas Rangers' ace was trying for a perfect game.
|Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's dominant performance, A.J. Pierzynski's passion, the Rangers' current hot streak and more.
Pierzynski was upset about a 2-2 slider that Darvish threw right around the knees of Villar that was called a ball. Darvish tried another slider with a full count and the pitch was low for ball four.
Pierzynski responded by taking off his catcher's mask and having words with Kulpa. The conversation continued as the Rangers' catcher took a few steps to the mound. Kulpa almost immediately ejected him.
"Ron did what he needed to do and it was over," Pierzynski said. "I was hoping Yu would throw a no-hitter.
"I thought it was (a strike) and Ron didn’t and I was upset we walked a guy, and I said a bad word and I was ejected. That was it and it’s over."
Kulpa explained himself to a reporter after the game, and while he didn't get the count of the pitch in dispute correct, he did offer up what happened.
“Pierzynski didn't like the 3-1 pitch that I (called for a ball)," Kulpa said. "We had words about the 3-1 pitch. And then he walked him on the very next pitch and he continued to argue on the pitch before. And he got ejected.”
Kulpa was asked why the pitch was called a ball.
“I had it down,” Kulpa said.
And what happened after that between Pierzynski and Kulpa?
“He said enough to get ejected,” said Kulpa, who already isn't a fan favorite in Texas after a missed call in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, won by St. Louis in seven games.
At least one Rangers player, closer Joe Nathan -- as badly as he wanted Darvish to get a no-hitter, thought Kulpa made the right call after seeing the replay. The pitch tracker on Brooksbaseball had it as a borderline pitch.
"You want those pitches, especially in a spot like this," Nathan said. "But you can't blame the umpire right there. Obvously it was a very tight pitch. I think if you go back and look at it, he did get the call right. As much as you want it, you still have to be fair. (Kulpa) did a a good job of not getting caught in the moment and starting to ring up guys just because."
If Darvish had finished the no-hitter, it would have been historic with two catchers combining to get there because one of them was ejected.
"I wanted him to throw a no-hitter so Yu would have thrown it to two catchers instead of one," Pierzynski said.
Instead, Darvish has lost a perfect game bid in the ninth inning and no-hitter in the eighth this season at Minute Maid Park. He had retired 26 Astros in a row April 2 before shortstop Marwin Gonzalez -- now in the minor leagues -- hit a sharp single through Darvish's legs and into center field.
The no-hit bid Monday ended with Carlos Corporan's 383-foot home run to right field with one out in the eighth inning.
For his part, Darvish didn't seem fazed by missing out at a chance at history once again.
“I think I’ve said this before, a win is a win," Darvish said. "I’m so glad that I was a big part of this win.”
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.