Hate to belabor the obvious, but

Casey Murphy was brilliant last night. It was the first time I’ve gotten to see the team in person this year. A buddy I was with joked when he got the first two outs, “he was only 25 outs away from a perfect game.” By the time he’d sat down the 11th batter I started thinking, “hey, he might really have a chance.” Even the walk of the next man up kept the no-hitter alive. He had no problem getting the 12th out. It was a shame to lose it on that bunt in 7th. I thought he was out on the throw (I was sitting almost even with 1st base), but I admit it was a close play.

Thought it was a classy move by DVH to let him take the mound to start the 8th so he could then remove him to a standing O.

I don’t think he was brought back out for the eighth just to get the ovation. Memphis brought in a right-handed pinch-hitter to replace a left-handed batter at the start the inning. Once Memphis made that move, Van Horn came out of the dugout to take out Murphy and get the right-on-right matchup with Alberius.

It just worked out well for Kacey.

Okay. Makes sense. I was in the concourse when it happened so I didn’t see the batter change. Glad it happened as it did. He’d already lost the no-hitter so that was no longer a reason to keep him in. Regardless, he got a well-deserved round of applause.

Clay,

Any idea why the Memphis coach got so bent out of shape about that move? I only was able to listen over the radio, but those guys (on the broadcast) spent quite a bit of time describing how the UM coach was pointing at the mound and barking.

Could it be that he didn’t think a pitcher could take the mound to start an inning, and get replaced before making a pitch? Kind of like how you cannot substitute a player into a basketball game out of a time out, and then sub for him again until the next dead ball?

Now that I think of it, I don’t recall seeing that move before, though I might have and just forgotten it.

I’m not sure he knew the rule, to be honest. Had Arkansas brought in a new pitcher at the beginning of the inning, then I think he would have had to throw a pitch to the pinch-hitter. But because Murphy had been in the inning before, Arkansas had the right to take him out after the batter was announced.

Or it could have been that the Memphis coach didn’t think the batter was announced before Van Horn came to the mound.

I didn’t realize the Memphis coach got upset with that. (In the concourse at the time.) However, if it’s not against the rules then he should shut up. Just like bunting late into a no-hitter isn’t against the rules, it’s kosher to change pitchers whenever the rules allow.

Speaking of getting upset, I noticed there was some jawing after the Memphis runner got caught stealing. I don’t know what the runner was upset about. Anyone know?

The Memphis coach was just being an idiot. To be honest, that’s exactly what Dave should have done, let Kacey go to the mound and see if there was going to be a pinch hitter. Dave might not have changed pitchers, but he was going to make sure the hitter was announced before he made the move. I’ve seen managers do that since the beginning of time as far as wait for the hitter to be announced. If he doesn’t, then the other manager isn’t going to burn the pinch-hitter.

It’s touchy as to when a pinch-hitter is actually in the game. He is not in the game as he walks to the plate. He is when the hitter tells the umpire that he’s batting. I can’t tell you which happened in this situation, but it sure seems like the hitter had said something to the umpire and he was in the game. He is in the game as soon as that intention is mentioned by the hitter. He does not have to be in the batter’s box.

I believe some of our players were less than thrilled that he had bunted his way on base to spoil the no-hitter. Usually, that’s an unwritten “no-no”.

However, I’ve got to say that in this case, it doesn’t give me a lot of heartburn. They were only down 2 runs. Game is getting late. They needed base-runners, however they could get them.

I think DVH understands that a little more than perhaps some of his players, who undoubtedly were pulling for their teammate to close out the no-hitter.

It sounded like the Arkansas players were telling him his bunt was “bush.”

Thanks Matt, Wiz. That’s probably correct. I didn’t see anything that would have set him off, so it was likely something someone said. Spanberger said it was “bush” after the game so there’s a good chance they said that to him. Our players were wrong under the circumstances, but I’m glad they were upset on behalf of their teammate. Sometimes it’s not too bad to be a bit wrong on behalf of a teammate.

The thing that is tough is for Dave Van Horn to continue to put Kacey out there with a no-hitter intact. There is a time to go for a no-hitter and time not to try that. How many more pitches could Kacey throw? The bunt single might have been a blessing in disguise. Not many would have liked it had Dave pulled Kacey with a no-hitter intact in the eighth inning.

Kacey had thrown 90. Alberius got the last six outs with 15 pitches, pretty economical. Maybe Kacey could have done that, too. Don’t know, but it’s probably good that he left after 90.

Great point.