Last night’s game between the Hartford Yard Goats and the Trenton Thunder pit two questions of baseball’s unwritten rules against each other. Is it okay to bunt to try to break up a no-hitter? And, is a combined no-hitter even really a no-hitter? The answers are yes and no, in some order.
The Yard Goats, the Rockies’ double-A affiliate, were two outs away from closing out the no-no with their fourth pitcher on the mound. It was still just a 3-0 game, so Yankees farmhand Matt Lipka needed to get on base by any means necessary. Including a little push bunt up the first-base line that closer Ben Bowden tried and failed to scoop over for the putout.
“It is what it is,” said Rico Garcia, who had started the game for Hartford and gone six. “[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.”
Bowden retired the next two batters, and upon the final out had some words for Lipka over at first. Lots of Yard Goats had words for him. Then some Thunder(s?) had words for all the Yard Goats.
Everyone eventually dispersed peacefully. Another successful casualty-free night in the minors.