September 10th , 2005 Herlihy Field, Whatley, Mass.
It hardly seems possible that Planet Baseball has made one complete revolution since Max threw the first pitch to Nightman for strike one! on the 5th of May, (and some 50 odd games ago for most of us) and TNB opened it's 3rd Season. But for us, baseball doesn't end, it just BEGINS again. There's no ending in baseball!
So, STNB 2005 begins with a matchup between two proud TNB Franchises, the 'Cool Jerks' and the 'Foo Kin 2-Tees'.
Who are these teams you ask?
Why, you must be NEW here pardner!
THIS is who the COOL JERKS and the FOO KIN 2-TEES are!!
At precisely 3:30, Umpire in Chief Pesci pointed to Cool Jerk starting pitcher Kenny Sloat and said, 'play ball'!
2-Tee himself led off the Fook 1st, and hit the first pitch to TNB newcomer Chris Scott in center for the out and the game was on . Kenny, decked out in his White Sox threads worked a quick efficient first, mixing his breaking stuff, allowing only a harmless BB to the Hammer.
The Cool Jerks were in a hitting mood, and greeted TNB's all time winningest pitcher 2-Tee, rather rudely. Al Riopelli singled, Billy De reached on an error, Chris Scott's first TNB at-bat a ribbi single and a Kenny Sloat ribbi single made it 2-0 before an out is recorded. But 2-Tee settled down and retired Mas, MJC and Fluff in order. After 1, 2-Zip Jerks.
Kenny had a 1-2-3 2nd, and made it look easy.
The Cool Jerks got right back to work. Scott DeFelice singled leading off. After 2-Tee fanned the tough SuperJ, Quinton Carr, in his first TNB at-bat, doubled Scott in. Al Riopelli singled again, but the bend but don't break 2-Tee fanned Billy De and Chris Scott on some good heat. 3-zip Jerks with 2 in the books.
Kenny breezed in the 3rd. 2 K's and an easy fly to Fluff in left. With Max replacing 2-Tee in the 3rd (he had to pitch the next day), the Cool Jerks went meekly in order. After 3, still Cool Jerks 3, Foo Kin 2-Tees 0.
Kenny walked Ed Sabelowski on 4 pitches to start the 4th, and it would cost him. Hey, it usually does. Ed would move to 2nd on a fielders choice and score on an error. A fielders choice would end the Foo Kin 4th. But they were on the board.
The relentless CJ's went to work on the tough Max in the botton of the 4th. A Fluffy single, a SuperJ ribbi single and Al Riopelli's 3rd straight hit, a ribbi double gave the CJ's a 5-0 lead. Things we're not lookin good for the Fooks. But this is TNB, and the scores change like the weather. No lead is safe.
In the top 5th, Kenny retired the first 2 hitters easily on grounders. By this point, everybody realizes that Kenny is working on a no-hitter. The fleet Foo Kin outfielder Mike Martindell, squibbed the ball to the left side of the Jerk infield, toward 3rd sacker Billy De. Billy charged and bobbled the ball slightly and threw late and wide to first. Mike is safe, and the scorer initially ruled the play a 'Hit'. It was close, and maybe a hit, but the TNB Commish, and OK, OK, a teammate of Kenny's, ruled that that was too grim a way to end a no-hitter and changed the scoring to 'E-5' Just as the Commish was about to be given a blanket party by the irate Foo Kin 2-Tees, Ump Pesci stepped in and stopped the fun.
"I ain't been paid yet you Yoots , don't hurt him"
The game resumed and Kenny struck out the next hitter to increase the tension.
Meanwhile the CJ's padded their lead to 8-1 in the bottom of the 5th
With the Fooks reminding Kenny of his in-progress no-hitter in various ways, the 6th began with a walk to Butch. 2-Tee followed this with a BOMB to left center. Chris Scott tracked this down expertly in deep left center and Kenny lives to pitch to another batter; no hitter in tact.
Ed Sabelowski was retired by Mas, unassisted. 2 outs!
Hammer then chopped one to the left side....booted!!! The inning continues!
Jeff Lawrence is the next batter......With Mike Martindell predicting a hit, like Nostradamus, Jeff strokes a clean ribbi single up the middle, and the first TNB no hitter goes up in smoke.
John Sanders follows with another ribbi single, before Kenny retires Johnny D for the 3rd out.
Al Riopelli's 4th! base hit drove in another run for the CJ's in the bottom half.
After 6 full, Cool Jerks 9, Foo Kin 2-Tees 3
The last 3 innings were nothing like the first 6. With the no hitter gone, the pace slowed, to put it mildly. The 2-Tees briefly tied the score in a hail of bullets in the top of the 7th. 9-9
But the CJ's posted 5 in the bottom to take command again. In the process, Fook Butch Gianetto had his 4th hit and CJ Al Riopelli had his 5th. But my favorite moment came in the changeover between the 8th and 9th.
Where have you gone NightAmaggio
TNB Nation turns it's lonely eyes to you..
OOOH OOOH OOOOH
What's that you say NightAmaggio
Joe Pesci won't call your slider for a strike
No No No Nooooooooooo
Koo Koo Cachoo NightAmaggio
The creatures love you more than you can know
No.. No.. Noooooooooo..
So if you please NightAmaggio
Heaven holds a place for those who stay
hey hey hey
hey hey heyyyyyyyyyyy
See you next Saturday!
The Foo Kin 2-Tees were lookin' good with their 6-1 lead heading into the 8th, but you gotta play 9! And the Cool Jerks were as cool as the back side of the pillow. This game was the first time we became aware of Duse's nasal inhaler. He was unhittable at the end of the game, and refused to talk to the medical staff after the game. He just took off with his entourage.
My favorite memory of the game is Nightman yelling at Carlos holding SuperJ close at second, "Dude, Dude!...you gotta play short! He showed amazing control of his neck muscles trying not to balk while giving important instructions to his fielders.
Game 2 Pics