Schill being congratulated by Tito, Lugo and Luis Alicea.
(NY Daily News)
June 7, 2007
So, I was able to start this game out in the OT, keeping track on Gameday and such. You'll note a couple of times that I questioned the calls from the umpire, where Schill was getting more calls than Joe Blanton. I still don't think I'm incorrect about that, though often a veteran with a reputation for getting those calls (Schill, Maddux, etc.) will get those calls all of the time, so I probably shouldn't have been as surprised.
That being said, this was still one of the best pitched games all season. Yes, Oakland was not a great offensive team this season, but they put in their work and came out of it with only two baserunners, one of whom reached on a Julio Lugo error.
Yes, the error. I don't want to get too preachy at this point, but Lugo caught a lot of flak for his defense this season, with many people noting the errors and not noting smoothness on many plays and, more importantly, many plays which many of our past shortstops simply don't make or get to. He made a few of those kinds of plays in this game to preserve the no-hitter.
Okay, I guess that ended up preachy. Either way, I'm sure The Big Schill knows that those who hurt you one moment might save you the next.
This game was a notable moment in its context apart from potentially making history as well. Prior to the game, the Sox had lost 4 in a row. Nothing season-breaking, but certainly felt like quite a long streak given how well the season had been going to that point. It was June 7th and we were up by 10 games. Hardly a predicament, but it certainly would've been nice to get a win anyway.
As you certainly know, Schilling responded in a big way. His opponent, Joe Blanton, didn't have a bad game himself. 7 baserunners for big Joe. Unfortunately for Blanton and the A's, one of those base"runners" was Papi trotting around the bases on a solo HR. Schill would ensure that the Sox wouldn't need any more runs that day. ...or a bullpen.
I'll direct you to Curt's post about the game if you're interested in more of a PBP. Suffice to say that he's pretty detailed. At any rate, Schilling made it 8 2/3 IP without allowing a hit, and up stepped Shannon Stewart.
As the story goes, corroborated by the 38pitches post above, Schilling hadn't shaken off 'Tek all day long. Jason wanted a slider, sure that Shannon Stewart would be looking for something to hit on first pitch. Schilling thought he'd take, and wanted to throw a first pitch FB. He shook off Tek and did so. The result:
A quote from Eric Hinske via the same 38 pitches post, probably summed up everyones' feelings after the game: