Last Monday night, I had the pleasure of being at the Oakland Coliseum to watch a baseball game that presented quite a bit of intrigue for me.
Jarrod Parker, from Norwell High School is Ossian, Indiana (NHC Conference Member), was going to be going to be pitching against my beloved Texas Rangers.
If you recall, it was back in 2007 that Parker led Norwell to the state championship, who had an unblemished 35-0 record. He was then drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first round (top ten) of the amateur draft. Arizona traded him to Oakland this past off season.
Parker was dominant from the get-go. He was in total command, as he had the Rangers off balance and hitless through the first seven innings.
Going into that seventh inning, Parker had thrown 103 pitches. He had three innings to go, and not a lot of pitches left if he was going to throw a no-hitter. Manager Bob Melvin had to be squirming on the Oakland bench as he probably knew that Parker most likely wouldn’t be able to finish the game, whether the no-no was intact or not.
When Parker got through the seventh inning by retiring Texas on only 4 pitches, the door was still cracked, if only slightly, that Parker might be able to finish the game.
The Athletics certainly have to be very careful with the health of Parker’s valuable right arm. He has already had “Tommy John” surgery, and they certainly can’t take any chances by stretching him out any further than need be.
So with having thrown 107 pitches, the 8th inning got under way. One of the best contact hitters in the game, Michael Young, led off for the Rangers. On the first pitch, Young shot a hard grounder up the middle for a clean single. In the blink of an eye, the no hitter was gone.
Oakland won the game 12-1. Parker got the win. (Melvin took him out shortly after the Young base hit).
It was a performance to remember by “one of our own” from NE Indiana. Happy to say, I was one of the one’s there to be able to enjoy it in person.