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Today in Blue Jays History: Ricky Romero takes no-hitter into the 8th

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Toronto Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Eleven Years Ago Today

Ricky Romero took a no-hitter into the 8th inning.

Unfortunately, he gave up a hit in the 8th, a home run. A two-run home run, but we still won.

From the recap:

Didn’t we have the debate about whether Ricky Romero was any good? I think he answered that one. He went 8 innings, allowed one hit, 12 K, 10 ground outs with 2 fly outs. Unfortunately, the one hit was an Alex Rios homer, but such is life. Kevin Gregg pitched the 9th to get the save. He struck out 2 in his perfect inning. He is pitching a lot better than he did last year. I’m not sure what the change is, but I like it.

By game score (82), it was only Ricky’s second-best game of the season. On May 15th, he threw a complete game, allowing 5 hits, no runs, 1 walk with 12 strikeouts again. He didn’t hit double digits in any other game that season.

Ricky had an excellent 2010 season, finishing 14-9 with a 3.73 ERA in 32 starts, 210 innings. Not a bad sophomore season. Cito wasn’t exactly gentle with him; he threw 110 pitches or more 7 times. He was even better in 2011, 15-11, 2.92 ERA in 225 innings. After his first three seasons, we thought we had a new Ace. He was 42-29, with a 3.60 ERA in 93 starts and 613 innings. That’s a fair number of innings in a pitcher’s first three seasons. Maybe the workload had something with his fall off after 2011.

In 2012 he had a 5.77 ERA in 32 starts. In 2013 he pitched just 7.1 innings, and he never pitched in the majors again.

I was right about Gregg being better in 2010 than he was in 2009. In 2010 he had a 3.51 ERA and 37 stars. 2008, with the Cubs, he had a 4.72 ERA. But he didn’t make closing look easy. He likely added a bunch of grey to my hair.

Also, from the recap:

Offensively we did enough. Two hits each for Adam Lind, Vernon Wells, John Buck, and Edwin Encarnacion. Vernon’s were both doubles. One for Alex Gonzalez and Lyle Overbay. Jose Bautista and Travis Snider each took a walk. Mike McCoy was 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. Edwin had 2 RBI, Wells and Overbay had 1 each.

Jays of the Day are Romero (.315 WPA), Encarnacion (.105), and Wells (.093). No Suckage Jays, McCoy came closest at -.073.

If you want to check out the boxscore, it is here. The Jays went to 6-2 on the season with the win.

I mentioned that booing Alex Rios maybe wasn’t the best move:

Truly I think booing Rios backfires. He’s generally not very interested in what’s going on. Giving him a reason to get interested is a mistake.

Cito Gaston had much the same opinion:

The more we boo him, the better he swings. Maybe we should leave him alone the next two nights and let him get out of town.

I’d love to know what would have happened with Ricky Romero’s career if he hadn’t hurt his knees. Maybe if we were a little more careful with his innings, he would have had a different career? Maybe, who knows. Perhaps he had the career he was meant to have.