CHICAGO -- This was Francisco Liriano's night, and not to make it about me, but it was the first time I've ever covered a no-hitter.
I'd had several close calls, including Gavin Floyd's attempt right here at U.S. Cellular Field a few years ago, but I'd never seen a pitcher finish one. And this goes back to 1994, when I first started covering minor-league baseball (the Class A Midwest League) for the Appleton Post-Cresent.
When I covered the Dodgers, a veteran scribe who'd covered his share of no-nos used to get very happy when both teams had a hit. As soon as this happened, he'd turn to me and say, "Enjoy the game." That's because the writers know they're in for some frantic work when history happens on deadline.
Well, let me be the first to say, this was pretty enjoyable, too. It was fun listening to the reaction in the Twins clubhouse.
Drew Butera had never caught a no-hitter. When told that Liriano said he didn't realize he had a no-hit bid until the eighth inning, Butera said, "He’s lying. I think they all realize it."
This was the Twins first no-hitter since Eric Milton's against the Angels on Sept. 11, 1999. So when Matt Tolbert caught Adam Dunn's liner to end it, there was some brief confusion.
“We kind of all didn’t know what to do," Morneau said. "It’s the first one I’ve been a part of, so we just started running toward the mound, and then Drew picked [Liriano] up and hugged him and then we all jumped in there. He was getting beat up, a couple of shots in the ribs.”
In other words, Liriano got the same kind of treatment players get when they get a walk-off home run. I've covered lots of those, but this one was more memorable for sure.