Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3, 2001: Cardinals Rookie Bud Smith Tosses a No-No In San Diego

On September 3, 2001, Bud Smith struck out 7 and walked four men on his way to pitching the tenth no-hitter in the history of the Cardinals organization as the Birds sailed to a 4-0 win over the Padres in San Diego. The 21 year old Cardinals rookie had never pitched past the seventh inning at the major league level. However, this day was his. Albert Pujols put the Cardinals on the board with a 2 run shot in the first, J.D. Drew knocked in a run in the fifth, then Placido Polanco knocked in the fourth run in the seventh. Meanwhile Smith was literally pitching the game of his life. The kid sat next to Mark McGwire in the Cardinals dugout and talked hitting in the late innings to keep his mind off of the no-no. As Smith approached the ninth inning his pitch count was through the roof and pitching coach Dave Duncan admitted that he was hoping someone would get a hit to keep the young hurler from wearing down. Smith failed to grant Duncan's wish and 134 pitches after he tossed his first one over the plate Phil Nevin hit a hard comebacker that Smith fielded then tossed to Pujols at first to solidify himself a spot in the record books. It was the highlight of Smith's professional career, he posted a 6-3 record in his rookie season then struggled the following year. In July of 2002, Smith was a part of the package that brought Scott Rolen to The Gateway City from Philadelphia. He never did pitch a game for the Phillies or any other major league team after his days as a Cardinal came to an end. He did pitch in the minor leagues until he retired in 2007. To date, Smith is the last member of the Cardinals to throw an ever elusive no-hitter.

Here's the box score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SDN/SDN200109030.shtml

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