Friday, September 26, 2014

September 26, 1983: Forsch Throws His Second No-Hitter

     On September 26, 1983, it took Bob Forsch just 96 pitches to no-hit the Montreal Expos at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The performance led the way to a 3-0 Redbird victory that will never be forgotten. It was the second time Forsch had achieved the feat with the Birds on the Bat across his chest making him the one and only pitcher in franchise history to record two no-hitters for the club.

     His first no-hitter came on April 16, 1978 against the Phillies at Busch. Many considered it to be controversial because it looked like the Phillies snuck one past Kenny Reitz at third in the eighth, but it was ruled an error by Neil Russo of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. When Reitz was asked he said he should have had it, and the call by Russo was the right one. Forsch followed up the miscue with a double play ball, then set down the last four men he faced. While the feat was celebrated it did have a cloud hung over it. That fact made the no-hitter in September of '83 one that Forsch would hold in much higher regard. There would be no cloud over this one.

     The Cardinals came into that game simply looking to finish the year strong. It had been a disappointment for the defending champions. They had stayed in the race until mid September, before skidding to fourth place finish. Forsch was simply trying to right the ship. He came into the contest 8-12, and had been struggling to put together a strong outing. That was about to change, for that one night the disappointing season by the team, and Forsch alike would be forgotten, and this night would forever be remembered.

     Only two men reached against the virtually untouchable Forsch, and they both came in the second inning. He had set down the first five men he faced. The fifth man was Tim Raines, and that second inning at bat was the only at bat that looked like it might turn into an Expo hit, as he crushed one that Willie McGee had to recover on the warning track. Forsch then sailed one in on Gary Carter that caught the backstop, and sent him trotting down to first. The hit batsman was followed with a hotshot to third that went through the legs of Ken Oberkfell, but this error was a no doubter, and would not leave the same taint as the error in '78. Forsch shook off the misfortune, and retired the next 22 men in a row. He was provided with the tuns he needed in the fifth, then finished off one of the finest gems of them all; a no-hitter.

    Bob's second no-no came one year after his brother Ken had achieved the feat in Houston, which made them the only two brothers in the history of the game to do so. When the last out were recorded on that day in '83, Bob became just the 20th player in the history of Major League Baseball to throw two no-hitters in his career. Today he is just one of 32 men to achieve that feat. Out of those men one of them stand above the rest in Cardinal Nation, and his name is Bob Forsch.

Check out the box score here:

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