CINCINNATI: It took 149 pitches for Arizona's Edwin Jackson to no-hit Tampa Bay Friday night.
Under most circumstances, a manager who allowed a pitcher to throw that many pitches would be summoned to the principal's office for a stern talking to. Then again, a chance to get into the record books might be a good enough reason to ignore the usual conventions. Manny Acta thinks so.
""This is a special thing,'' the manager said this afternoon. ""It's something that probably will only happen to him once in his career. And it's not like this kid is doing it every other week.''
It was an unusual no-hitter in that Jackson walked seven batters in the first three innings and eight for the game, which is why his pitch count soared. But in the last two-thirds of the game, he was much more efficient with his pitches.
Throwing 125 or more pitches is something that was more common 40 years ago, when teams fielded four-man rotations and pitching a complete game happened regularly. Even in the '80s, pitch counts would mount without raising the eyebrows of the media and the baseball establishment. Rick Sutcliffe once threw 187 pitches for the Indians, and that was in eight innings.
""We have high school and college kids who throw more than that,'' Acta said, referring to Jackson's 149 pitches.