Today’s watch party takes us back 40 years ago to June 27, 1980, when Jerry Reuss pitched a no-hitter against the Giants. The Dodgers were starting a weekend series at Candlestick Park that included a scheduled doubleheader Sunday afternoon.
Reuss, acquired from Pittsburgh just after opening day in 1979, started out 1980 in the bullpen, but in mid May swapped roles with reigning NL Rookie of the Year Rick Sutcliffe, who had an 8.33 ERA in six starts.
Dodgers at Giants lineups
|CF||Law (L)||3B||Evans (L)|
|P||Reuss (L)||P||Blue (S)|
Reuss thrived in the starting rotation with three shutouts in his first eight starts, and heading into this game he had a 2.08 ERA, trailing only J.R. Richard (1.51) and Steve Carlton (1.83) in the National League. Reuss took a 15-inning scoreless streak into his Friday night start in San Francisco.
The only notable change in the Dodgers lineup was Reggie Smith starting in right field for the first time in nine days. For the Giants, starting at first base and hitting cleanup was Rich Murray, brother of Eddie. Vida Blue, who pitched a no-hitter in 1970 and started a combined no-hitter in 1975, starts for San Francisco.
Before this game, only two Dodgers pitchers threw no-hitters in their 22 years in Los Angeles — Sandy Koufax (4 times) and Bill Singer, who had the last one in 1970.
Since this was spoiled already by the title of the post, I can tell you that the two strikeouts by Reuss are not the fewest of the Dodgers’ 22 no-hitters in the modern era. Ed Head in 1946 and Carl Erskine in 1952 each whiffed one batter in their no-nos for Brooklyn.
Reuss didn’t walk anyone in this game, with only a Bill Russell error in the first inning keeping this from a perfect game. Reuss retired his final 25 batters faced.
Aside from Sandy Koufax’s no-hitter, Reuss is one of three Dodgers to pitch no-hitters with no walks or hit by pitches. Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter in 2014 also featured a shortstop error, while Nap Rucker in 1908 for Brooklyn had three fielding errors behind him.
The Dodgers entered this game with the second-best record in the NL at 40-29 (.580), but the team ahead of them, the Astros, were in their division, two games up in a dogfight that would take an extra day to settle in this season.
We’re going to start watching this game via YouTube at 5 p.m. PT.