On May 23, 1991, right-hander Tommy Greene struck out 10 and walked seven in a no-hitter against the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The 24-year-old, whose battery mate for the no-no was Darrin Fletcher, finished the season 13-7 with a 3.38 ERA.It was a day like any other day for me,
On May 23, 1991, right-hander Tommy Greene struck out 10 and walked seven in a no-hitter against the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The 24-year-old, whose battery mate for the no-no was Darrin Fletcher, finished the season 13-7 with a 3.38 ERA.
It was a day like any other day for me, except it was a 12:35 p.m. getaway game in Montreal. I had been pitching out of the bullpen up to that point, except for a spot start for Jose DeJesus because of back spasms. Mentally, I told myself I was going to treat this start like I treated my relief appearances -- be aggressive and go as long and as hard as I can. My thought was if I run out of gas, they will put someone else in for me. Hold nothing back!
• Phillies alumni
I knew my body and how long it took for me to get ready to pitch. Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd had already finished warming up in the bullpen for the Expos and was walking back to the dugout before I threw my first pitch in the bullpen. By the time both anthems were played and he threw his first pitch of the game, I was sitting in the dugout ready to go.
As the game progressed, we took an early lead (1-0). Except for some walks, there was nothing but routine plays made behind me. The walks that I had that day (seven) were high, but considering that the game was 1-0 until the ninth, I did not give in to the power guys that could hurt me with the long ball. I had four 3-2 pitches to them but just missed on the last pitch. Most of them were with 2 outs.
It wasn't until after the seventh inning that I realized I hadn't given up a hit. When I did that I immediately thought of the three no-hit bids I had coming up through the Minor Leagues that I lost with 2 outs and 2 strikes in the last inning. I said to myself, "Take one batter at a time."
In the bottom of the ninth I was facing the meat of their order. The first batter, I struck out. One down. The second batter grounded out. Two outs. Before Tim Wallach stepped in the box, I thought of what my pitching coach with the Atlanta Braves (Leo Mazzone) said to me numerous times through the Minor Leagues: "When are you going to finish one of these bleeping games off?" I thought, "Leo, this one is for you."
I then told myself I was going straight after Tim. I wasn't getting two strikes again unless he fouled pitches off.
"Fletch" put down the sign for a fastball. By then I had thrown probably over a 100 fastballs out of my 135 pitches. I agreed with his sign and said to myself "Stay aggressive" and threw the fastball on the outer half of the plate. He swung and hit probably the hardest ball all day, but it was a one-hopper right back to me. I gloved it. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited that I ran all but 20 feet over to first base and didn't toss it to Ricky Jordan until I realized he was screaming at me to toss it to him, which I did.
It was over!!! I Finally Finished One Off!! Where it counted the most in the BIG LEAGUES!!
Hall of Fame Artifacts
Tommy's cap and a game-used baseball.