Campusano No Hit On Drabek's Chart

Posted: August 04, 1990

Pirates righthander Doug Drabek had thrown Sil Campusano six consecutive breaking pitches. Campusano hadn't exactly been right on any of them.

So, with a 3-2 count in the bottom of the ninth last night and the Pirates leading, 11-0, and the crowd of 36,057 standing and hollering and whistling and hooting, Drabek naturally determined he would try to sneak a fastball past Campusano.

And it cost him the only nine-inning no-hitter in the history of Veterans Stadium.

The pitch was up, but Campusano hacked it into right-centerfield for a line drive single, the only hit Drabek (14-4) would allow. The next hitter, Darren Daulton, flied out to end the game and Drabek had to settle for a one-hit shutout.

"It was a fastball, but I got it up a little," Drabek said. "I was trying to go inside, but I guess it wasn't inside enough. Give him credit, it was a solid hit.

"I had to challenge him."

Well, maybe.

On one of the strangest nights in recent memory, the Phillies traded for potential future Hall of Famer Dale Murphy and averted being no-hit by the narrowest of margins.

This was an evening that went from the sublime to the ridiculous in a hurry. Before the game, the fans were treated to a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The available heroes from the 1980 world championship team, the only one in the 107-year history of the franchise, were paraded around the field. Film clips from that magical, mystical season were shown on PhanaVision; the loudest cheers came for Pete Rose sliding headfirst into third, Pete Rose bowling over Astros catcher Bruce Bochy in the National League Championship Series and Pete Rose catching the pop foul that somehow squirted out of catcher Bob Boone's glove in front of the Phillies dugout during the World Series.

Sweet and sour.

Making the proceedings even more surreal was the fact that, by the eighth inning, the Vet crowd was rooting openly for Drabek.

"I didn't tell myself anything," Drabek said of his no-hit thoughts. ''When I started to think about it, I just shook my head and said, 'Don't think about it.' I'm glad to get the win, that's the main thing. I can't complain about 11 runs."

Item: With one out in the eighth, Phillies leftfielder John Kruk rapped a grounder that appeared certain to roll into right for the first hit of the game. The fans groaned. Acrobatic Pirates second baseman Jose Lind glided over, gloved the ball, threw Kruk out at first. The fans cheered madly.

"It was weird," said shortstop Dickie Thon. "I've never seen that before. I can't blame them because they came here and it was a blowout game and they wanted to see something exciting. Still, you kind of feel bad as a hometown player."

Von Hayes, who has the most tenure of any current Phillie, was bemused.

"I had an inkling to come into the clubhouse and put my road uniform on," he said. "I've never seen anything like it. I've never been cheered against in my own town that way, at least not by everybody. There are usually five or six who are doing it, but not the whole stadium coming down on you."

Campusano was at the plate at the crucial moment because Lenny Dykstra, baseball's best hitter this season, had been taken out for a rest after batting in the sixth. And because Randy Ready, who broke up a Drabek no-hitter in the ninth inning in 1988, remained on the bench.

"I was looking for a fastball, and it came up and in," Campusano said.

Wasn't he surprised he didn't get another breaking ball?

"No, because Darren Daulton was the next hitter and I didn't think he'd want to walk me."

Was he a little nervous?

"Why? It was like normal," said Campusano, who has batted 49 times in 102 games this year.

Oh.

Lost in the shuffle was the fact that the Phillies pitching, starting with starter Bruce Ruffin, was awful.

Ruffin walked leadoff hitter Gary Redus. With one out he walked Andy Van Slyke. Jeff King tripled. Barry Bonds reached on a fielder's choice as King was thrown out at the plate. Don Slaught and Sid Bream singled. The Pirates led, 3-0, before the Phillies batted for the first time.

Ruffin got one out in the second, and was charged with two more runs, before Don Carman finally got out of the inning.

"He (Ruffin) didn't pitch very good, that's for sure," said Leyva.

Said Ruffin: "In batting practice, I felt like I wasn't throwing very well. Everything was up. I was kind of fighting myself."

That didn't change once the game started. Ruffin was gone quickly and indicated later he could start in Monday's doubleheader against the Pirates if needed. "That was nothing more than a bullpen workout . . . and a bad one," he said.

And that's the way it was. On one night the Phillies reminded everyone how good it once was, demonstrated how sorry it can be . . . and tickled everybody's imagination by making a trade for a legitimate threat in the middle of their lineup.

Just another night at the ballpark . . .

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