Eckersley no-hits Angels at Cleveland Stadium
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“It’s not a matter of how good a pitcher you are,” Eckersley told the Associated Press following the game. “It’s a matter of how lucky you are. There are a lot of good pitchers who never get a no-hitter.”
But clearly, the 22-year-old Eckersley was on his game in 1977. He finished his previous start on May 25 with 7.2 innings of no-hit ball against the Mariners, working all 12 innings of Cleveland’s 2-1 win. Then in his first start after the no-hitter – against the Mariners again and working on just three days rest – Eckersley pitched 4.2 no-hit innings before allowing a home run to Ruppert Jones.
In all, Eckersley posted 21.1 straight no-hit innings.
“Early in the game, he blew them away with his fastball,” Indians catcher Ray Fosse told the Associated Press. “Then he had a good breaking ball late in the game. The only thing I had to do was remind him to tuck his shoulder in.”
The sidewinding Eckersley finished the 1977 season with a record of 14-13 and a 3.53 ERA, earning his first All-Star Game selection. But on March 30, 1978 – just days before the opening of the regular season – the Indians traded Eckersley to the Red Sox with Fred Kendall in exchange for Ted Cox, Bo Diaz, Mike Paxton and Rick Wise.