Saturday, April 16, 2022

April 16, 1978: Forsch No-Hits The Phillies

     On April 16, 1978,  Cardinals hurler Bob Forsch recorded the seventh no-hitter in franchise history, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 in St. Louis. The masterful performance by Forsch included just two walks and three strikeouts. Bob's brother Ken accomplished the feat less than a year later as a member of the Astros, making the two the only brothers to toss no-hitters in the history of Major League Baseball.  In 1983, Bob pitched the second no-hitter of his career, making him the only pitcher to do it twice in a Cardinals uniform. 

    Phillies starter Randy Lerch held the Cardinals scoreless until the fourth, when Kenny Reitz knocked in Ted Simmons with a two out single to make it 1-0. The Cardinals extended their lead to 4-0 in the sixth when Roger Freed came through with a three run pinch hit double. Reliever Gene Garber gave up the fifth run of the day in the eighth on a bases loaded walk to Dane Iorg. Forsch had more than enough run support as he finished on the mound in historic fashion for the Redbirds.

    In the top of the eighth, there was some controversy when Reitz committed an error at third base. The Philadelphia Inquirer's headline  read "NO HITTER: Error disputed as the Phillies fall to Forsch".  The play in question came when Phillies centerfielder Gary Maddox hit one down the line just to the left of  Reitz. The ball went under his glove and Maddox was standing at first. While those on the Cardinals side of the ball saw it as a definite error, the visitors disagreed. It took longer than usual for the official scorer to make the decision, but when it was announced, Forsch's no-hitter was still intact. Reitz himself said that it was a play that he would make 99 out of 100 times. That just happened to be the one in a hundred and it was an error. 

    After the call was made, Forsch induced a double play and retired the next man he faced with a lineout to short to end the eighth. In the top of the ninth the final three batters of the game all grounded out. Forsch and his catcher, Ted Simmons, embraced on the mound, and Cardinals came flying in from all directions celebrating the historic outing. With the fans on their feet and an ovation coming down up him and his teammates Bob Forsch had etched his name into the history books.  

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