Maybe it’s best for all of us that Joey Votto’s bat found Austin Gomber’s fastball and ended the rookie’s no-hit bid in the seventh inning, because one more hitless frame would have created some seriously spooky deja vu.
Had Gomber lasted another inning, that would have made him the second Cardinals rookie in as many days to throw seven no-hit innings against the Cincinnati Reds in his first MLB start. Daniel Poncedeleon made his own mark on Monday, no-hitting the Reds through seven innings before getting pulled due to a high pitch count.
Gomber cruised through six innings before allowing a single to Votto and a homer to Eugenio Suarez in the following at-bat. Those two hits ended Gombers night at 6.1 innings with two earned runs and six strikeouts. The 24-year-old also chipped in his first career hit.
Unfortunately, Gomber’s night also comes with a significant what-if. While Gomber warmed up in the seventh inning, the fire alarm at the Great American Ball Park somehow went off. What followed was more than seven minutes of loud noises and no baseball being played.
Someone pulled the fire alarm to try to break up the no-hitter pic.twitter.com/nBqnV0pUxr
— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) July 25, 2018
The fire alarm delay was 7 minutes, 30 seconds.
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) July 25, 2018
The fire alarm didn’t give Votto an epiphany on how to finally hit Gomber, nor did it cause Gomber to mentally fall apart. However, it might have disrupted Gomber’s routine, and that could be enough for fans to argue Gomber was cheated by fate or an enterprising Reds fan.
In a sport where superstition reigns and the mere mention of an ongoing no-hitter can be met with a chorus of angry shushing, a disruption like a fire alarm might be all it takes. Then again, maybe Gomber should be thankful for the siren, considering what happened to Poncedeleon a day later.
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