Philadelphia is the best sports city in the world. I saw it first-hand last night as Michael Lorenzen threw a no-hitter in his first home game with the Phillies. Beers were flowing, the crowd was rocking, and all three Nationals fans in the stadium were harassed.
It was an all-around great night at Citizens Bank Park. A career minor leaguer named Weston Wilson hit a home run in his first career MLB at bat. It was Weston Wilson night at the Bank, until Michael Lorenzen made it through the fifth inning without giving up a hit. The crowd then shifted all of its energy to the history that was happening.
Watching a no-hitter in person is a pretty special thing. It felt just as essential to my life as removing my first bra. The only difference is that you have no control when watching a pitcher throw a no hitter. The further you get into the game, the more nervous you get. Lorenzen gets through the seventh. Is it hooks or clips? He gets through the eighth. How the hell do you work these things? He gets through the ninth. Pure glory.
The energy at a stadium during a no-hitter is entirely different than any other game. After the seventh inning, I had finished my last beer. Seeing Lorenzen at 100 pitches with six outs to go, and being the superstitious person I am, I attempted to grab another tall boy. The problem, is the Phillies stop selling beer after the seventh inning stretch. I was about to betray Michael Lorenzen on his journey to the history books.
When I approached an empty line and said, “Can I please have a Yuengling. It’s for superstitious reasons,” the guy behind the counter looked at his coworker for approval. She responded immediately, “Yeah. Absolutely.” I tipped a stadium worker for an overpriced beer for the first time in my life, and made my way back to the seats where I rooted for the Phillies to go down in three pitches.
Watching 30,000 people focus on one person is a pretty spectacular thing. A normal sporting event has a quarter of its audience getting food, and another quarter looking at Instagram. When a no hitter is happening, it feels like your liberal cousin and your classically stubborn grandfather are agreeing on politics. It’s pretty magical.
How can you not be a little romantic about baseball. Especially when baseball is six-foot-three, benches 300 pounds, and throws no-hitters.