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Mulholland recalls Vet no-hitter
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08/19/2003  6:51 PM ET 
Mulholland recalls Vet no-hitter
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Terry Mulholland won 62 games over six seasons with the Phils. But one win stands out. (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Through 23 appearances, including 16 starts, of the 1990 season, Terry Mulholland's pitching was pretty mediocre.

The left-hander, who had been traded from San Francisco to Philadelphia the previous season, took a 6-6 record with a 4.34 ERA into his Aug. 15 start against those Giants at Veterans Stadium.

Mulholland was coming off a loss at Montreal in which he gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings.

In fact, prior to the start, Mulholland didn't feel as though he was going to pitch effectively.

"It wasn't a great warmup," Mulholland said. "I didn't throw more than a handful of balls over the plate. I wasn't that enthusiastic about the way I was pitching."

There was no reason to believe this Wednesday evening outing would be anything spectacular.

But it was.

Mulholland got off to a great start, striking out leadoff hitter Rick Parker and first baseman Will Clark in the first inning.

The Phillies offense gave him a lead with a run in the bottom of the inning. After back-to-back walks to Darren Daulton and Von Hayes, John Kruk knocked in Daulton with a single to center field.

Mulholland cruised through the next four innings, retiring the Giants in order. He added strikeouts of Jose Uribe, Dave Anderson, Kevin Mitchell and Greg Litton.

Some extra runs were added in the bottom of the fifth. Daulton hit a two-run home run after a Lenny Dykstra RBI single earlier in the inning, giving the Phillies a 4-0 lead.

Mulholland said he knew he hadn't given up a hit, and from the fifth inning on, the intensity at the Vet picked up.

"The crowd became more aware as the game went on," Mulholland said. "They really started to get into it when I went on the field for the sixth inning."

The sixth was more of the same. After getting Terry Kennedy to ground out to shortstop Dickie Thon, Mulholland struck out opposing pitcher Don Robinson and Uribe to complete six perfect innings.

"The crowd started to get noisier," Mulholland said. "They were cheering me off the field after each inning." He helped his own cause in the bottom of the sixth, following an RBI single by third baseman Charlie Hayes with one of his own, pushing the margin over the Giants to 6-0.

Then, in the seventh, the only blemish of Mulholland's day occurred. Parker hit his 2-2 offering toward third base and Hayes' throw pulled Kruk just off first base. Parker was safe and an error was charged to Hayes.

However, Mulholland quickly erased Parker when he got Anderson to ground into a double play. Then fielded the grounder and flipped the ball to second baseman Tommy Herr, who relayed the ball to Kruk.

The double play eased Mulholland back into his rhythm.

"I hadn't pitched out of the stretch yet and it was the only at-bat I pitched out of stretch," Mulholland said of facing Anderson. "I was in a groove in the windup."

Mulholland covered first base on a Clark groundout to Kruk to finish off the seventh.

"I had great location with all my stuff that night," Mulholland said recently. "I had a great fastball and I was using the curveball quite a bit."

After getting three flyball outs in the eighth, Mulholland took the mound for the final inning.

He induced two groundouts, leaving pinch-hitter Gary Carter standing between him and history. Carter laced a line drive over the third base foul line.

"It was a hard shot down the line," Mulholland said. "I couldn't tell if it was going to be fair or foul and [Hayes] didn't have time to make that decision." But Hayes did make the decision to lunge for the ball -- and he got it.

Mulholland had done it. The 27-year-old had pitched the first no-hitter in Veterans Stadium history.

The game was played in a swift two hours and nine minutes as 32,156 fans witnessed the gem. Among them was Mulholland's brother, Steve, who had driven up from Maryland to see him pitch.

"It was great to be able to share something like that with my brother," Mulholland said.

He was more satisfied with shutting down a dangerous lineup than with exacting revenge on the team that dealt him away.

"They were a very good baseball team," Mulholland said of the Giants squad that had gone to the World Series the previous season. "They had some good hitters on that team."

Where does this game rank in his career highlights?

"It's up there," said Mulholland, who is now pitching for the Indians. "It's a very memorable part of my career.

"It was the turning point for me. After that game, I had a feeling like I belonged in the Major Leagues. I knew that I could compete at that level."

Mike Gennaria is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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