It was only in the fifth, when the game became official, that a certain announcer – who shall not be named – began to talk.
It wasn’t Dennis Upperdeckersley, who has ended too many quality Cardinal pitching performances games in a poor, and abrupt, fashion.
When he pitched in St. Louis, these starts were few.
But he knew, at least, enough to sit quietly and wait his turn to speak when someone else’s story unfolded.
It’s developing, an announcer said in the fifth, as the Redbird batters sullenly returned to their dugout to pick up their hats and gloves.
Chicago’s Jon Lester looked as unhittable as John Lackey.
But Lackey really was unhittable.
Partly, of course, thanks to daring pitches that passed the plate at the hitter’s navel.
The strike zone, it’s called.
People had begun to notice, of course. Some look for it every day.
Surely some people had sent shortsighted texts and tweets. Perhaps one told his cousin on the East Coast that he better pay attention, this time, to Game 1.
But no one spoke.
Had the baseball gods joined social media?
Do they know the temptation humans face to break a story?
No doubt countless Cub fans had already began to chatter, encouraging their befuddled hitters and cursing the Cardinal right-hander with four-letter words.
For this was the only way to revise the story of a 36-year-old sometime ace throwing a no-hitter during a playoff game.
Roy Halladay of Philadelphia tossed one in 2010 against the Reds.
Don Larsen was perfect in 1956.
John Lackey looked just as fierce.
Then the announcer spoke, god-like, in the 6th:
“He hasn’t allowed any hits.”
Seconds later, Chicago’s Addison Russell cracked a single to centerfield.
And the story changed.by