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06/14/09 11:48 PM ET
Choo unable to preserve no-hitter
Indians don't blame outfielder for not coming up with ball
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- When his no-hit bid ended with a Yadier Molina double off the wall in the eighth inning of Sunday night's 3-0 victory over the Cardinals, Cliff Lee glared in the direction of right field. Perhaps that was a silent show of frustration over Shin-Soo Choo's inability to haul in the catch that would have preserved the no-no. But if it was, Lee didn't let on postgame. Pressed for an opinion as to whether the ball was catchable, Lee wouldn't bite, and neither would manager Eric Wedge. "Not from my angle," Wedge said. "But it's tough [to judge] when you get over there in the corner." For his part, Choo said he was playing shallow because Molina has lined some hits in front of outfielders. "Maybe I was too shallow," Choo said. "But with Cliff Lee throwing a no-hitter, I didn't want it to fall in." As the ball sailed over his head, Choo had two choices: Try to chase it down at the wall, or let it bounce off the wall and be in a position to field it and prevent a triple. In any other game, Choo said he would have chosen the latter option. But with a no-hitter on the line, he said he wanted to try to make the play. Choo sprinted to the wall, but his gait seemed too slow just as the ball descended two or three steps in front of him and struck the wall about belt-high. The debate in the wake of the game was whether Choo could have made the catch if he had laid out for the ball, but it was not a debate the Indians themselves wanted to get involved in publicly. "I was hoping he would get it," was all Lee would say on the matter. Said Choo: "I tried to catch the ball all the way."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.