The things one doesn’t do during a teammate’s no-hitter—like, say, talk about it—have been well discussed.
Saturday, Adrian Beltre exemplified what one one does do, as Daisuke Matsuzaka angled to hold the Phillies without a hit.
After Raul Ibanez led off the eighth inning with a walk, Carlos Ruiz smashed a line drive toward the hole on the left side. Beltre improbably snared it with a dive, then threw to first to double up Ibanez. (Watch it here.)
Although the play preserved the no-hitter for only one more batter—Juan Castro followed with a soft hit that fell just beyond the reach of shortstop Marco Scutaro—its intention was paramount.
“You get a little more aggressive because you’d rather have an E-5 than a hit in that situation,” Beltre told ESPNBoston.com. “You don’t get many chances to play behind a no-hitter, and you want to do whatever you can to prevent any little single.”
It’s small, but it’s noteworthy. Ballplayers altering their actions on the field solely out of respect for a teammate’s accomplishment—it’s the heart of the unwritten rules.