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Dream Come True Follows Restless Night

September 20, 1986|RICK JAFFE | Times Staff Writer

Joe Cowley wasn't expecting anything like what happened at Anaheim Stadium Friday night.

After all, going to bed at 5:30 a.m. is not conducive to coming up with a no-hitter like the one the 28-year-old Chicago right-hander threw at the Angels.

"I wouldn't recommend that routine for everybody," Cowley said. "I didn't fall asleep until about 6:15 and had a rough time of it the rest of the way until I got up about noon."

Cowley was up so late because of the White Sox's late flight from Seattle Thursday.

Cowley, who spent more than a month at Chicago's Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo this spring, is 11-9 after pitching the major leagues' first no-hitter since the perfect game by the Angels' Mike Witt against Texas on the final day of the 1984 season.

Cowley is 4-0 in his career against the Angels.

Friday night's no-hitter is the 15th in White Sox history and the club's first since July 28, 1976, when John Odom and Francisco Barrios teamed up for one against Oakland.

It is the 12th no-hitter in major league history in which the losing team scored.

Cowley allowed seven walks, three shy of the record for walks in a no-hitter.

Afterward, Cowley had a hard time believing he had actually pitched a no-hitter.

"It's something you just don't think about," he said. "I really can't describe how I feel, it's very difficult to explain.

"In the warmups I was pitching so lousy, too," he said. "I didn't start feeling OK until the game began. It seems like it all happened so quickly."

Cowley retired the side in the first two innings, then walked two in the third.

He didn't run into real trouble until the sixth, when he walked the first three Angel batters--Bob Boone, Gary Pettis and Wally Joyner. Brian Downing popped to second before Reggie Jackson's sacrifice fly scored Boone.

It was then that Cowley started thinking about a no-hitter, though no one on the bench even looked at or spoke to the baby-faced 28-year-old pitcher.

"No one said a word," he said. "But after that rough sixth, I was aware of it.

"Then I got 'em 1-2-3 in the seventh and 1-2-3 in the eighth. I felt pretty good going into the ninth."

That was evident when he made Joyner line out to shortstop Ozzie Guillen to close out the eighth.

Cowley left the field, punching the cool night air.

"I said to myself after the eighth, 'Hey, I've got a shot at this thing.' "

The shot didn't start off as planned, as he walked Downing to lead off the ninth. Jackson then flied to center before Doug DeCinces grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

"I threw the ball to DeCinces exactly where I wanted to, low and away," Cowley said. "He hit it right to Ozzie, and I knew I had it.

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