It used to be that the Red Sox, coming off the heels of a three game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees, could seek respite in the arms of the Tampa Bay Rays after such a weekend. It was a guarantee that the Red Sox would score mightily and the pitching staff would look like a team of All Stars.
This is no longer the case. The Rays may not be the upstart team they were recently, but they're also not the doormat of a team from yesteryear. Hideo Nomo is not walking through that door.
This is probably partly the Baseball Gods being angry with my lackluster weekend posting performance for the Yankees series.
When Hideo Nomo came to the Boston Red Sox, he was already well beyond his Rookie of The Year honors in 1995. However, when his first start in a Red Sox uniform was a no hitter followed by another shutout 6 weeks later, it was as if the Red Sox had struck gold. It turns out they were partly right, as Nomo rejoined the Dodgers in 2002 and went on to have consecutive seasons of winning 16 games.
By 2005, Nomo was back in the AL East, this time with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This time, he was not the man he was with the Red Sox or during either tenure with the LA Dodgers. He was a shell of his former self. Two of his first four starts in 2005 were against the Red Sox, and he was torched for 12 runs on 12 hits in just 8 innings. Nomo also allowed 8 walks.
The Red Sox need the ghost of Hideo Nomo's Tampa Bay Past to ride into Fenway Park and provide some much needed confidence building for Red Sox hitters. If the Ghost of Hideo Nomo's No Hitting Boston Past wants to help out the current Red Sox pitching staff, I don't think anyone will object.