DETROIT -- In case the relative frequency of no-hitters the past few years -- 13 since 2009 -- has distorted one's appreciation for how unique the performance is, here's Clint Hurdle to offer a reminder. The 54-year-old baseball lifer has spent 28 years in Major League dugouts as player, coach, manager. He has never witnessed a no-hitter. In fact, he hadn't witnessed even a legitimate close call -- eighth inning on -- until Friday night, when Justin Verlander was within two outs before Josh Harrison singled up the middle. So while he has no personal experience with how teams recover from near-infamy, Hurdle in the past has consulted peers and said, "From what I've been able to gather, I haven't heard of any collateral effect."
Starting with both of 2011's Cy Young Award winners, the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw having preceded Verlander, the Pirates have faced a forest of pitching redwoods. In truth, that may still be a big part of their depressed offense. But they have also recovered well enough from those humbling games to remain within a mild streak of the .500 mark. "We're real good at showering well," Hurdle said. "We washed it off, and we're here today." Implied within the concept of "bounce-back" is the notion that what Verlander had done to the Pirates constituted embarrassment. "There's no shame in what happened to us last night," said Hurdle, taking another bow toward Verlander's supremacy. "Greatness is created by being good for a long time, and he has been. He has skills you don't see, maybe a couple times in a generation."