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This Day In Astros History: July 12, 1997

I'm not sure how much readership this trip through memory lane gets each day, but I know I have a fun time writing it. I try to pick games that are interesting when there isn't a big story in the past. Some times, I remember the game in some way. Most of the times, the games were from before I was born. But, every now and then, I'll get a random game that stuck in my memory for some reason, but I have no idea when it was.

That's what happened today, but in another random way. Since I didn't have a big statistical game that fit today's date, I had to wing it. I don't want to reveal too much about how the sausage is made, but I basically dive into Baseball Reference and pick a game at random. That's how I came upon this game, from 1997, when the Astros were no-hit by Pittsburgh in a 10 inning game at Three Rivers Stadium.

The funny thing is this is one of those games that stuck in my head randomly. I didn't have any clue when it happened, but I did remember the game where some grouping of Pittsburgh pitchers (I knew there was more than one pitcher here) no-hit the Astros. I also remembered it because I could picture the newspaper where I read all about the game...which just so happens to be the newspaper I now work for. We were visiting relatives, and I can picture the front page now, with a big picture above the fold with the no-hitter. I was really disappointed by the whole thing, since I was really excited about the possibility of the Astros winning the divison.

So, I randomly pick a game, and it just so happens to be the same game I had been thinking about all season when I'm writing this feature, but didn't know if I'd actually find. Crazy, huh?

But, back to the task at hand. Why should you care about this game? Because Francisco Cordero and Ricardo Rincon combined on a 10 inning no-hitter as the Pirates won when pinch hitter Mark Smith hit a three-run homer off John Hudek, scoring Jason Kendall and Turner Ward. 

Chris Holt started the game for Houston, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out one in 7 2/3 innings of work. Billy Wagner also did a great job, striking out all four batters he faced in 1 1/3 innings. Four different Astros reached base in this one, as Chucky Carr was hit by a pitch and Jeff Bagwell, Luis Gonzalez and Derek Bell all walked.

Here's the graphic replay of the game, thanks to Back to Baseball.