When I walked the leadoff guy [in the ninth], I had to step back and tell myself I don't have to be too fine. Let them hit the ball, let them put it in play. Let the guys behind me make the plays. ...Warming up before the game, Lester was a bit worried about the start:
The last at-bat? To be honest, I don't even remember. I do know that early in the at-bat he fouled off a good curveball and a good cutter. We'd be doing that all night, throwing the four-seam cutter in, then try to go with the four-seam fastball away.
Usually when you're in the bullpen you can figure out what you're going to have. You have a good curveball, a good changeup or whatever. Today I didn't have any. I didn't know what was going to happen.John Farrell, who came within three outs of no-hitting the Royals on May 4, 1989, agreed: "It was probably the most erratic he was of any bullpen throughout this season."
Jason Varitek is the first catcher to be behind the plate for four no-hitters:
Hideo Nomo (April 4, 2001, at Orioles)Ray Schalk's Hall of Fame plaque says he caught four no-hit games, but MLB changed its definition of a no-hitter in 1991 and Schalk's total dropped to three.
Derek Lowe (April 27, 2002 vs Devil Rays)
Clay Buchholz (September 1, 2007 vs Orioles)
Jon Lester (May 19, 2008 vs Royals)
Varitek had no idea the Royals were hitless until the eighth inning:
I looked up after the seventh and saw that he was around 100 pitches  and I was like, "He did his job". And then I glanced in the bullpen and saw nobody warming up and I said, "That's kind of weird". I looked back [at the scoreboard] and said, "Uh-oh!"The Globe has pictures and post-game video. Red Sox Monster has video of the final out.
I often think about a possible no-hitter after a pitcher gets through the first two innings. Yet for some reason last night -- too much attention to game thread comments? -- but I didn't even notice that Kansas City had no hits until the end of the fifth inning.