No-hitter? No big deal.

Sorry. I’d love to walk around like every other front-running mark in Red Sox La-La Land, wearing my No. 61 replica jersey and pretending Clay Buchholz’s performance Saturday night is the most significant accomplishment in Boston sports history since the last time Bill Belichick smiled or wore a collared shirt.

But I can’t. Because it isn’t.

It was the perfect pep rally for the September stretch drive. It’ll make great theater when NESN rebroadcasts it for the 635th time during a 2014 rain delay.

On the scale of baseball accomplishments, however, the Buchholz bamboozlement of Baltimore ranks with every other no-hitter lately: Way above its merit in the highlight-starved, 24-hour news cycle.

No-hitters, even perfect games, just don’t mean squat unless some journeyman junk dealer goes all Don Larsen on a frosty, October night.

They happen all the time in April, when pitchers are a zip code ahead of the hitters, and September, when rosters expand to roughly 115 players and 21 of the 30 teams have zero incentive to show up at the yard conscious.

With the exception of the occasional curves and change-ups that shook the Orioles out of their athletic supporters for strike three, Buchholz’s big night was completely contingent upon his defense.

Baltimore scorched at least four line drives exactly where Coco Crisp was standing.

Dustin Pedroia made a play that should have sewn up both the American League Rookie of the Year and a Gold Glove to rip off Miguel Tejada in the seventh inning.

Even Buchholz himself waved around his leather like a drunken bullfighter to suck the life out of a certain single and end the eighth.

And while we’re handing out the real credit for the first Fenway Park no-hitter since Derek Lowe (um, I rest my case), give it up for Jason Varitek.

The captain now has backstopped three no-hitters in his incredible career. Up until hypodermic needles and flaxseed oil completely overhauled the game, that’s the kind of accomplishment that used to make catchers a lock for the Hall of Fame.

Let’s give an assist to Terry Francona, too. The latest in a lifetime-long line of Boston bullpen mismanagers and a pitch count watchdog when it comes to anybody not named Schilling, Tito left Buchholz in the fray as if it were a high school state championship game and he were the kid’s father. Nice job.

Look up the list of pitchers who have thrown no-hitters if you want a good laugh sometime. Dock Ellis, Larry Dierker and John Montefusco are on it. Bob Forsch and Steve Busby’s names are listed twice. Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine? Nowhere to be found.

Over the last three decades, a good, old-fashioned sacrifice bunt is a rarer feat than a no-hitter. It just isn’t sexy enough for TV.


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