The image flickers to life with the wobble of a poorly calibrated vertical hold, like a 1980s VHS tape. The first words on the screen are a drop-shadowed “Brewer Baseball ’87” in Helvetica font, and as Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves sits to watch his greatest moment in the big leagues for the first time since that raw Baltimore night 26 years ago, he’s struck by the passage of time.

“I haven’t seen this tape,” he says with a hint of curiosity. “I’ve never sat down and watched it.”

On April 15, 1987, Nieves was a promising second-year left-hander with spotty command. Five nights earlier, the Texas Rangers had teed off on him for eight hits and six runs, but the streaking Milwaukee Brewers won anyway.

When they took the field following a two-hour rain delay at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, they were trying to improve to 9-0. They’d do so in remarkable fashion, with Nieves throwing what remains the only no-hitter in team history, the final out memorably coming on Robin Yount’s diving catch in center field.

But as Nieves bused to the park that day, he wasn’t thinking history.

“I never thought about the lineup I was facing, or who the hitters were or how I’d pitch them,” he says. “It was always the same thing — God, I hope I throw strikes today.”

Nieves threw 75 of them that night on 128 pitches. And though it wasn’t always pretty — he walked five — it was historic. MLB Productions provided the Herald with a DVD of the game, and listening to Nieves discuss it in real time provided insight into how he’ll approach a job he has basically spent his life preparing to fill.