How could anyone leave a no-hitter early?!

Why, in the name of Nolan Ryan and all else that is holy, would anyone leave a no-hitter early?

This is not a rhetorical question. It's the question I posed to fans repeatedly Friday night as they rushed out of Safeco Field in the eighth inning while the Mariners were no-hitting the Dodgers.

This might not have seemed so unusual to me if the game was at Dodger Stadium, where fans leave to beat the traffic almost before the national anthem begins. But this was Seattle, and I counted about 100 fans leaving even though the Mariners were en route to just the third no-hitter in club history.

Why? Why leave a game with a no-hitter in progress?

"Because it's cold and I'm freezing and I'm old and go to bed early," a gray-haired fan named Carol said.

Yes, but your Mariners have a no-hitter going!

"And we're real proud of them," Carol said, continuing on her way to the parking garage.

• Click here to read Jim Caple's Off Base column in its entirety