Blog Entry

No-hitters anything but boring

Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:01 pm

Matt Garza With my DVR all ready and fired up to watch Mad Men on Monday night, I had to tell the wife we couldn't watch it right then, instead I pickd up the iPad and watched the last two innings of Matt Garza's no-hitter with Don Draper paused in the background.

The no-hitter was the first in Tampa Bay Rays history and the fifth of this magical season of the pitcher. These things are special, unless you're Mike Freeman. My colleague here at CBS Sports is bored by no-hitters and he's just not going to take it anymore .

Apparently five is the threshold to mediocrity -- five of 1,487 games played so far this season have finished with a pitcher not allowing a hit to the opposing team. Yep, 0.3362 percent is just too darn much to feel goosebumps.

Those odds, roughly one in 300, is as common as the Cubs winning this year's World Series, according to one line. Anyone taking that bet?

Freeman write that it's "difficult to dispute that no-hitters are losing their uniqueness." Did he write this in 1991? That may have been the case after 14 no-hitters in two seasons, but then there was just one in 1992.

To say that the five so far this season are the start of a trend is to be short-sighted and ignore the cyclical nature of history. Following those 14 no-hitters in the first two seasons of the 90s, there were 14 no-hitters in the next seven seasons. Or that perhaps the five we've seen this season make up for only one no-hitter thrown between June 2003 and September 2006.

While he's ignoring history, Freeman writes, "mostly average pitchers (not all but mostly) are throwing so many this season."

The no-hitter has always been about the greatness of a pitcher on that one day, not the pitcher's overall greatness. It's a small sample size, nine innings in a career of thousands.

In baseball's history, there have been 268 recognized no-hitters, with just 50 of those thrown by Hall of Fame pitchers (18.7 percent). If you take out Nolan Ryan's seven no-hitters, it's only 16.5 percent. I'll even be kind and add Bert Blyleven, Randy Johnson (two no-hitters) and Roy Halladay as future Hall of Famers, that percentage goes up to just 19.8 percent. So in history, one out of five no-hitters is thrown by a future Hall of Famer.

This year, one no-hitter has been thrown by someone who has a good shot at Cooperstown (Halladay -- although it's too early to mention the C word either way with the 26-year old Ubaldo Jimenez.)

If you look at 1991, five of the seven no-hitters were thrown by just one pitcher. Of those, one was thrown by a future Hall of Famer, Ryan. The other four were by two pitchers with very good careers (Bret Saberhagen and Dennis Martinez), a rookie (Wilson Alverez) and a pitcher who would win 37 career games (Tommy Greene). How different is that from this year's class of Halladay, Jimenez, Garza, Dallas Braden and Edwin Jackson?

History shows pitchers such as Hod Eller, Tom Phoebus, Bob Moose, Ed Halicki, John Montesfusco, Juan Nieves and Bud Smith are as likely to toss a no-no as Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Warren Spahn or Bob Gibson.

Those guys have no-hitters, heck, Steve Busby has two, as do Don Wilson, Bill Stoneman and Virgil Trucks, but Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Steve Carlton, Lefty Grove, Whitey Ford, Dizzy Dean, Mordecai Brown and Grover Cleveland Alexander didn't throw one.

The no-hitter is still unpredictable and takes a special mix of luck and skill. It is -- and always will be -- special, whether someone bothers to re-tweet the accomplishment or not. It's even enough to put off watching Joan Holloway -- and that's saying something.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:45 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 1:47 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

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Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: July 30, 2010 8:22 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

No hitters are awesome at any level!!!  I think it is awesome with the technology today to be able to cut to a no hitter in progress as ESPN will do.  I watched the last few innings of the Garza no no which was already on national tv to begin with.  For anyone to be able to control the adrenaline that late in the game is simply awesome.  Being a former pitcher I may be biased, but it still remains quite a special moment for me when one occurs.  I remember distinctly the night that Fernando and Dave Stewart tossed no no's in the same evening and how a bunch of drunk 20 year olds stopped partying and hunkered down in front of the tv to watch the last few outs, then erupting into cheer.  Anyone who claims that they are boring simply has no clue and probably never played a day in his life!!

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2010 5:19 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

And let's not forget the immortal Bobo Holloman who had a total of three (3) career wins for the St. Louis Browns, one of which was a no hitter.  Let's give it up for Bobo!

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 1:00 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

Agreed, no-hitters are entertaining, especially when a guy comes close a few times. As a Jays fan I was 6 years old when Dave Stieb finally got the no-no after twice before having it broken up on the last out of the game.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:15 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

Well, in general, Freeman is just there to rile up opinions; man can't write to save his life, and probably hasn't had a real thought since he gave up breast-feeding (which may be not all that long ago).  Home runs are boring; guy hits ball over fence and walks around bases, trying somehow to be cool.  The stolen base? Cool.  The triple? Possibly the most exciting single play in the game, save for the suicide squeeze (last seen, unfortunately, when the White Rat was still managing).  A no-hitter?  As noted, keeps you on the edge of your seat, pitch after pitch, inning after inning (okay, innings six through nine).  How can that be boring, save to the person who knows zip about baseball (or football, or basketball ... and yes, I mean Freeman)?

Since: Jan 9, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2010 10:44 am

No-hitters anything but boring

Thank you. Freeman's article may possibly be the most ignorant piece of sports writing I have ever read. Steroids or no steroids, no-hitting a team of MLB players is incredible.

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2010 11:28 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

hey bud found a sports drudge report. its at . cya later

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 8:23 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

No hitters are like close playoff games. They keep you on the edge as you root for the guy on the mound. Home runs are nice and all, but really they are not that exciting since almost anyone can hit one.

Since: Aug 27, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:06 pm

No-hitters anything but boring

You will be seeing more no-hitters in the future because hitters will be steroid free!! 

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