For the most part, April 27 is just another day on the baseball calendar. There is no trade deadline, no amateur draft, nothing like that. It is, however, No-Hitter Day. A record six no-hitters have been thrown on this date throughout baseball history. Here's the list:
- 2003: Kevin Millwood of the Phillies no-hits the Giants. (box score)
- 2002: Derek Lowe of the Red Sox no-hits the then-Devil Rays. (box score)
- 1994: Scott Erickson of the Twins no-hits the Brewers. (box score)
- 1973: Steve Busby of the Royals no-hits the Tigers. (box score)
- 1968: Tom Phoebus of the Orioles no-hits the Red Sox. (box score)
- 1944: Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves no-hits the Brooklyn Dodgers. (box score)
I have to point out that there have also been six no-hitters thrown May 16 and September 20 as well. I guess April 27 stands out the most because it is so early in the season.
So, which pitchers will be on the mound with the best chance at making history today? Here are five candidates:
- Felix Hernandez, Mariners: Felix threw a perfect game last year and is arguably the best pitcher in the world. On Saturday, he will oppose the Angels, though they have hit him relatively hard over the years: 6-12 with a 4.06 ERA in 30 career starts.
- CC Sabathia, Yankees: Although his velocity is down, Sabathia still has a 122 ERA+ this season. He will be facing a Blue Jays team with a .567 OPS against lefties in the early going.
- Matt Moore, Rays: The young Mr. Moore has allowed just three runs and 10 hits in his 29 innings this year, so it's no wonder he leads the league in ERA (1.04). The White Sox can hit, but Moore has been so good it might not matter.
- A.J. Burnett, Pirates: Burnett has thrown a no-hitter, albeit a no-hitter with nine walks back during his Marlins days. He'll be opposed by a good-hitting Cardinals team. He and Felix are the day's only scheduled starters with a no-hitter to their credit.
- Kris Medlin, Braves: This one is a longshot because he's facing the Tigers, but Medlen was as good as any pitcher in baseball down the stretch last year. If he throws a no-no, he will have earned it against that lineup.