Early in this 2021 season, Major League Baseball has found itself facing a major dilemma: No-hitters are being thrown at a record pace. The problem is that this phenomenon brings with it the danger of cheapening the accomplishment.
The increasing strikeout rate in MLB competition and the subsequent rise in no-hitters have been historic, as the league is just one no-hitter shy of tying the seasonal record less than two months into 2021. Miami Marlins manager and New York Yankees legend Don Mattingly made notable comments regarding the trend Thursday, telling reporters that it is all indicative of larger problems in baseball.
"it's great for your team when a guy throws a no no, it's great for that guy, it's a great accomplishment, Mattingly said, per a report by CBS Miami. "But, when there's so many, so early, strikeouts are at an all-time high, things like that. It tells you that there are some issues in the game that need to be addressed."
Mattingly traced the trend back to 15 years ago, when analytics regarding three-run homers spurred changes in swinging and overall baseball philosophy. The trend has now built to the point where there have been six no-hitters already this season, just one shy of the all-time record of seven, which has happened four times (1990, 1991, 2012, 2015).
"Now we're at a point where it's getting so much attention because it's just a game that sometimes is unwatchable," Mattingly said. "Guys you talk to, they don't even like watching games because there's nothing that goes on in them."
The most recent no-hitter in baseball came via Mattingly's longtime team, as Yankees pitcher Corey Kluber threw a no-hitter in a 2-0 victory over the Texas Rangers just one day after Spencer Turnbull of the Detroit Tigers threw a no-hitter in a win over the Seattle Mariners.
Kluber's no-hitter capped a period of four no-hitters in 15 days.