On Sunday, Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams suffered a similar fate. He was pulled from a no-hit bid after six innings as well, though his pitch count sat at only 85. Righty reliever Michael Feliz took over and allowed a double down the line to the second man he faced, Detroit Tigers right fielder Nicholas Castellanos.
Here is Williams' pitching line for the afternoon:
As the five walks and one strikeout indicate, Williams' control was not at its best Sunday. Ten groundball outs, including two double plays, helped mitigate the damage. Williams also benefited from a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play.
This early in the season, it is not at all uncommon for teams to take it easy on their starters, and pull them earlier than you'd expect. If it were, say, May or June, chances are Williams would've gone back out for the seventh inning. But since it's his first start of the season, the Pirates decided to play it safe.
In fact, coming into Sunday, 76 different pitchers had started a game this season. Only 44 of them had thrown more than 85 pitches in an outing. That's the way baseball is trending. Less work for the starters, more work for the bullpens. And sometimes that means leaving a no-hit bid after six innings, even before reaching 90 pitches.