More than month had passed since a no-hitter was thrown (Edwin Jackson, June 25) before Matt Garza tossed the fifth such gem of the season last night against the Tigers. Six if you count Armando Gallaraga’s disputed perfect game. I was beginning to think that maybe hitters were back on the juice or something.
But last week, when the Red Sox Jon Lackey had a no-hitter until two out the eighth, I knew that another one was coming. It was only a matter of days. And of course, it involved the Rays, who have had a hand in three of the five no-hitters this season. For the first two, of course, they were on the receiving end, including Dallas Braden’s perfect game. And don’t forget last year when Mark Buehrle perfected them.
As I’ve been harping about all season long, I’m getting tired of these no-hitters, near no-hitters, disputed no-hitters. It’s ironic because a few months ago, I waxed poetically about my obsession with no-hitters (Off the Foul Pole, April 19). They were were so rare, no two were alike, etc. Well, that’s changed a bit, hasn’t it? I don’t want to drone on about why. I’ve had my say about the reasons behind the growing dominance of pitchers. If you need to know more, just ask any pharmacology major. Or that scary guy in the gym with the long black leather coat.
Nonetheless, there are still some interesting factoids you can draw from all these no-hit, no-run games, even if they’re a more common sight now than barfing, tasered, baby-hugging Phillies fans. For instance:
— All five no-hitters/perfect games this season have transpired on Friday thru Monday. Which explains why Galarraga was denied his perfect game: he pitched it on a Wednesday. Why is that? Are hitters just more spent over the weekend?
— How the heck have the Mets avoided being no hit? There are times this year when their bats have just checked out. Like the past three weeks. Tonight they face Adam Wainwright of the Cards, he of the 14-5 record and 1.95 ERA. We could see no-hitter number six tonight. No wait, it’s Tuesday, so that won’t happen. Plus, I’ll be at the game and I’ve never come close to witnessing a no-hitter.
— The Mets and Padres are now the only two teams not to pitch a no-hitter. I predict the Padres will have one before the season is over (Matt Latos is my guess). The Mets will not. Although they are ripe for being no hit. On a weekend of course.