Echoes. Another non-hitter? Ho-Hum. Posted on 6/11/2021

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Another non-hitter? Ho-Hum


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The official definition of a no-hitter is “a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a play of nine or more innings without allowing a hit.”

Tail
Flavin

Do you think Eliot from Jordan’s Furniture is getting a little nervous these days? Specifically, has anyone checked their insurer’s blood pressure lately?

Baseball has seen an unprecedented wave of non-hitting matches in the first two months of this season – six, so far, and the modern record (since 1900) for a full season is only seven. It’s a safe bet that it will be broken – no, erased this year. It wouldn’t matter much, except that Eliot, Jordan’s CEO, was all over TV and radio in April and May, promising to give a full discount on anything Jordan bought between. April 14 and May 23 if the Red Sox refused. batter between August 3 and October 3, at the end of the regular season. It’s always a good bet that it won’t happen – only once in the past 56 years have they pitched a hit in the specified period of August to October (Clay Buchholz September 1, 2007). There haven’t been a draw for the Red Sox in 13 years (Jon Lester, 2008). Still, there is a chance it could happen.

Here’s the no-no’s list this season so far: Padres’ Joe Musgrove, vs. Texas Rangers, April 9; Carlos Rodon of the White Sox vs. Cleveland on April 14; John Means of the Orioles v Seattle, May 5; Wade Miley of the Reds vs. Cleveland on May 7; Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull vs. Seattle on May 18; and Corey Kluber of the Yankees versus Texas on May 19.

Of the six no-no’s that came before June even started to erupt, two each were fired against Cleveland, Seattle and Texas, all American League teams. No team has ever been victimized three times in a single season, so stay tuned. We don’t even count a seventh game without a hitting, which was started this season by Madison Bumgarner of the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Atlanta Braves on April 25. It was the second game in a doubles program, and they are, by rule since 2020, just seven long innings. The official definition of a no-hitter is “a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a play of nine or more innings without allowing a hit.” So Bumgarner, although credited with a full shutout of the match, is not credited with a no-hitting game.

What is the reason for the sudden influx of no-no? This has to be linked to the corresponding increase in strikeouts that have plagued the game in recent years. The pitchers are throwing harder than they ever have, and the hitters have swung their heels more than ever, even for two hits. Ted Williams, with two strikes against him, choked lightly on his bat and reduced his stroke a bit. Not modern pasta, however. There is no more shame to be crossed out. It’s all or nothing with hitters today, and more often than not, it turns out to be nothing. When a guy hits, he doesn’t even put the ball in play, which negates even the slightest chance of hitting. Even a weak ground ball could find a hole in the infield or be beaten for a hit.

Batting averages are at an all-time high of 0.237 this year. Previously, calling someone a “.240 hitter” was to denigrate them; now that means he’s hitting above the league average. It has been estimated that changes in the field are responsible for reducing a player’s batting average by around 12 points, so there is a growing sense of forbidding them. But if a second baseman moves to the left of second because that’s where a guy is likely to hit the ball, shouldn’t it be the batter’s responsibility to aim where the defender just left? rather than making it illegal for the guy to change his position? Also, the shift ban does not solve the larger problem of too many strikeouts. If a team hits an average of nine times per game, that’s a third of the total strikeouts they make in an entire game. It’s no wonder there has been such a spike in non-batting.

On the other side of the equation, it’s one thing for a pitcher to pitch a hit, and quite another to get the credit for it. The most famous is the case of Armando Galarraga, a fellow Detroit Tigers pitcher. On June 2, 2010, he pitched a perfect game against the Cleveland Indians. Or did he do it? With two strikeouts in the ninth, he prompted the Indians’ Jason Donald to hit soft ground over first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who tucked his right in to line him up and passed Galarraga by covering the first to finish the leader. ‘artwork. It was a done deal, except the referee Jim Joyce called the runner to safety. Donald was clearly out – even he knew it; But in the days before replay challenges were allowed, the referee’s call was the last word – whether he missed it or not. In this case, Joyce missed everything. When he saw the rerun he was so dismayed that he immediately apologized to Galarraga. But what’s been done has been done, and Galarraga is credited in the record books with no perfect play and no hitter.

At the age of 23 with the Montreal Expos, Pedro Martinez pitched a perfect game in nine innings against the San Diego Padres, but allowed a brace in the 10th and got no credit for a perfect game or a match without a hit.

In perhaps the greatest pitching performance of all time, in 1959, Harvey Haddix pitched a perfect game for 12 innings against the Braves, but lost it all in the 13th when a bad pitch cost him the perfect game, and a home run cost him the hit. and the ball game. By the way, even the home run that night, hit by Joe Adcock, only counted as a double because one of the baserunners – Henry Aaron, of all people – didn’t miss it. .

Either way, you don’t have to worry too much about Eliot or Jordan’s Furniture, they’ve taken out an insurance policy to protect them should the Sox throw a hit in the final two months of the season. As for the insurer, well, that’s another matter.

– Dick Flavin is a New York Times bestselling author; the “Poet Laureate” of the Boston Red Sox and the recently created Sports columnist by The Pilot.

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