Ken Johnson threw a no-hitter and lost, 53 years ago today.
It was April 23, 1964, and the Houston Colt .45’s were playing the Cincinnati Reds at Colt Stadium. The game was deadlocked at 0.
The Reds clawed for a run on a ninth-inning bunt attempt by Pete Rose in which Johnson threw the ball into the outfield (it apparently wasn’t taboo to bunt to break up a no-no back then). After Rose advanced to third on a ground out, Vada Pinson stepped to the plate and hit a routine two-out grounder to second that was booted by Nellie Fox, allowing Rose to score.
The game remains the only nine-inning no-hitter lost by a single pitcher. The Orioles tandem of Steve Barber and Stu Miller duplicated the feat three years later.
I interviewed Johnson in 2014 and he seemed touched that someone still wanted to talk at length about that game.
“I can’t believe anyone still remembers,” Johnson said.
Ted Breitenstein and Jim Jay Hughes threw no-hitters on the same day, 119 years ago today.
Ted Breitenstein, who pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati’s League Park on Friday, April 22, 1898. That same day, Jim Jay Hughes, of the National League Baltimore Orioles, no-hit the Boston Beaneaters.
The feat wasn’t duplicated until 1991, when the Oakland Athletics’ Dave Stewart and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela threw same-day no-nos.
Today marks a full 365 calendar days since the last Major League Baseball no-hitter.
On April 21, 2016, the Chicago Cubs’ Jake Arrieta no-hit the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night, less than eight months after throwing one against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Arrieta walked four and struck out six as the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 16-0 at Great American Ballpark. Arrieta’s previous no-no was on August 30, 2015, when he no-hit the Dodgers for a 2-0 win at Dodger Stadium.
The Reds had last been no-hit on Wednesday, October 6, 2010, when the Philadelphia Phillies’ Roy Halladay no-hit Cincinnati during the opening game of the NLDS. To find the last regular season no-hitter against the Reds, you had to go back more than 44 years. On Wednesday, June 23, 1971, the Phillies’ Rick Wise no-hit the Reds for a 4-0 win at Riverfront Stadium.
John Goodgame threw a Negro Leagues no-hitter for the West Baden Sprudels, 106 years ago today.
On Friday, April 21, 1911, Goodgame no-hit the French Lick Plutos in West Baden, Indiana, for a 3-0 win. The website Agate Type: Reconstructing Negro League & Latin Baseball History dug up a short Indianapolis Freeman write-up about the game, showing that Goodgame, a new recruit out of Talladega College, struck out 11 and walked just one.
The Cleveland Naps’ (Indians’) Addie Joss threw the second of his two no-hitters 107 years ago today.
On Wednesday, April 20, 1910, Joss no-hit the Chicago White Sox for a 1-0 victory at South Side Park.
It was his second no-no against Chicago. On Friday, October 2, 1908, Joss threw a perfect game against the White Sox at home at League Park.
With the pair of gems, Joss became the first person to throw two no-hitters against the same team. The San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum duplicated the feat in 2013 and 2014, no-hitting the San Diego Padres in each.)
The Miami Marlins nearly threw the team’s first combined no-hitter on Tuesday night, blanking the Seattle Mariners 5-0 at Safeco Field but losing the no-no in the 9th.
Wei-Yin Chen threw seven no-hit innings, reaching his 100th pitch on the third out of the 7th. Marlins skipper Don Mattingly gave the ball to Brad Ziegler, who kept the no-no going through the 8th.
Kyle Barraclough came in to close the game, but gave up a one-out double to Mitch Haniger.
The Marlins have thrown five no-hitters. Here they are:
Florida Marlins (NL)
Saturday, May 11, 1996 Florida Marlins 11, Colorado Rockies 0 Joe Robbie Stadium (Miami)
Florida Marlins (NL)
Tuesday, June 10, 1997 Florida Marlins 9, San Francisco Giants 0 Candlestick Park (San Francisco)
Florida Marlins (NL)
Saturday, May 12, 2001 Florida Marlins 3, San Diego Padres 0 Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego)
Florida Marlins (NL)
Wednesday, September 6, 2006 Florida Marlins 2, Arizona Diamondbacks 0 Pro Player Stadium (Miami) (Sanchez breaks the longest no-hitter drought in Major League baseball history in terms of number of games played, with the games between Randy Johnson’s 2004 perfect game and Sanchez’s no-no reaching 6,364.)
Miami Marlins (NL team in IL game)
Sunday, September 29, 2013 Miami Marlins 1, Detroit Tigers 0 Marlins Park (Miami) (Alvarez gets his no-no on a walk-off wild pitch.)
The Montreal Expos tossed a no-hitter in the franchise’s ninth game, 48 years ago today.
On April 17, 1969, Bill Stoneman no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies for a 7-0 victory at Connie Mack Stadium, marking the earliest a franchise has ever knocked the accomplishment off its bucket list. Stoneman would get one more no-no in 1972 and Expos pitchers would throw two more before the move to D.C. Jordan Zimmermann threw the Nationals’ first no-no on Sept. 28, 2014. Max Scherzer added two Nationals no-hitters.
The San Diego Padres, an expansion partner of the Expos, are still awaiting the team’s first no-hitter.
Here’s when the other two 1969 expansion teams exited the no no-no club:
Kansas City Royals
In his 10th Major League start, Kansas City Royals starter Steve Busby no-hit the Detroit Tigers for a 3-0 victory on April 27, 1973 despite walking five batters. Busby would throw another no-hitter on June 19, 1974, becoming the first pitcher to ever throw two no-nos in his first two full seasons (he had thrown a couple late-season games in 1972). Other Royals pitchers would throw two more no-hitters to give the franchise a total of four.
The Pilots lasted just one season in Seattle, and the team couldn’t notch a no-hitter or even a one-hitter during those 162 games (they did get three two-hitters). After the squad moved to Milwaukee and was renamed the Brewers, the franchise would have to wait 17 years for its first no-hitter. Juan Nieves became the first Puerto Rico native to throw a no-no on April 15, 1987 as the Brewers topped the Baltimore Orioles 7-0. Robin Yount made a game-ending diving catch to preserve Nieves’ gem, which remains the Brewers’ only no-no.