Happy 36th birthday to Hisashi Iwakuma, threw ’15 no-hitter

Happy 36th birthday to the Seattle Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma, who broke a streak of 12 straight National League no-hitters by throwing one against the Baltimore Orioles last year.

At Safeco Field on August 12, 2015, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander struck out seven and walked three while holding the Orioles hitless for a 3-0 victory. Kyle Seager made a spectacular catch for the first out in the ninth, snagging a foul ball behind his back. Iwakuma walked the lead-off batter in the eighth, but recovered with a strikeout looking and a 6-4-3 double play to make it to the ninth.

Iwakuma’s performance marked the first American League no-hitter since the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game at Safeco Field on August 15, 2012.

Hisashi Iwakuma

Eight Angels pitchers combined to no-hit Mariners

Eight Los Angeles Angels pitchers combined to no-hit the Seattle Mariners Friday for a 4-0 win Cactus League at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

It marked the second no-hitter of the 2017 spring training season, with the New York Yankees no-hitting the Detroit Tigers just a week ago.

The Angels’ Bud Norris began the game by throwing two perfect innings, and Jose Alvarez, Andrew Bailey, Drew Gagnon, Cam Bedrosian, Abel De Los Santos, Justin Anderson each followed with single no-hit innings.

All three ninth-inning outs were nail-biters. First baseman C.J. Cron made a diving play and tossed to a covering Anderson for the first out, and right fielder Shane Robinson followed with a diving catch on a short liner. Then, third baseman Sherman Johnson made a diving stop and threw to Cron to complete the no-no.

The effort marked the most pitchers used for a nine-inning spring training no-hitter. In 2015, nine Atlanta Braves combined to throw a 10-inning no-hitter against the Houston Astros. That game ended in a 2-2 tie.

McKeon and Geggus, once credited with no-hitters, born on this date

The Indianapolis Hoosiers baseball team
The Indianapolis Hoosiers baseball team
Larry McKeon and Charlie Geggus, the earliest no-hitter throwers to have their games tossed off the official list, were both born on this date.

McKeon, born on this date in 1866, threw a six-inning no-hitter for the American Association’s Indianapolis Hoosiers on Tuesday, May 6, 1884. The Hoosiers were locked in a scoreless tie in the sixth inning at League Park when the umpire called the game against the Cincinnati Red Stockings due to rain.

The Cincinnati Enquirer story about the game, headlined “A Tiresome Affair,” is a hoot.

“It was lacking in hard hitting, one of the most essential requisites to make a contest interesting,” the curmudgeonly writer penned.

He also complained that rain “only made a slow game slower,” the field was in sloppy condition, the ball was soggy and numerous foul balls “did not increase the interest a bit.”

Geggus, born on this date in 1862, threw eight innings of no-hit ball for the Union Association’s Washington Nationals on Thursday, August 21, 1884, but the game was called by consent as the Nationals had built a seemingly insurmountable 12-1 lead over the Wilmington Quicksteps. The Nationals might have chosen to play that final inning had they known what baseball would decide in September 1991.

The Committee for Statistical Accuracy, chaired by then MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent, changed the official definition of a no hitter, declaring it a game of nine innings or more that ends with no hits. The stringent definition eliminated 38 no-hitters from the books that were shortened by rain, darkness or other reasons, as well as losing efforts by the away team in which the home team doesn’t bat in the bottom of the ninth. It also wiped out 12 no-hitters by pitchers who threw nine innings of no-hit ball only to yield a hit in extra innings.

McKeon’s gem was once official no-hitter No. 10, and Geggus’ game held the No. 17 slot. Now they are relegated to our Close, but no cigar: No-hitters not officially recognized page.

Happy birthday to no-no thrower Mark Buehrle

27up27downWishing a happy 38th birthday to Mark Buehrle, who threw a no-hitter and a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox.

Buehrle no-hit the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007, for a 6-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field while facing the minimum 27 batters. Buehrle had picked off Sammy Sosa from first after the designated hitter drew a fifth inning walk.

Then on July 23, 2009, the 6-foot-2 southpaw threw a perfect game at home against the Tampa Bay Rays for a 5-0 win. That game actually marked the third time that Buehrle faced the minimum 27 batters for a complete-game victory, and he is the only major league pitcher to accomplish that feat.

Buehrle’s lesser-known 27-up, 27-down performance was on July 21, 2004, when he threw a two-hit, 14-0 complete game against the Cleveland Indians. Buehrle was perfect through 6⅓ until Omar Vizquel singled with one out in the seventh. Vizquel was retired when Matt Lawton grounded into an inning-ending double play. The next inning, pinch-hitter Tim Laker led off with a single, but Casey Blake doubled him up. Buehrle completed the effort, throwing just 90 pitches (67 for strikes).

Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index shows 33 games in which a starter threw a complete game, faced the minimum 27 batters yet gave up at least one hit. Sixteen were one-hitters, 10 were two-hitters and six were three-hitters. Only John Candelaria has accomplished this rare feat while yielding four hits.

Phillies nearly complete Spring Training no-hitter

The Philadelphia Phillies came just two outs from throwing a combined Spring Training no-hitter on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles.

Vince Velasquez (3⅔), Jake Thompson (2⅓), Colton Murray (1⅔) and Michael Mariot (⅔) combined for 8⅓ no-hit innings at Ed Smith Stadium before Chris Dickerson tagged Mariot for a single to right. Sean Coyle followed with a game tying homer, and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

See our list of known Spring Training no-hitters here.

Happy birthday ‘Bobo’ Holloman, thrower of no-no in first start

Bobo Holloman (National Baseball Hall of Fame)
Bobo Holloman (National Baseball Hall of Fame)
Today would be the 92nd birthday of Alva “Bobo” Holloman, who pitched a no-hitter for the St. Louis Browns in 1953.

Holloman no-hit the Philadelphia Athletics 6-0 at Busch Stadium on Wednesday, May 6 of that year. The game was the pinnacle of his brief major league career, which ended after two seasons with a 3–7 record and a 5.23 ERA.

Holloman died in 1987 at the age of 64.

Happy birthday to Mark Gardner, threw 9 no-hit innings in ’91

Montreal Expos logoHappy 55th birthday to San Francisco Giants pitching coach Mark Gardner, who threw nine no-hit innings in 1991 but lost the game in extra innings.

Pitching at Dodger Stadium on Friday, July 26, 1991, Gardner no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers through nine, but the Montreal Expos couldn’t score a run, leaving the game locked in a scoreless tie. Gardner lost his no-no when Lenny Harris led off the 10th by chopping a blooper over the mound that shortstop Spike Owen couldn’t get to in time.

Gardner allowed Eddie Murray to single before Manager Tom Runnells placed a call to the bullpen for Jeff Fassero.

Up came Darryl Strawberry, and he poked a singled to left to drive in Harris and give the Dodgers a 1-0 win. Gardner was charged with the loss, as he had responsibility for the base runner. Watch it all here:

Happy 60th birthday to Dave Stewart

Happy 60th birthday to Arizona Diamondbacks General Manager Dave Stewart, who threw a no-hitter for the Oakland Athletics in 1990.

On Friday, June 29, 1990, Stewart no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays for a 5-0 victory at the Skydome. Hours later and thousands of miles away, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals for a 6-0 win at Dodger Stadium.

The games marked only the second time that no-hitters were thrown on the same day. The other two were back in 1898:

Ted Breitenstein
  Cincinnati Reds (NL)
  Friday, April 22, 1898
Cincinnati Reds 11, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
League Park (Cincinnati)
Jim Jay Hughes
  Baltimore Orioles (NL)
  Friday, April 22, 1898
Baltimore Orioles 8, Boston Beaneaters 0
Union Park (Baltimore)

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