Bailey falls just short of joining exclusive club

baileyThe Cincinnati Reds’ Homer Bailey nearly joined an exclusive club Sunday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants before giving up a two-out single to right by Buster Posey.

Bailey no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 28, 2012, with a 1-0 no-hitter, then repeated against the Giants on July 3, 2013, during a 3-0 win.

If Bailey could have accomplished the feat he would have been only the sixth player to complete the no-hitter hat-trick, joining Nolan Ryan (7), Sandy Koufax (4), Larry Corcoran (3), Cy Young (3), Bob Feller (3).

In fact, Young threw his third no-hitter 106 years ago tomorrow during the Boston Red Sox’ 8-0 win over the New York Highlanders.

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Same day no-nos, 24 years ago today

stewartvalenzuela24 years ago today, on June 29, 1990, the Oakland A’s Dave Stewart and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela threw no-hitters on the same day.

Stewart threw his at the Toronto Skydome against the Blue Jays, striking out 12 for a 5-0 win. He told Sports Illustrated that it was the first no-hitter of his life.

“I didn’t even have one in Little League,” he told SI after the game. “I’ve never felt better than when I walked off that field tonight. As a pitcher, a no-hitter is it. What else can there be?”

Meanwhile, Valenzuela was getting ready for his start against the St. Louis Cardinals in L.A. when his teammates were watching Stewart’s gem in progress on ESPN in the Dodgers clubhouse.

“You’re watching a no-hitter on TV, and now you’re going to see one in person,” he told them.

124 pitches later, Valenzuela kept his word, no-hitting the Cardinals for a 6-0 victory.

The double no-hitter occurred only one other time, and it was back in 1898.

On April 22 of that year, the Cincinnati Reds’ Ted Breitenstein no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates for an 11-0 victory. It was Breitenstein’s second no-no. The same day, Jim Hughes of the NL Baltimore Orioles no-hit the Boston Beaneaters for a 8-0 win.

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Keeping up with the no-nos

iphone_notifcation_half_sizeIf you love no-hitters and have an iPhone or iPad, a must-have app is No-Hitter Alerts created by Ben Packard.

This great 99-cent app will inform you of any no-no in progress in whatever inning you want choose. (To me, it’s worth tuning into MLB TV for teams you don’t care about when a game reaches the 7th inning without a hit.) The app will also let you set a different inning for teams you care about, so if I happen to be missing a Mets or Padres game on a particular night I’ll get a heads up in the fifth.)

The app’s website is http://nohitteralerts.com/ if you want to learn more. There’s no Android version as of yet.

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Lincecum throws 2nd no-hitter against Padres

Tim Lincecum 2014 Topps baseball cardThe San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum no-hit the San Diego Padres on Wednesday for the second time in less than a year.

“The Freak” allowed just one baserunner, walking Chase Headley in the second. He retired the next 23 batters to complete the task at AT&T Park with a 4-0 victory.

The only other major league pitcher to throw no-hitters against the same team is the Cleveland Naps’ Addie Joss, who tossed no-nos against the Chicago White Sox on Oct. 2, 1908 and April 20, 1910.

On July 13, 2013, Lincecum struck out 13 Padres hitters at Petco Park but needed a 148th pitch to get Yonder Alonso to fly out to left and complete the 9-0 no-hitter.

Cleveland Naps pitcher Addie Joss, Bain News Service, 1910, LC-DIG-ggbain-08196.

Addie Joss

His no-no pitch count is just one shy of the record since Major League Baseball began tracking such things in 1988. Third-baseman Pablo Sandoval contributed to the effort with a seventh-inning backhand grab on a sharp grounder and Hunter Pence helped with a diving eighth-inning catch.

Lincecum’s 2013 no-hitter was Petco Park’s first.

On the other side of the game on Wednesday, the Padres’ Ian Kennedy yielded a first-inning Buster Posey single for San Diego’s 7,245th regular season game without a no-no. The Padres remain the only team with no no-no.

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Dodgers’ Kershaw throws no-hitter, only runner reaches on error

kershawcardClayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter for the The Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, marking the franchise’s major league leading 25th no-no.

The accomplishment came less than a month after the Dodgers’ Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

“Beckett told me he’s going to teach me how to do that,” Kershaw said after the game. “So I have Josh to thank.”

The Texas-born southpaw struck out 15 and walked none.

Kershaw had a perfect game going in the seventh when shortstop Hanley Ramirez committed a throwing error on a ball hit to him by Corey Dickerson. Kershaw nearly lost the no-hitter soon after when Troy Tulowitzki hit a hard grounder to third, but Miguel Rojas fielded the ball behind the bag and made a long, accurate throw to first, which was aptly scooped by Adrian Gonzalez.

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Baseball, Padres mourn death of Tony Gwynn

Tony Gwynn statue outside Petco Park.The baseball world today is mourning the loss of “Mr. Padre” Tony Gwynn, who died Monday morning of cancer at the age of 54. Gwynn has said that the disease was brought on by his use of chewing tobacco.

Gwynn, who was one of the nicest guys to ever play the game, batted an amazing .338 over a 20-year career with the San Diego Padres. He also helped the Padres avoid getting no-hit on June 6, 1988, when he tagged the Cincinnati Reds’ Tom Browning for a ninth-inning, one-out single – the Padres’ only hit during the Reds’ 12-0 victory.

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Ellis, on LSD, no-hits Padres, 44 years ago today

trippyelliscardPittsburgh Pirates hurler Dock Ellis thought June 12, 1970 was an off-day, so after a long night of partying he woke up and decided to take some LSD. What he didn’t know was he had slept through a full day and he was actually scheduled to pitch Game 1 of a doubleheader against the San Diego Padres that day.

But Ellis was able to not only secure a 2-0 Pirates win in San Diego, he held the Padres hitless in what is believed to be the only Major League no-hitter thrown by a man tripping on acid.

The story was long thought to be an urban legend, but Ellis talked openly about the experience in a 2005 Dallas Observer story. Ellis, who died in 2008, had long been drug free and was working as a drug counselor when he was interviewed for the article.

“What’s weird is that sometimes it felt like a balloon. Sometimes it felt like a golf ball,” the alternative weekly reported. “But he could always get it to the plate. Getting it over the plate was another matter entirely. Sometimes he couldn’t see the hitter. Sometimes he couldn’t see the catcher.”

That’s evident in the box score, as Ellis apparently walked eight and hit at least one batter.

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Padres left alone, two years ago today

johanTwo years ago today, on June 1, 2012, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets history, anointing the San Diego Padres with new-found infamy as the team with the longest current drought. Santana’s gem ended the Mets’ streak at 8,019 games with no no-nos, dating back to the franchises first game in 1962.

The Padres have been at it since 1969.

The Mets streak lasted 50+ seasons, which is the longest a franchise has ever gone from its birth, but it’s not the longest no no-no streak. That record belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies, who were void of a no-hitter for 58 years, 1 month, 18 days between 1906 and 1964. The 8,945-game-long streak began on May 3, 1906, one game after Phillies’ southpaw Johnny Lush threw a 6-0 no-hitter against the Brooklyn Superbas. It ended on June 21, 1964, when Jim Bunning threw a 6-0 perfect game against the Mets during a Father’s Day doubleheader at Shea Stadium in New York.

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Padres’ move to Washington announced, 41 years ago today

Washington Nat'l Lea. Topps 1974 team cardOn May 27, 1973, 41 years ago today, a group of businessmen from Washington, D.C., announced they had bought the San Diego Padres for $12 million and were relocating the team to the nation’s capital for the 1974 season.

The move was thought to be such a done deal that Topps began printing its 1974 Padres baseball cards with the team name “Washington Nat’l Lea.” The blog Ghosts of DC even has a photo of pitcher Dave Freisleben in a prototype Washington road uniform, an ugly light blue polyester pullover with red and blue trim.

But the team never moved. The City of San Diego filed lawsuits, outgoing owner C. Arnholt Smith needed to complete the deal and retired McDonald’s chief executive officer Ray Krok stepped up with the cash and kept the Friars in San Diego.

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Beckett throws Dodgers’ 24th no-no, tops among franchises

Josh Beckett’s no-hitter for The Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday marks the franchise’s 24th no-no, tops in the majors.

The first was on Oct 4, 1884, when Sam Kimber threw a 10-inning no-no against the Toledo Blue Stockings that ended in a 0-0 tie.

Beckett, a 2003 World Series MVP who has been struggling to regain his form, walked three and struck out six during his 6-0 road victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

It marked the Dodgers’ first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo threw a 9-0 no-hit no-run game against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996.

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