Jordan Zimmermann tossed the Washington Nationals’ first no-no since the franchise’s move to the nation’s capital, three years ago today.
Zimmermann no-hit the Miami Marlins on the final game of the 2014 season at Nationals Park on September 28, striking out 10 batters while issuing just a single walk for a 1-0 victory.
The Nats’ Steven Souza Jr. saved the no-no on the final play with a diving catch. Souza, a rookie outfielder inserted as a defensive replacement in the ninth, chased down a two-out deep fly ball to left center and made the grab near the warning track for the game’s final out. Teammates mobbed Zimmermann,
The losing pitcher was Henderson Alvarez, who tossed a no-no for the Marlins on the last day of the 2013 regular season. That game ended on a rare walk-off wild-pitch.
Although it was the first no-hitter for the Nationals, the franchise had recorded four no-hitters north of the border as the Montreal Expos:
Bill Stoneman, April 17, 1969, against the Philadelphia Phillies
Stoneman, Oct. 2, 1972 (game one of doubleheader), against the New York Mets.
Charlie Lea, May 10, 1981 (game two of doubleheader), against the San Francisco Giants
Dennis Martinez, July 28, 1991, a perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Nats’ Max Scherzer has since tossed the second and third Nationals no-hitters:
Saturday, June 20, 2015, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Saturday, October 3, 2015 (second game of doubleheader), against the New York Mets.
Happy 30th birthday to the Detroit Tigers’ Jordan Zimmermann, who threw a Washington Nationals no-hitter on the final day of the 2014 season.
On Sunday, September 28, 2014, Zimmermann no-hit the Miami Marlins for a 1-0 victory at Nationals Park. It was the first no-hitter for the Nationals franchise since its move from Montreal to D.C. (Expos pitchers tossed four no-hitters.)
Also born on this date, 144 years ago today, is Charles “Deacon” Phillippe, who tossed a no-hitter for the National League’s Louisville Colonels on Thursday, May 25, 1899. Phillippe no-hit the New York Giants for a 7-0 at Louisville’s Eclipse Park.
The Colorado Rockies aren’t the only franchise to exit the no no-no club on this day.
Forty-seven years ago today, on April 17, 1969, the Montreal Expos’ Bill Stoneman no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies for a 7-0 victory at Connie Mack Stadium in just the Expos’ ninth game. It’s 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 last season.
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.
For the third straight off-season, we’re on active Johnny Vander Meer watch.
Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter on the penultimate day of the 2015 season, blanking the New York Mets 2-0. That means he could theoretically tie Vander Meer’s major-league of back-to-back no-hitters record by tossing one in his first start of the 2016 season. Could it happen?
No way, according to the SB Nation-Federal Baseball blog, as early-season pitch counts and big-money contracts don’t let star arms go deep into early games.
“I’m not throwing a no-hitter Opening Day,” Scherzer said. “I can’t — it’s just not going to happen.”
It didn’t happen the previous two season either. The Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann tossed a no-no on the final day of the 2014 season. He got the start against the Mets in the second game of the 2015 season and got the W, but he gave up one run on six hits in six innings worth of work.
The Miami Marlins’ Henderson Álvarez no-hit the Detroit Tigers on the final game of the 2013 season on a walk-off wild pitch, but things didn’t go as well in his next start. In the third game of the Marlins’ 2014 season, the Colorado Rockies sent Álvarez to the showers after just three innings when the righty gave up six runs on seven hits.
It appears that if you want to have at least one career no-hitter under your belt these days, it helps to make at least $20 million a season.
Off-season contracts have been skyrocketing lately, and it appears that the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke and the Boston Red Sox’s David Price owe their fans some no-nos. The other two pitchers to net big raises ahead of 2016’s Opening Day, Max Scherzer and Jordan Zimmermann, already notched their no-hitters during their time with Washington Nationals.
Of the other pitchers to earn more than $20 million per season, only Cliff Lee, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka failed to achieve the rare feat:
In the past five days, six pitchers have reached the fifth inning or later with a no-hitter intact. History tells us that there’s a good chance one will go even deeper tonight.
September 28 is one of four dates sharing the record for most no-hitters with six. The others are April 27, May 15 and September 20. The date pulled into a four-way tie on the final game of the 2014 season, when the Washington Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann no-hit the Miami Marlins.
Here are the no-hitters thrown on September 28:
17 of 293
Milwaukee Brewers (UA)
Sunday, September 28, 1884
Milwaukee Brewers 5, Washington Nationals 0
Wright Street Grounds (Milwaukee)
126 of 293
New York Yankees (AL)
Friday, September 28, 1951 (First game of doubleheader)
New York Yankees 8, Boston Red Sox 0
Yankee Stadium (New York) (His second of two no-hitters)
191 of 293
California Angels (AL)
Saturday, September 28, 1974
California Angels 4, Minnesota Twins 0
Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim) (His third of seven no-hitters)
194 of 293
Vida Blue (5 inn.) Glenn Abbott (1 inn.)
Paul Lindblad (1 inn.)
Rollie Fingers (2 inn.)
Oakland Athletics (AL)
Sunday, September 28, 1975
Oakland Athletics 5, California Angels 0
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland) (Final game of season. Blue participates in a multiple pitcher no-hitter after throwing his own on Sept. 21, 1970.)
279 of 293
Cincinnati Reds (NL)
Friday, September 28, 2012
Cincinnati Reds 1, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
PNC Park (Pittsburgh) (His first of two no-hitters)
287 of 293
Washington Nationals (NL)
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Washington Nationals 1, Miami Marlins 0
Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.) (Zimmermann throws first no-no for the Nationals after the team’s move from Montreal.)