The California Angels’ Mike Witt threw a perfect game on the final game of the 1984 season, 32 years ago today.
On Sunday, September 30, 1984, Witt needed just 94 pitchers to retire all 27 of the Texas Rangers he faced for a 1-0 win in front of just 8,375 fans at Arlington Stadium. Witt struck out 10 batters.
Witt also threw the final two innings of a combined Angels no-no on Wednesday, April 11, 1990 at Anaheim Stadium. Mark Langston got the start and threw seven innings of no-hit ball against the Seattle Mariners, but took himself out of the game as his arm speed just wasn’t there. Witt came in and threw two perfect innings.
We’re continuing our look at baseball’s six “other” back to back starts in recognition of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Vander Meer’s amazing accomplishment 78 years ago.
On Saturday, June 11, 1938, Vander Meer no-hit the Boston Bees at home at Crosley Field. Four days later, he would no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field to become the only major-league pitcher to throw back-to-back no-nos.
Mike Moore, Frank MacCormack, Gary Gentry, Les Cain, Sandy Koufax and Rex Barney all threw back-to-back no-hit starts, though none of their outings went nine innings. The details of those starts generated using http://www.baseball-reference.com‘s superb Play Index are below, and we’re taking a closer look at one each day:
No. 2: Frank MacCormack
The Detroit Tigers’ Frank MacCormack, who was 0-5 on the season, got the start against the Brewers at Milwaukee County Stadium on July 26, 1976, and nearly backed his way into the record books despite a brief horrible outing.
We’ll let Retrosheet give the play-by-play for MacCormack’s one-third-inning appearance:
BREWERS 1ST: Joshua flied out to center; Money walked; MacCormack threw a wild pitch [Money to second]; Scott walked; MacCormack threw a wild pitch [Money to third, Scott to second];
Aaron walked; CRAWFORD REPLACED MACCORMACK (PITCHING)
Jim Crawford took over with the bases loaded and walked in two runs, but finished out the inning without allowing a hit as the Brewers led 2-0. Starting with the final out of the first inning, Crawford retired 22 straight batters and didn’t lose the combined no-hitter until the ninth, when George Scott led off with a single to center. The Tigers wound up winning 4-3 in the 13th inning.
MacCormack never pitched another inning for the Tigers, but the Seattle Mariners drafted him from the Tigers in the 1976 expansion draft.
MacCormack got his next start during the second game of an April 24, 1977 doubleheader at the Kingdome, and this time he made it into the fourth inning without allowing a hit, but his wildness against the Kansas City Royals got the best of him.
MacCormack began the game by walking George Brett and he allowed him to advance to second on a wild pitch. He then hit John Mayberry with a pitch but escaped the inning without allowing a run. The second inning was less eventful, with just a lone walk, but MacCormack got into trouble in the third.
He again led off the inning by walking Brett and then hit Hal McRae with a pitch. He managed to get one line-out before throwing a wild pitch to Mayberry, allowing Brett to score. He got out of the third, but when he walked Cowens to lead off the fourth inning, Manager Darrell Johnson called to the bullpen for John Montague, who finished out the game for a 4-2 victory.
The two games weren’t pretty, but MacCormack can say he had back-to-back no-hit starts.
On Saturday, June 11, 1938, 78 years ago today, the Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer no-hit the Boston Bees at home at Crosley Field. Four days later, he would no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field to become the only major-league pitcher to throw back-to-back no-nos.
We decided to use the days between Vandeer Meer’s starts to account for the other six times that major-league pitchers have had back-to-back starts with no-hits. None of these outings went nine innings, but Mike Moore, Frank MacCormack, Gary Gentry, Les Cain, Sandy Koufax and Rex Barney all threw back-to-back no-hit starts. The details of those starts generated using http://www.baseball-reference.com‘s superb Play Index are below, and we’ll take a closer look at one each day starting with the most recent:
No. 1: Mike Moore
Seattle Mariners starter Mike Moore retired the first four Baltimore Orioles he faced during his start at Memorial Stadium on May 30, 1985. But when he walked Fred Lynn with one out in the second inning, he had to leave the game with a groin injury.
Moore returned to the mound on June 4 and made it through the first inning of his start against the Detroit Tigers with just a base on balls, but when he walked Lance Parrish and Darrell Evans to begin the second, Mariners manager Chuck Cottier pulled him and gave the ball to reliever Salome Barojas.
Six Seattle Mariners pitchers no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers, four years ago today.
On Friday, June 8, 2012, at Safeco Field, the tandem no-hit the L.A. for a 1-0 win.
Kevin Millwood began the game with six no-hit innings. Finishing out the no-no in relief were: Charlie Furbush (2/3), Stephen Pryor (1/3), Lucas Luetge (1/3), Brandon League (2/3) and Tom Wilhelmsen. It tied the Houston Astros for most pitchers used in a no-no.
Millwood threw his own no-hitter while with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003.
Today is the 20th anniversary of Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter for the New York Yankees.
On Tuesday, May 14, 1996, Gooden no-hit the Seattle Mariners for a 2-0 victory at Yankee Stadium. “Doc” appeared to be running out of steam in the ninth frame as he walked Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martínez and then threw a wild pitch to allow runners to reach second and third. But he recovered to strike out Jay Buhner and then got Paul Sorrento to pop out to short to complete the no-no. Teammates carried the 31-year-old hero off the Yankee Stadium field to the cheers of more than 20,000 fans.
Gooden thrice came close to getting a no-no while with the New York Mets:
On June 6, 1984, in just his 11th major-league start, the emerging strikeout artist reached the eighth inning with a no-hitter intact before yielding a lead-off single to the Pirates’ Doug Frobel. New York won 2-1 in 13 innings.
On September 7, 1984, Gooden threw a one-hit 10-0 shutout against the Chicago Cubs. The only Cubs hit was a 5th-inning single by Keith Moreland.
On June 5, 1988, Gooden again reached the eighth inning and again lost it on the leadoff batter as the Cubs’ Damon Berryhill singled. Gooden held on for an 11-3 complete-game victory.
Also throwing a no-hitter on this date was the Kansas City Royals’ Jim Colborn. On Saturday, May 14, 1977, Colborn no-hit the Texas Rangers for a 6-0 win at Royals Stadium.
Philip Humber threw a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox, four years ago today.
On April 21, 2012, Humber blanked the Seattle Mariners for a 4-0 win at Safeco Field, retiring every Mariners batter he faced.
Twenty-seven consecutive outs almost weren’t enough. Humber won the game on a strikeout of pinch hitter Brendan Ryan, but it required a 2-3 putout to put the game in the books. Humber’s low-and-outside pitch got away from catcher A.J. Pierzynski, and Ryan paused to argue the call with home plate umpirer Paul Runge before running to first base. Pierzynski threw the ball to first and Humber had his perfecto.
Humber, the New York Mets’ first-round draft in 2004, made his first Major League start in September 2007 against the Washington Nationals. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the Johan Santana deal, but his next start wasn’t until August 2010 as a Kansas City Royals pitcher. When Humber threw his perfect game, he became the seventh ex-Met to do so (See the archive of our No-hitters … after they left the Mets page. He retired this season after failing to make the San Diego Padres’ roster.
Santana, of course, finally broke the Mets’ curse less than two months later.
Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined to no-hit the Seattle Mariners, 26 years ago today.
On Wednesday, April 11, 1990 at Anaheim Stadium, Langston threw seven innings of no-hit ball but took himself out of the game as his arm speed just wasn’t there. Manager Doug Rader brought in Witt, who was no stranger to no-hitters. Witt had pitched a perfect game for the Angels on the final game of the 1984 season, topping the Texas Rangers at Arlington Stadium for a 1-0 win.
Witt needed to retire just six batters in this contest, and his two perfect innings closed out the combined no-hitter and secured a 1-0 victory for the Angels.
Happy birthday to a pair of no-no throwers who tossed their gems 111 years apart.
The Seattle Mariners’ Chris Bosio, who turns 53 today, threw his no-no against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, April 22, 1993 at the Kingdome for a 7-0 win. Bosio is currently serving as the Chicago Cubs’ pitching coach.
Louisville Eclipse pitcher Guy Hecker, born on this day in 1856, threw his no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Alleghenys on Tuesday, September 19, 1882 at Pittsburgh’s Exposition Park. The Eclipse won 3-1.
The date was Aug. 30, 1973, and Hanshin Tigers pitcher Yutaka Enatsu dug into the Hanshin Koshien Stadium batter’s box in the 11th inning with hopes of breaking a scoreless tie.
Enatsu was Hanshin’s 25-year-old strikeout ace, and the southpaw had been holding the Chunichi Dragons hitless over 11 innings of work. Unfortunately, his Tigers couldn’t score him a run, and the .150 lifetime batter was on the verge of having to return to the mound for a 12th inning. (Shades of Harvey Haddix there, huh?)
But Enatsu had enough. He knocked a home run over the fence, rounded the bases and touched home plate to complete his 1-0, 11-inning no-hitter.
In the U.S. it’s known as a “walk-off homer,” and no major league pitcher has ever capped his own no-no with such a feat. In Japan, it’s called a “sayonara home run,” and Enatsu’s 1973 blast remains in a class of its own.
Enatsu’s gem was the 59th of 89 single-pitcher Japan Baseball League/Nippon Professional Baseball no-hitters dating back to 1936, and we’re now hosting a list of Japanese no-hitters on NoNoHitters.com. The list also includes the leagues’ four combined no-hitters, including one in Game 5 of the 2007 Japan Series, and two All-Star no-nos.
Two Japanese pitchers appear on our major-league no-nos list. Hideo Nomo tossed no-hitters for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1996 and for the Boston Red Sox in 2001. The Seattle Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma added one in 2015.