It’s official: Bob Feller’s streak of being the only MLB pitcher to toss an Opening Day no-hitter remains intact another year.
Inclement weather delayed two Opening Day games until Friday, and none of the four starting pitchers getting the ball were able to match Feller’s feat.
In the early start, the Detroit Tigers’ Jordan Zimmermann, author of a 2014 no-no against the Miami Marlins, battled the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Iván Nova. Zimmermann lost his immediately when leadoff batter Aaron Frazier doubled; Nova waited until the second batter, when Jeimer Candelario chopped an infield single.
The late afternoon game featured a pair of pitchers each with two career no-hitters: the Cincinnati Reds’ Homer Bailey and the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer, but both lost them early. Bailey lost his on a leadoff Adam Eaton single, and Scherzer gave it up on a Scooter Gennett second-inning double.
Feller, a Hall of Famer, threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in baseball history on April 16, 1940. The 21-year-old Feller used his “heater from Van Meter” fastball to mow down eight White Sox batters as the Cleveland Indians topped Chicago 1-0. Feller’s parents and sister, Marguerite, were among the 14,000 fans at Chicago’s Comiskey Park that afternoon.
“I knew I had a chance for a no-hitter in the ninth,” Feller told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “but I tried to put the thought out of my mind by reminding myself you never have a no-hitter until the last man is out.”