Tagged: No-hitter

Episode 15 is Like Sid Bream (A Winner!)

Three Up, Three Down is back with your weekly baseball news, advice, and match-ups to watch. They hit the DL topic again, find out how many players have had Tommy John Surgery this season, and dabble in a little extra of everything. Take a listen, and bask in all that is baseball talk!

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Seattle Mariners Combine for No-Hitter: 6 Times the Fun

I am now officially the only member of Three Up, Three Down whose team has been no-hit this year, though Brian’s Texas Rangers did their best earlier this week to beat me to it. I figured I should be the one to write this post to not only prove I’m not in a deep depression following yesterday’s game, but to man up and accept defeat.

We got beat. Badly. No-hit, in fact (although it was the second time in recent years we had a chance to beat an AL West team without getting a hit – last time, Jered Weaver and the Angels in 2008). By six different pitchers, no less.

I’m not going to come on here and spew half-truths about the historic moment, and tell you how much harder it is to collect a hit off six different pitchers, as opposed to one who you see with the same repertoire all game. Or try to claim that Dee Gordon was safe at first in the ninth inning (upon further review, I’ve determined the throw beat him…or was at least close enough to not cause a Carlos Beltran-esque uproar). And as much as I’d like to, I won’t take Mapes’ suggestion that it’s all Juan Uribe’s fault (it is…it always is).

Let me instead, first, congratulate the Seattle Mariners. Six pitchers did their jobs in fantastic, hitless fashion, and they deserved it. And it’s a damn shame that starter Kevin Millwood tweaked his groin warming up in the seventh inning, because he was absolutely rolling against the Dodger lineup.

As much as it would have hurt to be no-hit in the traditional sense, Millwood is a good guy and it could have been against a less likable pitcher. Do I believe we would have eventually tagged Millwood for a hit? Yes. But I’m also optimistic. The way he was throwing, who knows?

One thing I do know is this: I wrote a post on LasordasLair.com yesterday detailing the Dodgers’ 29 (now 28) games before the All-Star break. I warned of a letdown against the Mariners and A’s, the two worst teams on a slate that includes the Angels twice, the Giants, the Reds, the Mets, the White Sox…you get the picture; it’s a tough schedule.

Let’s just say things didn’t go as planned to start that schedule off. But the M’s are going to be good. And soon. Maybe not 2012, maybe not even 2013, but in a couple of years this ball club is going to be contending in that division. I said it before the no-hitter, and I’ll say it again. Seattle 2014. Watch out.

We know the young lineup can score runs (remember when they dropped three touchdowns on the Rangers?), and the pitching has been very impressive. And I don’t just mean Felix Hernandez and a bunch of bums. Half of their roster is in their first or second years in the Majors, and they are playing very respectable baseball.

Anyway, back to the point. This young, talented Seattle team will be a force in the coming years. And I’ll always remember being the first team to be no-hit by them.

Yes, I know that’s a rusty, dingy silver lining, but I’m optimistic, remember? Speaking of optimism, one good thing came out of yesterday’s games and trumped being no-hit for Dodgers fans (muahaha!):

I leave you with some cool, random combined no-hitter facts. One for each pitcher the Mariners used yesterday:

– The first combined no-hitter involved Babe Ruth, who walked the first batter of the game, was ejected for arguing, then sat and watched his teammate Ernie Shore retire 26 in a row to secure a no-no.

– Kevin Millwood became the third pitcher in MLB history (along with Vida Blue and Kent Mercker) to both start a complete game no-hitter and a combined no-hitter.

– In 1997, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined to pitch the only extra-inning combined no-hitter in MLB history, a 3-0, 10-inning victory over the Houston Astros.

– These 2012 Mariners aren’t the first to record a six-pitcher no-hitter – the Houston Astros did the same to the New York Yankees in 2003, after Roy Oswalt left the game with an injury after one inning.

– One pitcher in history has both started and finished a no-hitter. Mike Witt threw a perfect game in 1984, and then closed out the last two innings of a no-hitter in 1990 (over the Mariners, ironically enough).

– Rookie reliever Stephen Pryor was the winning pitcher of record for the Mariners yesterday – it was his first career win, despite recording one out and walking two batters, easily the most unproductive of the six Seattle pitchers.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @3u3d, Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/3u3dpodcast and to TUNE IN to Episode 15 next week – I guarantee we’ll be talking about this no-no, and I’ll be getting tons of crap for it! 

Offensive Thrills vs. Pitching Skills

As the past few weeks have panned out in Major League Baseball with multi-HR games, a cycle, a perfect game, and a no-hitter, it got me thinking as to what people like to watch: Offensive Thrills? or Pitching Skills?

I looked up a few stats and made some comparisons based on rarity and difficulty.

No Hitter vs. Hitting for the Cycle

There have been 274 no-hitters in MLB history (including Perfect Games).  Watching Jered Weaver go through the flimsy Minnesota Twins offense in just under 2.5 hours with 121 pitches was masterful to say the least. Obviously throwing a no-hitter is magical.  The other team is forced to sit there and watch the pitcher mow down batter after batter with that big goose egg sitting on the scoreboard.  Some days the pitcher just has “it” and there’s nothing you can do about it. Line drives are hit right at people and your deep fly balls always seem to run out of steam at the warning track.

On the flip side of the comparison, there have been 293 players to hit for the cycle, a mere 19 higher than the no-hitter total.  People don’t seem to get quite as excited for this feat, yet it is almost just as rare as shutting down an entire team.  Scott Hairston was the first to accomplish it this season on April 27.   I might play devils advocate here, but I think that hitting for the cycle needs to be celebrated a lot more.  Arguably the hardest part to get is the triple, and rightfully so, not many players have the speed to get that elusive extra base hit.  There have been 147 triples hit this year by 108 players.  That list is quite small and will continue to be small year after year.  That means that while one of those players hits the elusive triple, they also have to compile the other three parts of the cycle. Not an easy feat and definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.

Perfect Game vs. 4-HR in One Game

Philip Humber took on another lowly offense against the Seattle Mariners and set down 27 straight in 2:17 only using 96 pitches.  Not a single Mariner got to set their foot on that pearly white square down the first base line.  They hardly deserved to after Humber made them look silly through 9 innings of incredible pitching prowess.  Humber had great defense behind him and showed the rest of the MLB how it’s done and got his name onto the elusive list with 20 other Perfect Games.

Ryan Braun’s onslaught at Petco Park last week with 3 Homeruns in that park made this argument come about.  His deep triple to the right field fence as his fourth hit almost put him in an elite club of people that have hit 4 home runs in one game.  There have only been 15 batters to ever accomplish this feat, most recently being Carlos Delgado in 2003.  To argue these two points is more of an opinion matter.  I think seeing a pitcher calmly set down 27 in a row is peaceful, while having a batter mash balls 4 times over 350 feet is quite aggressive and violent, however both are quite incredible.

I’m curious to see what you think about these offensive/defensive comparisons.  Fill out the poll, comment below, and let me know why on Twitter (@FalconKP)