Yesterday (October 3, 2015), Nationals’ right-hander Max Scherzer (the 2013 Cy Young Award winner – while with the Tigers) threw his second no-hitter of the 2015 season – beating the Mets 2-0 (second game of a double header) in New York. Which game it was doesn’t matter, but I seldom get a chance to use the phrase “double header” these days. Scherzer is on one of just five pitchers to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season, joining Johnny Vander Meer (Reds-1938), Allie Reynolds (Yankees-1951), Virgil Trucks (Tigers-1952), and Nolan Ryan (Angels-1973), In addition, Roy Halladay threw a regular-season and post-season (NL Division Series) no-hitter for the Phillies in 2010. BBRT Note: Vander Meer’s no-hitters came in consecutive starts, the only consecutive no-hitters by a pitcher in MLB history.
In both of his 2015 no-hitters, Scherzer was just one mistake away from a perfect game. On June 20, Scherzer had a 6-0 lead and a perfect game with two outs in the ninth against the Pirates. He got within one strike of perfection, running up a 2-2 count on pinch hitter Jose Tabata. Tabata then fouled off three pitches before Scherzer hit him on the elbow with a breaking ball. Mad Max retired the next hitter (2B Josh Harrison) to preserve the no-hitter, but that perfect game was oh, so close. There wasn’t as much tension in yesterday’s missed “perfecto.” The only base runner came on a throwing error by National’s 3B Yunel Escobar in the sixth inning. For more from BBRT on near perfect games, click here.
Here are a few other stats from Scherzer’s no-hitter against the Mets.
- Scherzer fanned 17 batters in the game, tying Nolan Ryan for the most strikeouts in a no-no. Ryan walked four in his 17-strikeout no-hitter on July 15, 1973; which also happened to be Ryan’s second no-hitter of the season.
- Scherzer’s 17 strikeouts were the most ever in a no-hitter without a walk. The record had been held by the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, who fanned 15 in a June 18, 2014, no-hitter. The only opposition base runner to reach in Kershaw’s game came on an error by Dodgers’ SS Hanley Ramirez.
- Strikeouts were the name of the game in Scherzer’s no-no. In addition to Scherzer’s 17 punch outs, four Mets’ hurlers combined to whiff 18 Nationals’ batters – setting a new combined MLB record of 35 strikeouts in a nine-inning game.
- Scherzer went one-for-three at the plate (just more on why I hate the DH).
- Scherzer struck out every member of the Mets’ starting nine at least once – except for pitcher Matt Harvey (who only batted once).
- Scherzer struck out at least one hitter every inning, and appeared to get stronger as the game went on. He fanned nine over the first six innings – and eight over the final three. (Scherzer threw 109 pitches, 80 for strikes.)
Scherzer’s masterpiece was the seventh no-hitter of 2015, one short of the MLB record of eight, set in in 1884 (four in the American Association, two in the Union Association, two in the National League). This season’s seven no-hitters ties the modern era (post-1900) record – reached in 1990, 1991 and 2012.
No Hitters in Both Leagues
Five pitchers have thrown no-hitters in both the NL and AL – and five catchers have caught no-hitters in both leagues.
Nolan Ryan: Seven total no-hitters: AL … California Angels (4) and Texas Rangers (2); NL … Houston Astros (1)
Cy Young: Three total no-hitters; AL … Boston Americans/Red Sox (2); NL … Cleveland Spiders (NL).
Jim Bunning: NL … Philadelphia Phillies; AL … Detroit Tigers.
Hideo Nomo: NL … Los Angeles Dodgers; AL … Boston Red Sox.
Randy Johnson: AL … Seattle Mariners; NL … Arizona Diamondbacks.
Gus Triandos: AL … Baltimore Orioles (Hoyt Wilhelm, 1958); NL … Philadelphia Phillies (Jim Bunning, 1964).
Jeff Torborg: NL … Los Angeles Dodgers (Sandy Koufax, 1965); AL … California Angels (Nolan Ryan, 1973).
Darrell Porter: AL … Kansas City Royals (Jim Colborn, 1977); NL … St. Louis Cardinals (Bob Forsch, 1983).
Ron Hassey: AL … Cleveland Indians (Len Barker, 1981); NL … Montreal Expos (Dennis Martinez, 1991). BBRT Note: Both of these were perfect games, making Hassey the only player to catch two MLB perfect games.
Drew Butera: AL …Minnesota Twins (Francisco Liriano, 2011); NL … Los Angeles Dodgers (Josh Beckett 2014).
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