Pitchers only retire batters they strike out. The other players retire the batters who put the ball in play except for those rare occasions when a pitcher actually makes a fielding play. So how valuable are pitchers and how should their performances be evaluated?
June 1, 2012 Johan Santana became the first Met pitcher to throw a no-hitter: 8-0 against St. Louis in New York. Met manager Terry Collins let Santana throw 134 pitches even though Santana missed the entire 2011 season with a bad arm. It is inconceivable that Collins would have let Santana throw 134 pitches in any other regular season circumstance. Collins must have valued that no-hitter beyond its actual value to the team. With the Mets leading 8-0 after seven innings, Santana did not need to pitch the last two innings. Santana benefited from a missed call by an umpire on a ball that clearly hit the foul line and would have been a hit. Check Santana's 2012 game log. His final appearance was August 17. Santana's ERA had risen from 2.38 after his no-hitter to 4.85.
June 13, 2012 in Tampa Met knuckleball pitcher RA Dickey threw 106 pitches and allowed one hit in nine innings as the Mets beat the Rays 9-1. B.J. Upton was awarded a single in the first inning on what appeared to be an error by Met thirdbaseman David Wright. Collins wants the Major Baseball League (MBL) to overturn the official scorer’s decision. Aside from Collins possibly being a bit unbalanced, he must value a no-hitter way more than the accomplishment deserves.