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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Josh Beckett: How Big A Deal Is A No-Hitter?

Josh BeckettTim Lincecum, Johan Santana, ... the beat goes on.  Managers Don MattinglyBruce Bochy, Terry Collins, ... these managers are a disgrace.  None of them have any imagination or nerve.

If it's really so important to stick to a pitch count, especially with veterans recovering from arm woes, then stick to it.  Don't make a big fat exception because of a silly anomaly of not allowing hits.

Sunday, May 25, 2014, 1:35 pm, Citizens Bank Park
Attendance: 36,141, Time of Game: 2:37
Dodgers 6, Phillies 0
W: Josh Beckett (3-1)
L: A.J. Burnett (3-4)

The Dodgers scored single runs in innings 1, 2, 6, then 3 in the 7th.  There was no need for 34 year old Beckett to continue.  He could have come out after pitching six innings.  Except Beckett had not allowed a hit.  So on he went, throwing a career high 128 pitches.  He walked three, including Jimmy Rollins with two out in the 9th.  He should have walked the next batter, Chase Utley, but he got an assist on a 3-1 pitch from the plate umpire.  Utley then took the 3-2 pitch right down Broad Street for the final out.

Suppose Utley had walked?  Mattingly had pitchers warming up.  Would the accomplishment have been altered so much if one of them had recorded the final out?  The team would have the same result and Beckett might be more helpful to the team in future games if he had not been allowed to push on.

Johan Santana: How Big A Deal Is A No-Hitter?  Monday, September 3, 2012

Met manager Terry Collins let Santana throw 134 pitches even though Santana missed the entire 2011 season with a bad arm...  With the Mets leading 8-0 after seven innings, Santana did not need to pitch the last two innings...

Since that no-hitter Santana's ERA increased from 2.38 to 4.85.  His final appearance of 2012 was August 17, his fifth consecutive loss.
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No-hitter: individual or team accomplishment?  Monday, July 15, 2013

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...

a massive number of strike outs seems to me to be much more of an accomplishment for the pitcher who actually retired those batters without any help...

Tim Lincecum threw 148 pitches during the first no-hitter of his career ...

Of the 81 no-hitters for which we have pitch counts, at least this number of pitches in this many games:
130: 14
120: 30
110: 51
100: 66

Of the 15 games below 100, two were 5 innings, one was 6 innings...

Why all the anguish?  If a possible no-hitter were treated like any other game, the starting pitcher would leave pretty much when he usually would and relief pitchers would try to complete the no-hitter.  Would the suspense and excitement be that much less?  OK, aside from draining the life out of the game during the pitcher change ritual?

Wednesday, June 11, 2003, 7:05PM, Yankee Stadium II
Attendance: 29,905, Time of Game: 2:52

This one is not shown on the YES network.  The Houston Astros no-hit the Yankees 8-0.  Winning pitcher: Brad Lidge, the fourth of six Astro pitchers.  The other five pitchers?  Who cares?  The ASTROS no-hit the Yankees, not an individual pitcher.  They threw 151 pitches, most for any no-hitter...

In his World Series perfect game Don Larsen threw 97 pitches.  Yankee manager Casey Stengel needed to win that game as the series was tied 2-2.  Stengel was not concerned with the pitch count or whether Larsen got credit for a perfect game, a term with which Larsen was not even familiar after the game.  Larsen benefited from a great catch by Mickey Mantle in left center against Gil Hodges and a ricochet off third baseman Andy Carey to shortstop Gil McDougald who threw out Jackie Robinson. Also, Duke Snider hit a long foul home run.  So was this an individual or team accomplishment?
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Don Larsen - Baseball Digest, front cover, November 1956 via Wiki Commons

1 comment:

Michael D said...

If the ump had got the call right on Beltran's hit in the sixth inning, Santana might still be pitching today. He gave up 45 earned runs over the next 49 innings -- and then out of the game for good.