What Active Pitcher Has the Best Chance at a 3rd No-hitter?

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Updated: July 4, 2013
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July 2nd 2013 will be marked down as a special day in Homer Bailey’s career.  For the second time in two seasons, Homer Bailey has thrown a no-hitter. The Cincinnati pitcher threw the no-hitter against the San Fransico Giants, (3-0 Victory) this is the first no-hitter of the 2013 season and shouldn’t be the last. Funny enough the last no-hitter thrown last season was by Homer Bailey beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0.

Bailey is the 28th pitcher in MLB history to throw at least two no-hitters; some high caliber pitchers are on that list.  The question is now, who will get their third no hitter, will it be Verlander, or Bailey?  Only 5 pitchers in MLB history have thrown three or more no hitters and the elite list is as star studded as they come (Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, Larry Corcoran and Nolan Ryan).

Most people would put their money on Verlander, but in baseball it’s a sport that likes to surprise everyone. Maybe Bailey will be the first out of those two to get three, maybe it will be an older pitcher like Roy Halladay, or Mark Buehrle who have pitched two no-hitters before, (each had a perfect game) or it could be some other pitcher that has yet to throw any no hitters, it’s the magic of baseball – you never know!

Since 2010 no-hitters haven’t been uncommon.  There have been 17 no-hitters, 5 of them have been perfect games, (Halladay, Dallas Braden, Philip Humber, Matt Cain and Felix Hernandez), 1 has been pitched in the postseason (Halladay), and another was a combined no-hitter which involved 6 pitchers in Seattle.  In 2012 was there year where the most no-hitters were pitched at 7 games.

It’s funny how there have been so many no-hitters in less than four seasons, this however is still considered a rare feat although you could argue it isn’t very rare anymore, but when you put it in perspective there have been 280 no-hitters thrown since 1876. Although this has been the only no-hitter this season so far, I don’t expect it to be the last, as the pitchers are just to dominant now for there to only be one.

At the beginning of the season I read an article trying to explain why there have been an increase in no-hitters, more strikeouts thrown, and lower batting averages. The argument wasn’t that batters are getting worse, it’s because pitchers are getting better and are throwing tougher pitches to hit. One of the culprit pitches is the cut fastball, which has done major damage in the past years against batters. The cut fastball is also a pitch that won’t destroy pitchers arms like those awkward breaking ball pitches, or the few pitchers that throw a fastball too hard.

That of course doesn’t apply to every pitcher.  Look at Bailey; he doesn’t throw a cut, but uses a four-seam fastball, 2-seam FB, and three breaking pitches – slider, curveball and splitter. The real point is pitchers are getting better, their workout and pitching regiment makes it safer for their arms.  Thanks to the pitch-count, many pitchers can be saved from the dreaded Tommy John surgery.

I’m a guy who likes homeruns and scoring plays, but I don’t hate great pitching performances.  It’s nice to have a mix of both and thanks to Bailey many people got to watch a great game. Now we just have to wait and see who the next pitcher will be, as baseball history has shown before it’s never the pitcher you expect. So as we sit and wait for the next, I want to congratulate Homer Bailey on another great no-hit performance – I hope you have another one to pitch for us.

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