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Anibal Sanchez nearly pitches the FIFTH no-hitter in Marlins history

Posted by Andy on April 23, 2011

Anibal Sanchez got pretty close to pitching another no-hitter last night.

A few thoughts on that:

Of course, Sanchez allowed a 9th-inning leadoff single last night, and it's not as if this sort of 1-hitter is so incredibly rare. It's just that this (only fairly uncommon) near-miss at a no-no is of particularly statistical interest to me.

    32 Responses to “Anibal Sanchez nearly pitches the FIFTH no-hitter in Marlins history”

    1. Mike Says:

      Do you remember when Mike Mussina with the Yankees was about to throw a perfect game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway park, he had Carl Everett down with two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the 9th, he threw a high fastball, Everett swung at it but the umpires said he didn't cross the plate (replays showed he clearly swung), and in the very next pitch Everett had a weak pop-up that fell in front of Knoblauch that was playing LF that night.

      MAN that was a heartbreaker, because even the Boston public was cheering for Mussina and to watch a rare perfect game.

    2. Andy Says:

      At that moment, all of the very loud Fenway Park cheery dinosaurs turned extinct and completely quiet. Oh wait, dinosaurs never existed (according to Carl Everett

      You have to love Verducci referring to Apostolic Christian Everett as a "fruitcake" in that article.

    3. Jonas Says:

      How could you forget AJ Burnett's no-no? 9 walks! It was probably the worst no-hitter in history.

    4. mikeyjax Says:

      Without trying to get overly morbid..... I remember the irony of the 1st one. A ValuJet had crashed into the Everglades after leaving Miami killing all 100 + on board earlier that afternoon.

      Practically ANY other day, Al Leiter would have been the king of Miami, except obviously the story of the no-hitter got buried DEEP in the South Florida area history books!

    5. Neil L. Says:

      Bill Stoneman has to go to the head of the 2-no-hitter class, doesn't he, for doing it with the sad-sack expansion Expos?

      And Nolan Ryan with his ageless right arm............

    6. Evil Squirrel Says:

      Sanchez' no hit bid was destined to fail. It is quite obvious the Marlins fifth no hitter will come against the Dodgers....

    7. Fourfriends1679 Says:

      @#3 - Except for Dock Ellis'. 😉

    8. Andy Says:

      Mikeyjax, I had forgotten about that. It's an interesting question as to how much that plane crash affected Leiter's reputation. It's got to be at least a bit significant especially among fringe baseball fans, who didn't hear about it as the lead news story or top headline, and not just in Florida.

    9. Keith Says:

      Might want to qualify that statement "joined this pretty short list of pitchers to throw at least 2 complete-game no-hitters of at least 9 innings" as regular-season because Roy Halladay just did it last year.

    10. Andy Says:

      Good point, Keith.

    11. Alex Says:

      I thought it's officially not a no-no if the pitcher allows a run?

    12. John Autin Says:

      Among no-hitters, I'm curious about the ones that have gone deepest into the game with no score by either side. Obviously, the Haddix game comes to mind (though not officially a no-hitter), and I can find extra-inning no-no's. But can anyone suggest a way, other than eyeballing each line score, to find this type of no-hitter in which not only the epic feat but the outcome of the game was on the line every inning?

      I checked the last three 1-0 no-hitters. The winning team scored in the 3rd inning or earlier each time.

    13. Evan Says:

      JA @12

      Not sure if this is available easily, but my quick thought is to sort the games by WPA for the pitcher. The longer a game stays scoreless, the higher the pitcher's WPA. If his team were to score a lot of runs late you might miss something though as he would earn very little the last few innings.

    14. John Autin Says:

      Meanwhile, something far more rare than a no-hitter happened last night in St. Louis. In fact, it's unique in the game-searchable era:

      Due to a major storm that struck in the top of the 1st inning, both starting pitchers were removed having faced no more than 1 batter.

      You can read the story here:

      The previous low in this regard was 2 batters, in a 6/29/1961 game of SF @ PHI. I can't tell exactly why this came about. According to the play-by-play, the Phillies made 3 lineup moves before the first batter. Then, SP Ken Lehman allowed a single and a walk to the first 2 batters, and was replaced by ... Dallas Green! Green induced a DP from Orlando Cepeda and struck out Willie McCovey, but in between those he served up a HR to Willie Mays.

      In the bottom of the 1st, Philly's Bobby Del Greco singled off SF starter Billy O'Dell, who was then replaced by Toothpick Sam Jones (who, 2 years before, had led the NL in wins and ERA). The Phils scored 4 runs in the inning; they also pinch-hit for 2 of the guys who had been inserted into the lineup at the last minute.

      Philly's original lineup had 2 pitchers playing positions -- Don Ferrarese in CF leading off, and Chris Short catching and batting 7th. It was the only time in either pitcher's career that he was credited with playing at another position.

      One of Philly's pre-first-batter moves was to replace Short at catcher with Jimmie Coker, a legit catcher. But oddly, Coker was lifted for PH Clay Dalrymple (another C) in the bottom of the 1st.

      And for the cherry on top, the final run of the 1st inning scored on a double steal, with Don Demeter swiping home and Charley Smith taking 3rd. Demeter had just 2 steals all year (and went 22 for 47 in his career), while Smith had just 7 SB in 771 career games.

      For all that, this game is probably better known as the second 3-HR game of Willie Mays's career. Mays hit another 2-run HR off Green in the 3rd, then hit a go-ahead shot in the top of the 10th. Juan Marichal earned the win with 2 scoreless innings.

      P.S. Willie Mays went 16 for 38 against Dallas Green, with 4 HRs and 9 walks.

    15. Pat D Says:

      @Andy - #2

      Carl Everett is a fruitcake. Not because he's an Apostolic Christian, but because of everything else about him.

    16. Sean Says:

      A) Carl Everett was/ is a wack-o and was the tipping point for many a Red Sox fan who 'rooted for the laundry' no matter what.

      B) The Marlins truly HAVE had some pitchers with exceptional stuff in their short history.

    17. John Autin Says:

      @13, Evan -- That was a good suggestion ... but alas, it didn't really pan out. All the 1-0 no-hitters showed up high on the list, including the recent ones in which I already knew the lone run came early in the game.

      BTW, the highest no-hit WPA was 0.846 in Halladay's perfect game on 5/29/2010, which topped the 0.841 in Jim Maloney's 10-inning, 10-walk no-no on 8/19/1965.

      The lowest (measured) WPA for a 9-inning no-hitter was 0.076 by George Culver of Cincinnati against the Phils on 7/29/1968. The Reds scored 3 in the 3rd and 3 in the 4th, and Culver cruised to a 6-1 win. (Culver allowed an unearned run set up on a double-error in the 2nd by 3B Tony Perez and SS Woody Woodward.)

    18. John Autin Says:

      @15, Pat D --

      Are you saying that a person ought not express the opinion that Carl Everett's religious beliefs, in and of themselves, are nutty?

      Consider Verducci's implicit definition: "As an Apostolic Christian, [Everett] believes that the Bible, interpreted literally, is the infallible authority on all matters." [Emphasis added.]

      My opinion: A person is certainly entitled to his religious beliefs, and I wouldn't waste my time arguing about them. But when that person goes out of his way to make his beliefs known, I don't see why those beliefs should be immune from the scrutiny and judgment of others.

    19. kenh Says:

      Is it true that the Mets have never had a no hitter in their storied history? With all that great pitching over the course of 50 years you would think someone would luck out and throw one.

    20. BSK Says:


      If I may speak for Pat D, I would guess that he meant that Everett would likely be a fruitcake regardless of his particular religious affiliation.

      I agree with you, though. If someone makes an asshat of himself, the fact that he did so as a pronouncement of his faith does not immune him from being identified as an asshat.

    21. John Autin Says:

      @19, Kenh -- Yes, yes, it's all painfully true. Not only that, but a number of ex-Mets have thrown no-hitters -- Seaver for Cincinnati; Gooden and Cone for the Yankees. And some guy named Ryan did it once or twice.

    22. Jimbo Says:

      Roy Halladay feels like he belongs on the list of guys with 2 no-hitters.

    23. Zack Murphy Says:

      I love the Burnett game. It's so AJ BUrnett. Even his BEST game still has such randomness and unpredictability. Walking nine guys suggests he was unhittable that day because we was so, well, unhittable.

      Jim Maloney - 8/19/1965 - 10 walks, 12 Ks
      Nolan Ryan - 9/28/2972 - 8 walks, but 15 Ks

      There's a bunch > 6 BBs.... messy no-hitters.

    24. NoChanceforPettitte Says:

      Edwin Jackson's no hitter last year was fairly dreadful as no hitters go:

      8 BB; 1 HBP; 2 SB against; and of course those 149 pitches (which may or may not have something to do with his 1-4, 7.32, .908 ops numbers in the five starts that followed).

    25. J.R. Lebert Says:

      As a lifelong, diehard Mets fan, I can tell you that it is absolutely true that the Mets have never had a no-hitter, despite having had three of the most dominant pitchers of all time, and, depending on your metrics, a fourth in Johan.

      Obviously Nolan did what he did after an AWFUL trade away from the Mets, and Seaver finally got his in between his stints with the Mets. Pedro was never able to throw one (perhaps because he just wasn't Pedro of old anymore...). Johan... well, the jury is still out, but if I were a betting man, which I am... I would bet that season number 50 will come and go without a no-no.

      HOWEVER... the Mets have had a no hitter in their history, albeit in Spring Training. Gary Kroll and Gordon "Gordy" Richardson pitched one in Spring Training for the Mets in 1964. True story.

    26. J.R. Lebert Says:

      er... 1965. Sorry.

    27. NoChanceforPettitte Says:

      The Mets no hit futility is actually staggering (though irrelevant really to anything). Assuming there is a no hitter every 1,500 games (1962 to present), the Mets would be expected to have 5 by now.

    28. John Autin Says:

      The Mets' lack of a no-hitter is, of course, pretty much randomness.
      For example, since 1962:

      -- The Mets have 26 CG 1-hitters of at least 9 IP.

      -- The Yankees have just 14 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 5 were no-hitters.

      -- The Braves have just 14 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 2 no-hitters. (Phil Niekro & Kent Mercker.)

      -- The Giants have 18 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 5 no-hitters.

      -- The Phillies have 20 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 6 no-hitters. (Though none by Carlton.)

      -- The Cardinals have 23 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 6 no-hitters. (2 by Bob Forsch?!? A no-hitter by Jose Jimenez?!?!?)

      -- The Pirates have 23 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 3 no-hitters. (Including one by a pitcher on acid.)

      -- The Angels have 24 CGs of 1 hit or less, same as the Mets ... but 7 no-hitters. (4 by Ryan, 1 each by Bo Belinsky, Clyde Wright and Mike Witt, a perfect game.)

      -- The Red Sox also have 24 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 7 no-hitters. (Yet none by Pedro.)

      -- The Reds also have 24 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 5 no-hitters

      -- The A's have 25 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 5 no-hitters.

      -- The Diamondbacks (1998-present) have 5 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 2 no-hitters. (Randy Johnson, OK ... but Edwin Jackson and his career 9.6 H/9?)

      -- The Marlins (1993-present) have 11 CGs of 1 hit or less ... but 4 no-hitters.

      And finally....

      -- The Rockies (1993-present) have exactly one CG of 1 hit or less ... a no-hitter by Ubaldo Jimenez.

      (BTW, the first Mets game I ever attended happened to be a 1-hitter by rookie Dwight Gooden on 9/7/1984. Keith Moreland led off the 5th with a dribbler up the 3rd-base line, and Ray Knight put the ball in his pocket. My buddy Mike P., a long-time season ticket holder, still gets hot when this game comes up. "Moreland can't run! You've got a 7-0 lead! The team's never had a no-hitter! Just throw the damn ball!!!)

    29. NoChanceforPettitte Says:

      It actually defies expectation. The probability of the Mets NOT throwing a no hitter is less than 1%. That's not even taking into account the quality (or in some years lack of quality) of their pitchers.

      The closest similarity for a team I can think of is to the Tampa Bay Bucs inability for years to return a kickoff for a touchdown.

      I would guess, without figuring it out due to laziness, that the chances of Mike Warren throwing a no hitter (which he did) is actually greater than the Mets not throwing a no hitter in over 7,800 games.

    30. NoChanceforPettitte Says:

      If my math is correct (of which there are no guarantees):

      The odds of the Mets not throwing a no hitter in 7800 games is 158:1

      The odds of Mike Warren (.261 career BAA) not throwing a no hitter in 7800 games is only 7.8:1

    31. Jimbo Says:


      Dwight Gooden is probably the most surprising Met to never throw one, considering how ridiculously dominant he was for his first few years.

    32. Where’s Tim Hyers When You Need Him? | Ducksnorts Says:

      [...] Anibal Sanchez nearly pitches the FIFTH no-hitter in Marlins history (Baseball-Reference). How is it that the Marlins have four no-nos against NL West teams and the Padres, who play in the freaking division, have none? Don’t even get me started on World Championships… [...]