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Getting No-Hit & Winning

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 16, 2011

Since 1919, how many teams have won a game where they had zero hits?

Here's the list -

1 2008-06-28 LAD LAA W 1-0 29 24 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 9 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 -0.239 -3.000 .801 4 13
2 1992-04-12 (1) CLE BOS W 2-1 32 25 2 0 0 0 0 2 7 0 6 0 0 0 1 0 6 1 -0.120 -1.822 .958 6 9
3 1990-07-01 CHW NYY W 4-0 31 26 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 3 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 -0.048 0.214 1.287 3 11
4 1967-04-30 (1) DET BAL W 2-1 40 24 2 0 0 0 0 0 10 1 3 2 4 0 1 1 1 0 0.191 -1.689 2.148 11 14
5 1964-04-23 CIN HOU W 1-0 31 29 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 9 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 -0.186 -2.839 1.165 3 10
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/16/2011.

Funny, as a Yankees fan, that game against the White Sox in 1990 will always stand out. But, that game between the Dodgers and Angels in 2008 was something too. Surprised people don't talk about that one more? Maybe they do in SoCal? and, of course, those 5,426 who saw that game in 1964 had a treat, huh?

25 Responses to “Getting No-Hit & Winning”

  1. Drew Davidson Says:

    Despite the low attendance, the '64 game got more play in the media than the '08 game because losing pitching Ken Johnson was invited to appear on the popular TV quiz show, "I've Got a Secret".

  2. Spartan Bill Says:

    The 1st 4 games were actually classified as no-hitters and made the news as such. I remember Andy Hawkins being credited with his hard-luck no-hitter But sometime between 1994 and 2008, they changed the rules and Hawkins and Youngs, so-called no-hitters were removed from the official list. When Jered Weaver pitched 8 hitless innings, it was clear he was not entitled to claim a no-hitter.

  3. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    I remember watching the '08 game online, and about the 7th or 8th inning, Vin Scully started mentioning how this could be history. That was awesome to see. I grew up watching the Yanks, but missed the Andy Hawkins game. I do wonder why we don't hear much of the LA game.

  4. BSK Says:

    Sorry for going off-topic, but I was just watching MLB Gamecast on and looking at the "Predicted Winner" thing. The little info button says that it is based on historical data back to 2000 and factors in the current count.

    Is this based on all the same stuff as WPA? Does WPA factor in count? Is WPA limited to 2000 onward?

  5. Bobby Says:

    The Angel-Dodgers isn't discussed because because it would have been a combined no-hitter.

  6. Spartan Bill Says:

    No it would have Bobby, look at the box score, jered Weaver was the only pitcher for the Angels.

  7. David Frantz Says:

    One amazing thing about the Hawkins no-hitter is that in his next start he pitched a shutout for 11.2 innings before losing. Talk about two tough losses!

  8. Evan Says:

    Hawkins threw 145 pitches in that 11.2 inning outing mentioned by David Frantz @7 (following the 131 no-hit loss). In the 2 starts that followed he gave up 8 runs in 4.1 both times. Within 13 months he had been released by the Yankees and again by the A's and thrown his final major league pitch.

    I'm surprised no team ever gave Stump Merrill a second shot at managing.

  9. Dave K Says:

    I was watching that 1990 game on TV in Chicago and remember it well. That's what I always remembered Jim Leyritz best for, dropping that 2-out bases-loaded fly ball in the 8th that allowed three White Sox to score.

    As Spartan Bill notes, that game was classified as a no-hitter for Hawkins at the time, but only a year or two later MLB changed the rules so that a pitcher had to pitch at least 9 innings without allowing a hit to be credited with a no-hitter. So all "no-hitters" of less than 9 innings were stricken from the official books, as were games where a pitcher allowed no hits through 9 but then allowed a hit in extra innings.

  10. Dave K Says:

    I see that the change in definition happened in 1991, which is when I would have guessed:

    So that 1992 game was never considered an official no-hitter. I also see that the pre-1991 official definition did not include games where a pitcher allowed a hit only in extra innings, though I've often seen those included in lists of no-hitters.

    On a somewhat related note, when I first became a baseball fan in the 1970s, the list of perfect games always included the 1917 game where Babe Ruth started for the Red Sox, walked the first batter, was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, and was relieved by Ernie Shore, after which the runner was caught stealing and Shore retired the next 26 batters. That's still officially classified as a combined no-hitter for Ruth and Shore, but it's been years since I saw it listed as a perfect game, which frankly makes sense. I'm not sure when that change happened.

  11. Voomo Zanzibar Says:

    I watched all of those Hawkins games.
    In fact, I was in the bleachers for the game After the 11.2 shutout.

    It was against the White Sox again.
    Hawkins retired the first 8 batters, then the lights went out at the Stadium.
    20 minute delay.
    When play resumed, Sosa single, Ozzie single, then Lance Johnson hit one of his 34 career homers.

    Game was called due to rain after 6 innings, with Melido Perez getting the (then) No-Hitter.

  12. Neil L. Says:

    Evan, where was Hawkins' pitching coach in the game you mentioned? Why would you ignore pitch count in the game after the "no-hitter"? It was still the modern era then.

  13. Martin M Solomon Says:

    Of related interest:

    On May 26, 1959 Harvey Haddix threw 12 perfect innings against the defending NL champion Braves. Lost in 13th. Lou Burdette shut out Pirates. has a description, including claim Braves stole nearly all catcher's signs!

    Martin Solomon

  14. Martin M Solomon Says:

    Sorry for omission in # 12.

    Braves beat Haddix with one hit, a Joe Adcock blast over the wall, rescored as a double because the runner on first, Henry Aaron, did not score.

    Wiki description with notes follows. Per the account below, this was not just a near-perfect game, but

    (1)pitched against the hard-hitting defending NL champs

    (2) who were stealing his signs, and

    (3) did not get close to a hit until the 13th inning.

    Note that only Aaron refused to take the signals.

    "Haddix will always be remembered for taking a perfect game into the 13th inning of a game against the Milwaukee Braves on May 26, 1959. Haddix retired 36 consecutive batters in 12 innings essentially relying on two pitches: fastball and slider.[2][3] However, his Pittsburgh teammates didn't score, as Braves pitcher Lew Burdette was also pitching a shutout.[1]

    A fielding error by Don Hoak ended the perfect game in the bottom of the 13th, with the leadoff batter for Milwaukee, Felix Mantilla, being safe at first base. Mantilla later advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, which was followed by an intentional walk to Hank Aaron. Joe Adcock then hit an apparent home run, ending the no-hitter and the game. However, in the confusion, Aaron left the basepaths and was passed by Adcock for the second out and the Braves won 2-0.

    Eventually the hit was changed from a home run to a double by a ruling from National League president Warren Giles; only Mantilla's run counted, for a score of 1-0, but the Pirates and Haddix still lost.[1][4][5]

    “ I could have put a cup on either corner of the plate and hit it. ”
    —Harvey Haddix[1]

    Haddix's 12 and 2/3-inning, one-hit complete game, against the team that had just represented the NL in the previous two World Series, is considered by many to be the best pitching performance in major league history.[1][6] Mazeroski later said of Haddix's dominance in the game, "Usually you have one or two great or spectacular defensive plays in these no-hitters. Not that night. It was the easiest game I ever played in."[1]

    After the game, Haddix received many letters of congratulations and support, as well as one from a Texas A&M fraternity which read, in its entirety on university stationery, "Dear Harvey, Tough shit." "It made me mad," recounted Haddix, "until I realized they were right. That's exactly what it was."[1][7][8][9]

    In 1991, Major League Baseball changed the definition of a no-hitter to "a game in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit;" the rule's formalization had the effect of proclaiming Adcock's drive singularly fatal to Haddix's no-hit bid, i.e., irrespective of any aspect regarding the score and/or the game's ultimate outcome. Despite having thrown more perfect innings than anyone in a single game, Haddix's game was taken off the list of perfect games. Haddix's response was "It's O.K. I know what I did."[1]

    In 1993, Milwaukee's Bob Buhl revealed that the Braves pitchers had been stealing the signs from Pittsburgh catcher Smoky Burgess, who was exposing his hand signals due to a high crouch. From their bullpen, Braves pitchers repeatedly repositioned a towel to signal for a fastball or a breaking ball, the only two pitches Haddix used in the game. Despite this assistance, the usually solid Milwaukee offense managed just the one hit.[1][10] All but one Milwaukee hitter, Aaron, took the signals.[1]"

    1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Chen, Albert (June 1, 2009). "The Greatest Game Ever Pitched". Sports Illustrated. pp. 62–67.

    2. ^ May 26, 1959 Pirates-Braves Box Score at Baseball Reference
    3. ^ May 26, 1959 Pirates-Braves Box Score at Baseball Almanac

    4. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (May 24, 2009). "Linked to Haddix’s Perfection by Western Union Ticker Tape". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-20.

    5. ^ Hard-Luck Harvey Haddix and the Greatest Game Ever Lost, Lew Freedman, Publisher McFarland, 2009, ISBN 0786441240, 9780786441242

    6. ^ Dvorchak, Bob (2009-07-24). "In 1959 Harvey Haddix pitched perhaps the best game ever -- and lost". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-07-20.

    7. ^ Tales from the dugout: the greatest true baseball stories ever told, Mike Shannon, McGraw-Hill Professional, 1997, ISBN 0809231077, 9780809231072

    8. ^ The Annotated This Day in Baseball History

    9. ^ Tales From The Pirates Dugout, John McCollister, Sports Publishing LLC, 2003, ISBN 1582616302, 9781582616308

    10. ^ Harvey Haddix |

    11. ^ a b Harvey Haddix at Baseball Reference

    12. ^ Harvey Haddix obituary at the New York Times

    13. ^ National League Gold Glove Award winners at Baseball Reference

    14. ^ Baseball’s Top 100: The Game’s Greatest Records, p.29, Kerry Banks, 2010, Greystone Books, Vancouver, BC, ISBN 978-1-55365-507-7

  15. Neil L. Says:

    @13 @14

    Martin, a famous game in the annals of baseball history but unfortunately not eligible for this list thanks to 1991. Erased with "the stroke of a pen."

    I didn't know about the stealing of signs. What a human story! Looking at his height and weight on his page, what a wisp of man by today's standards.

    Did pitchers have less arm problems back then because they were less muscular?

  16. ES Says:


    Jose Arredondo pitched the last two innings of that 2008 game for the Angels.

    That game is certainly not forgotten to me. I had Weaver on my fantasy team that year, and was upset on finding out how many points I had lost out on due to the loss until I realized Weaver was pulled after 6 innings anyway.....

  17. John Autin Says:

    @8 & @12 re: Hawkins's 141-pitch outing --
    Actually, 1990 was not at all the "modern era" in terms of pitch counts.
    The Hawkins game was but one of fifty times in 1990 that a pitcher threw at least 140 pitches in a game, by 36 different pitchers. (There were 171 games of 130+ pitches that year.)

    In 1992, there were still 49 games of 140+ pitches. As late as 1998, there were 23 such games (4 by Livan Hernandez, 3 by Randy Johnson, 2 each by Schilling and Clemens). By 2005, the count was down to 2, and there were none from 2006-09; that streak was snapped last year by Edwin Jackson's 149-pitch, 8-walk no-hitter.

  18. John Autin Says:

    I misstated the Hawkins pitch count -- it was 145, not 141 -- but my point remains valid. It was not so very unusual for a pitcher to throw that many pitches in 1990. And spreading those pitches out over 12 innings probably made it less stressful.

    The larger point is that even before 1990, Hawkins had more bad years than good; his career ERA+ was 91 through 1989. In the '89 season alone it was 81 (4.80 ERA). Most tellingly, in 1990 he had a 6.49 ERA in 13 games before the 131-pitch "no-hitter," and a 5.53 ERA in 13 games after the 145-pitch game. He turned 30 that year. If one looked at his career arc with no knowledge of those 2 high-pitch games, it would be not the least bit surprising that his MLB career didn't last much longer. There is no reason to believe that those 2 games played any role in the end of his career.

  19. John Autin Says:

    @15, Neil -- Did pitchers have fewer arm problems back then?

  20. Neil L. Says:

    Gotcha, JA, thanks! I did assume his career was impacted by arm misuse over these two games.

    Conclusion being that Hawkins' no-hit game was an act of God, a fluke that had no prior indicators or no likelihood of ever happening again.

    Very interesting research you've done on decline of the mega pitch counts for starters and when it occurred. Although, the names on your list were "horses" back then, wouldn't a pitching coach today be risking his job by pushing his starter that far?

    It raises the interesting question to be studied at another time of whether the "babying" of young pitchers today in terms of pitch counts, rest, and five-man rotations actually develops their arms or prevents pitching "stamina".

  21. Dvd Avins Says:

    That was quite the 9th inning in the Steve Barber game, too. Some substitutions (Horton, Belanger) by both managers that didn't work out as planned.

  22. Biff Says:

    "I was watching that 1990 game on TV in Chicago and remember it well. That's what I always remembered Jim Leyritz best for, dropping that 2-out bases-loaded fly ball in the 8th that allowed three White Sox to score."

    I thought Jesse Barfield was the one that dropped THAT ball. Either way, pretty amazing you can score 4 runs at the major league level without getting a hit.

  23. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Did pitchers have less arm problems back then because they were less muscular?

    I don't know that they did have fewer arm problems. Why do you think that is true?

    What has changed is that pitchers were more likely to pitch through "minor" issues, at the expense of either reduced effectiveness or injuring their arm further.

    If there were fewer injuries, it may be because pitchers gave less effort than they do now. It seems to me that they didn't strain themselves on every pitch the way pitchers do now. (This is a generalization, of course.) With bigger parks and fewer hitters who took big swings, it was easier to cruise through much of the game at 70-80% effort, letting the hitters put the ball in play.

  24. Neil L. Says:


    Sorry, I don't quite understand your post.

    I think they had fewer arm problems a generation or two ago because they pitched more innings and they had more complete games. In addition, SP then were part of a four-man rotation. Pitchers sucked up forearm strains or strained obliques. There was no tendancy to put pitchers on the 15 or 60 day disbled list back then.

    One could argue that there was not as much money invested in a contract back then.

  25. Evan Says:

    Re: Arm injuries from the past

    The medical testing equipment was not as sophisticated 20 or more years ago as it is today. Without imaging and a diagnosis to describe an injury many things seen as arm injuries today would have been attributed to discomfort or the pitcher becoming ineffective instead of an injury which might be healed through rest or surgery.

    I remember reading a numbers of years ago that some state, I think it was New Jersey, had far higher rates of autism than any other state, but the explanation wasn't that living in New Jersey caused autism, it was that New Jersey was doing a better job of detecting autism than other states were. Just because teams are finding X times as many injuries in the modern era doesn't mean that there are X times as many injuries occurring.

    @12 I wasn't ignoring pitch count in the first game. I think that stressing his arm in consecutive outings like that would tend to produce more damage to his arm than isolated occurrences. I remember that Edwin Jackson was given extra rest following that very high pitch count game.

    @18 I'm not sure that pitching in 12 different innings is that much less stressful. It also means he warmed up 13 times. I wasn't meaning to imply that there was any proof of a direct causal relationship between the two outings and the end of his career, but I don't think those outings did him any good. I would also say that he seemed to be pitching better in his 4 or 5 outings prior to the no-hit game (after a very poor start that saw him temporarily removed from the rotation, only to redeem himself with a 7+ inning relief appearance) than he did for the remainder of the season and his career, for that matter.