Well we’ve got our 5th no-hitter of the still young season (I count Mad-Bum’s even if MLB doesn’t). Wade Miley of the Reds has blanked the Cleveland Baseball Team 3-0. He gave up one walk, struck out 8. Only once in baseball history has there been 4 no-no’s before the end of May until now—1917, back in the Dead Ball Era. Thus we have a new, albeit unofficial, record by counting it as 5. The way things are going, I wouldn’t bet against a new official record soon.
4 thoughts on “Official No-Hitter #4”
The number of no hitters is going up while the number of complete games is going down. Including these no hitters there have been 19 complete games so far this year. No pitcher has more than one complete game. 14 of the 30 teams have 0 complete games.
The first thing that comes to mind for me is that baseball is a funny game, but I think there’s something else, something negative to it. Max effort on every pitch (for both the hitter and the pitcher). Maybe the national pastime wasn’t made for that.
The league as a whole is averaging over 9 strikeouts per game. I remember columnists going on about how often Tom Seaver would K 10 in a game. What I grew up be told was a sign of excellence is barely above average. In the 1970’s/80’s the average K’s per game was around 5. There’s something definitely wrong with the game today, and my opinion is that something is Three True Outcomes.
Trouble is that the analytics which proscribe the three true outcomes approach are probably mostly correct in yielding the most wins. The size and strength of the players has increased while the size of the playing fields have not. Move the outfield walls back about 50 feet so that the 280 pounder who strikes out about half the time while putting it in the seats once or twice a week is less valuable, and the fleet outfielder or agile infielder who can hit the ball in the corner or at least get the bat on the ball for a broken bat bloop are more valuable. And with about half the pitchers in the league able to touch Nolan Ryan velocities maybe move the mound back a foot or two.
Moving the walls won’t happen, of course.
I am interested, however, in how the experiment of moving the mound back in the Atlantic League works out this year.
Pitch clocks would help prevent pitchers from resting between pitches and thus decrease fastball velocity, maybe requiring mixing in more off speed pitches.
One other thing that interested me is why MLB is having low-A (south) utilize a “roboump” for balls/strikes this year. It’s not for consistency and accuracy…frankly those are givens. It’s because the strike zone can then be adjusted in ways human umps can’t. They could, for example, shrink the strike zone margin by an inch on all sides. Visually it’d look about the same, but it’d require more accurate pitching to get strike calls…which would require slower velocities. Or, they could narrow the strike zone but increase the vertical component to allow more high or low strikes, affecting bay angles.
Three true outcomes is used because it does result in the most efficient run scoring. However, it results in a slower paced, less action game. Thus I will be interested in any rule change that might affect that.
It’ll probably take multiple changes to make a real difference. MLB deadening the ball a little this year might lower the number of homers a bit, but it also increases the number of strikeouts as batters swing even harder to try to compensate.