Wednesday, June 08, 2005

No No-No's, No Worries

Game 58 - Mets

Mets 3, Astros 1
Record: 31-27

Yikes, zoiks, holy shnikes, and every other nonsensical expression ever uttered. That Pedro character is some kind o' good. Unlike most people who write about sports, I'll own up to my own errors of the past. I begged the Mets not to sign him, thereby ensuring my place outside the realm of baseball general management. He's been stunning, most clearly so last night against the 'Stros. I actually missed the bust-up of the no-hitter in the 7th, but I got to see plenty of Pedroness along the way.

For now Pedro is healthy, happy, and hurling humdingers by most of the National League. He's given up a few long balls along the way, but most of what he's fired at home plate hasn't been contacted with much force.

His line from last night: 9 IP, 2 H 1 ER 1 BB, 12 K

Not too shabby. I really am an idiot . . . sometimes.

Of course, all of the talk today is about the 6 1/3 no-hit innings he pitched, and how the New York Mets still . . . still . . . have recorded nary a no-no in their franchise history. As I discussed with Wheelhouse manager Jerry, no-hitters are something of a novelty without any real bearing on the overall success of a franchise, but come on -- 43 years without one? That's pretty damn hard to do. How common are no-hitters? Let's find out.

Since the Mets first took the field in 1962, 59 no-hitters have been thrown by National League teams. It stands to reason, somewhat, that at least one of those might've been tossed by a Met. After all, there were only 10 NL teams back then, and all of 16 now. Then again, it takes a while for expansion teams to get their feet underneath them, so maybe that's not a fair angle at this.

There are 15 teams who came into existence (or moved to their current location) since 1961. Here's how the Mets stack up against them in no-no's since then:

Angels (1961): 8 no-hitters
Twins (1961): 4
Colt .45's/Astros (1962): 10
Braves (1966): 3
Athletics (1968): 5
Expos/Nationals (1969): 4
Royals (1969): 4
Brewers (1970): 1
Rangers (1972): 5
Mariners (1977): 2
Blue Jays (1977): 1
Marlins (1993): 3 (!)
Diamondbacks (1998): 1

and then . . .

Mets (1962): 0
Padres (1969): 0
Rockies (1993): 0
Devil Rays (1998): 0

That's 51 no-hitters and none by your Metropolitans. Do you get the sense of how hard it must have been to avoid this honor?

The following Mets left the team and then threw a no-hitter:
Tom Seaver
Mike Scott
Dwight Gooden
David Cone
Hideo Nomo
AJ Burnett

and oh yeah, Nolan Ryan seven times. Seven times!

The following guys had no-no's before they joined the Mets, but couldn't reproduce the magic:
John Candelaria
Bret Saberhagen
Kenny Rogers
Al Leiter

And yes, Hideo Nomo. Annoying.

No-hitters, not to mention perfect games, are in many cases, freakish occurrences not reserved for the game's best pitchers. Bud Smith, Jose Jimenez, and Kent Mercker won't draw too many votes for the Hall, but they've accomplished what no one wearing the royal blue pinstripes has managed. Victor Zambrano, this means you.

Anyway, while we while away the middle innings of games where Met foes haven't blemished the "H" box, hoping against hope for someone, anyone, to just get us off the schneid, there's not supreme angst associated with this failure. There are always two championship trophies upon which to fall back, and several of those teams listed above can only herald the no-no's while yearning for one title. And then there's those damnable Marlins. 12 years, three no-hitters, two World Series wins. No fans, of course, but I guess that doesn't really matter that much.

Still, it'd be kind of cool to notch one. Keep throwing, Pedro. I'm not putting it past you to put it past them for nine straight.

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