On Thursday afternoon, the Texas Rangers were facing the Oakland Athletics. Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis had a perfect game going, until walking Yonder Alonso with two outs, ending the perfect game.
However, the no-hitter remained intact.
All across social media, people were tweeting about the possibility of a no-hitter.
Then, to start off the bottom of the ninth, Max Muncy hit a double that suddenly ended his no-hitter bid. Soon after, his shutout bid ended. Despite that, the Rangers won 5-1 over the last-place Athletics.
The reason I bring this up is because since the start of last season, there have been seven no-hitters. While that doesn’t seem like such a large number, it is becoming a more frequent event that it used to be.
Which brings up the question: has the no-hitter lost its luster?
Well, it must be noted that the ultimate pitching performance is the “perfect game”, in which no hits, walks, or runs are allowed by a pitcher. In over 135 years of Major League Baseball, there’s been a total of just… 23 perfect games. Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners threw the most recent perfect game back in 2012.
As for the no-hitter, there have been 295 thrown in Major League Baseball history. It’s a small number, but they’ve started to become more frequent as time has passed. In fact, Cubs pitcher Jake Arietta and Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer have thrown two each since the start of 2015.
There was a time when a no-hitter was one of the biggest moments in baseball. It still is an amazing accomplishment for any pitcher, but these days (more often than in the past), you’ll hear about a pitcher heading into either the seventh or eighth inning with a no-hit bid going for them, only for it to be snapped.
Almost anytime a pitcher throws a no-hitter, it will be met with applause and admiration (even from the opposing team’s fans).
That won’t change.
But what could change is that the fact that the time will come when it just won’t be seen as an astonishingly huge accomplishment, as it once was.