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Some “No Hitters” History

September 29, 2012

On Friday, Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds pitched a no hitter vs the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the 7th no hitter of this season tying the modern record which had been achieved in both 1990 and 1991. There were 8 no hitters in 1884 (I put that note in because I am reading Norman Macht’s book about Connie Mack and realize the wonders in baseball before 1900).

The last time the Pirates were no hit, the pitcher was the great, Bob Gibson. As in the case with Bailey’s no hitter, the game was in Pittsburgh. The year was 1971. That was the only no hitter of Gibson’s career and it occurred in the Pirates’ first full season at Three Rivers Stadium. Before then they had played for nearly 62 seasons at Forbes Field. There was never a no hitter pitched at Forbes Field. The Pirates won the World Series in 1971 just as the New York Mets won the World Series in 1969, a year they were “no hit” by the Pirates’ Bob Moose. Both Gibson’s and Moose’s no hitters were on Saturdays.

Meanwhile, the no hitter by Bailey was the first by a Reds’ pitcher since Tom Browning pitched a perfect game against the eventual world champion, Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 (that year Kirk Gibson hit some big post season home runs for LA and with the Dodgers 3 behind St. Louis with 5 games left in the wild card race, it is very likely it will be 25 years and counting since a Dodgers’ World Series win or even an appearance in the “Fall Classic”). That perfect game was also pitched on a Friday night.

The Reds have as good a chance as any team in the upcoming “tournament” while the Pirates added to their North American sports league record with their 20th consecutive “non winning” season after being no hit by Bailey. They were in contention for a while and as was the case with the Mets faded in the 2nd half of the season. However, both teams won more games than expected by the “experts” in Las Vegas, the Mets clinching that “distinction” with 5 games left Friday night in Atlanta. Speaking of the Braves, they clinched at least a wild card spot (that is all it will be as they trail the Washington Nationals by 4 games with 5 left) when Freddie Freeman hit a game ending home run on Tuesday night. Last year, Freeman hit into a double play that ended the Braves’ season which completed their collapse and gave the Cardinals entry into the 8 team tournament. The Cards took that “entry ticket” and hit big, winning their 11th World Title. Almost certainly the Braves will get a chance for revenge next Friday as they will host the Cardinals in a one game playoff, the winner becoming one of 8 teams vying for the 2012 Title.

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