Liriano's no-no all too familiar to Jackson

May, 4, 2011
5/04/11
3:16
AM ET


Francisco Liriano's no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox was the 248th in major league history and 246th in the regular season. Liriano walked six and struck out two, becoming just the second pitcher since 1900 to have four more walks than strikeouts in a no-hitter according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Pittsburgh’s Cliff Chambers walked eight and struck out four when he no-hit the Braves in 1951.

Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter last night is a great example of a statistical oddity in baseball. Looking inside the numbers at the no-hitter, Liriano did not do much differently than in his previous 5 starts that yielded a 9.13 ERA. In fact in some cases, his numbers were worse.

His miss pct on his “out pitches” (changeup and slider) were actually worse than his season total

On top of that, Liriano's no-no wasn't all that special. Last year, Edwin Jackson, Liriano's opponent on the mound Tuesday, threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays also in a 1-0 game. In fact, the strike percentage, called strikes and three-ball counts from both of those games were nearly identical.

Although it's the first no-hitter of this season, Liriano's was the seventh this decade. From 2000-2009, there were a total of 15 no-hitters.

Here's more on how Liriano was able to no-hit the White Sox:

• He adjusted to the White Sox as the game went on. Chicago swung at just 34.1 percent of Liriano's pitches, the lowest percentage against the Twins' left-hander over the last three seasons. From innings 1-3, Liriano threw just 38.7 percent of his pitches in the strike zone. That number increased to 43.6 in innings 4-6 and 48.6 in innings 7-9.

• The White Sox did not hit the ball out of the infield in the last four innings, as Liriano threw 59.6 percent of his pitches down in that span, compared to 46.5 in the first five innings.

• Twenty-one of Liriano's 26 changeups were low. He got five outs with his changeup in the last four innings (including a double play), and none left the infield.

• Liriano had six innings of 12 pitches or less. It's even more impressive considering that he threw first-pitch balls to 19 of the 30 White Sox hitters he faced.

While Liriano got the no-no, one could argue that he wasn't even the best pitcher in U.S. Cellular Field Tuesday. Jackson and reliever Matt Thornton outpitched Liriano in several categories.

Finally, Liriano was just the second active starting pitcher to throw a no-hitter after previously undergoing Tommy John surgery joining Anibal Sanchez of the Marlins.

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