The rash of pitching performances for the record books continued on Friday night with Arizona’s Edwin Jackson no-hitting the Tampa Bay Rays.
It is already the fourth no-hitter/perfect game in the Majors this season, and the All-Star Game is still over two weeks away. The only other season in which there were four no-hitters prior to the All-Star break (since All-Star games began in 1933) was 1990.
Earliest Date of 4th No-Hitter
Jackson joins Randy Johnson as Diamondbacks pitchers to throw a no-hitter. Johnson hurled a perfect game against the Braves in 2004.
On the other side, it’s been a rough go for the Rays. Not only have they dropped seven of their last nine games – all against NL opponents, but Tampa Bay has now been the victim of three of the last five no-hitters in Major League Baseball. And all three of those have come in the last year, making the Rays the first team ever to be no-hit three times in a 12-month span. Tampa Bay was on the wrong side of perfect games by Dallas Braden on May 9 and Mark Buehrle on July 23, 2009.
To add insult to injury, Jackson used to be a member of the Rays. He went 19-26 in 2007-08 for Tampa Bay.
No-Hitter vs Former Team
The no-hitter may be a historical feat, but it was far from a pretty pitching performance by Jackson – he threw 149 pitches, faced 36 batters and walked eight batters. Only Jim Maloney (10) in 1965 and A.J. Burnett (9) in 2001 gave more free passes in a no-no than Jackson did on Friday.
Seventy of Jackson’s 149 pitches were balls – according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jackson is the only pitcher to throw 70 balls in a game since records of pitch counts began in 2000. Only 53 percent of Jackson’s pitches went for strikes.
Lowest Strike Pct in No-Hitter
Since 2000 (Excluding Combined No-Hitters)
- Jackson relied on his offspeed stuff. Inside Edge classified 77 of his 149 pitches as fastballs, a season-low percentage of 51.7 for Jackson. Entering Friday’s game, Jackson had averaged 63.1 percent of his pitches being fastballs.
- Jackson had success on low pitches, with five of his six strikeouts coming on pitches low in the zone or below it. The Rays missed on 10 of their 20 swings against pitches in the zone or below.
Additional no-hitter notes:
- The Rays have been no-hit four times since their inception in 1998, the most in the majors in that span.
- Tampa Bay is the first team since the 2001 Padres to be no-hit twice in the same season.
- It’s the fourth no-hitter in interleague play. The last came on June 12, 2007 when Detroit’s Justin Verlander held the Brewers hitless.
- The 149 pitches were the most by any pitcher since Livan Hernandez threw 150 for the Nationals in 2005.