Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Liriano's first complete game a no-no
Francisco Liriano became the seventh pitcher in Minnesota Twins franchise history (dating to their days as the Washington Senators) to throw a no-hitter. It was the first Twins no-hitter since Eric Milton threw one against the then-Anaheim Angels in September 1999.
It's especially incredible when you consider that in his previous 94 starts, Liriano had never thrown a complete game.
The Elias Sports Bureau went one deeper, finding Liriano's longest no-hit bid prior to Tuesday was 5⅓ innings on May 31, 2006.
Liriano hadn't exactly gotten off to the best start this season. In fact, his 9.13 ERA entering a no-hitter is the second-highest by a pitcher since earned runs became official in 1913. Bill Dietrich had a 10.13 ERA before throwing his no-hitter in 1937.
Most of Liriano's starts this season actually began with a hit. In three of his four starts entering Tuesday, Liriano allowed a hit to the first batter he faced.
On Tuesday, he wasn't overpowering anyone -- his two strikeouts were tied for the third-fewest in a no-hitter since divisional play began in 1969. Jerry Reuss (two strikeouts) of the Los Angeles Dodgers was the last pitcher to throw a no-hitter while striking out two or fewer.
In the past 20 seasons, there have been five 1-0 no-hitters, including Liriano's on Tuesday. The previous pitcher to throw a no-hitter in a 1-0 win was none other than Liriano's opposing pitcher Tuesday, Edwin Jackson, who pitched his no-hitter in a 1-0 win last season against the Tampa Bay Rays.
According to Elias, 2007 was the last time a pitcher threw a no-hitter against a pitcher who previously threw a no-hitter. In 2007, Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle threw the first of his two no-hitters against the Texas Rangers. Buehrle was pitching opposite Kevin Millwood that day, also an owner of a no-hitter.
As far as the White Sox go, their streak of 18 seasons without allowing a no-hitter came to an end. They had owned the third-longest streak entering Tuesday, having not been no-hit since Bret Saberhagen completed the feat back in August 1991 for the Kansas City Royals.
No-hitters like Tuesday's are particularly rare for White Sox fans to witness. The last time the White Sox were on the losing end of the 1-0 no-hitter was on May 5, 1917 thanks to the St. Louis Browns’ Ernie Koob.