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Tuesday, April 27, 2010
1st pitch: A no-hitter kind of day

By Jeremy Lundblad, ESPN Stats & Info

Today’s Trivia: Derek Lowe and Kevin Millwood are both scheduled to start on Tuesday, but that’s not the only thing they have in common. Both pitchers have thrown a no-hitter on April 27 before; Lowe in 2002 and Millwood the following year. In fact, there have been six no-hitters on April 27, tied with September 20 for the most on a particular date.

On the subject of no-hitters: Who are the three active pitchers with multiple one-hit shutouts to their credit, but no no-hitters?

Quick Hits: With some data to work with after three weeks of action, some interesting lefty-righty split trends have emerged:

* In 2008, Andruw Jones hit .178 against lefties. Last season, it trickled up to .218. So far in 2010, Jones is hitting .400 against southpaws and already has four home runs, most in the majors and equaling last season’s total.

* A career .308 hitter against lefties, Xavier Nady was brought in to provide some punch to a Cubs offense that hit only 25 home runs against lefties all last season, which was seven fewer than any other team. So far, Nady is 3-for-20 (.150) against lefties.

* Meanwhile, Marlon Byrd is 17-for-28 (.607) with a league-leading seven doubles against lefties.

* Matt LaPorta is 0-for-18 against southpaws, and hitting .294 against righties.

* In 2008, Garrett Atkins had a 1.014 OPS against lefties. This season, he’s 0-17 against lefties and hitting .310 against right-handed pitchers.

* After a 5-for-25 start, Ryan Howard is now hitting .206 against lefties since the start of 2009.

* Chone Figgins is a mere 3-for-39 against righties, a year after he hit .323 against them. Yet, only four players have more walks against righties.

* The Padres are hitting an MLB-worst .185 against lefties, and have only managed six extra-base hits.

* The Royals are hitting an MLB-best .333 against lefties, yet have done so with only seven extra-base hits.

* The Dodgers and Mariners have only managed one home run against a lefty. The Dodgers, who have 19 homers off of righties, have gone 87 at-bats without taking a southpaw deep.

* The Blue Jays’ 26 home runs against righties are the most in baseball, but they only have a pair against lefties.

Today’s Leaderboard: Colby Rasmus has the league’s highest OPS against righties (1.480), but is 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts against lefties.

Key Matchups: Jamie Moyer is just 1-3 all-time when pitching in San Francisco. That one win came on July 16, 1987 –- almost 23 years ago – in Moyer’s first full season in the big leagues. Pitching for the Cubs, Moyer had a pair of Hall of Famers behind him in Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg. Bruce Bochy, Moyer’s opposing manager tonight, was still an active player. But the most startling note comes from Baseball Tonight researcher Mark Simon: Pablo Sandoval was just 11 months old on that date. This will be the first time Sandoval and Moyer face one another.

If Derek Lowe wants to celebrate the eighth anniversary of his no-hitter in style, he’ll have to do something about Matt Holliday first. Holliday has a .563 career average against Lowe. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the highest average in any batter-pitcher matchup among active National League players (minimum 30 AB). However, that includes a .650 batting average when playing in Colorado. Away from Coors, Holliday is a mere .417 hitter against Lowe.

Trivia Answer: Tim Hudson, Kerry Wood and Chris Carpenter all have pitched two one-hit shutouts, but never a no-hitter. (Pedro Martinez and Jason Schmidt would also qualify if on a roster). Interestingly, Carpenter gets the start tonight against Derek Lowe.