Sunday June 26, 2022
Astros No-Hit Yankees!
So there's still some good news in the world.
Yesterday, the Houston Astros no-hit the New York Yankees, who have otherwise been rampaging through the league this season like Biff Tannen on a bender. It's not exactly a David-and-Goliath story (the Astros have been perennials since 2015, won the World Series in 2017, and infamously cheated throughout), and it wasn't even a true no-hitter, with one pitcher standing tall throughout. Astros starter Christian Javier went 7, struck out 13 and walked 1, but by then he'd thrown a career-high 115 pitches and Dusty Baker pulled him for an inning of Hector Neris (20 pitches, 0 Ks, 2 BBs) and an inning of closer Ryan Pressly (15 pitches, 2 Ks, no BBs). Now normally I'm not down with combined no-hitters but in this case I'll take it. For a day, the New York Yankees were shut down and shut up. There's joy in that.
When was the last time the New York Yankees were no-hit? Turns out, June 11, 2003, also by the Houston Astros, and also with a combined no-hitter: six pitchers back then. Before that, you'd have to go all the way back to 1958 when the Orioles' Hoyt Wilhelm beat them 1-0. He's the last single pitcher to no-hitter the Bronx Bombers.
There's a very helpful website detailing all of this. The Yanks have only been no-hit eight times, and by some sterling names: not just Wilhelm, but Cy Young and Bob Feller. They were no-hit three times in the deadball era (before they really became the New York Yankees), and then not again until Feller in '46. Then Virgil Trucks in '52 and Wilhelm in '58. Those are truly impressive no-hitters, since those Yankee teams were, like this Yankee team, dominant. That may be the most interesting aspect of all of this. The Yankees weren't no-hit in, say, 1966, when they finished last in the American League, or in 1968, when no one could hit, or during the early '90s when they were rebuilding. They were no-hit in seasons when they went 87-67 (and finished third), 95-59 (and won the World Series), 92-62 (and won the World Series), and 101-61 (and won the AL pennant). These were no-slouchers getting no-hit.
So how does the eight times the Yankees have been no-hit stack up against other teams? Fairly well, according to the website. The Dodgers and Phillies hold the record with being no-hit 20 times each. The fewest has been the KC Royals, who came into existence in 1969, with two (one vs. Nolan Ryan, which is like a bye). Meanwhile, my Mariners, who are 75 years younger than the Yanks, have been no-hit about the same number of times, seven, and, again, and oddly, not during our horrific beginnings, but in, say, 1996 when we had a Hall of Fame lineup Griffey, A-Rod, Edgar, Buhner, etc. Five of the seven have happened during the last 10 years, and four since 2019. I was at one of them. All of that makes sense. We've been hitless wonders, emphasis on hitless.
Of the original 16 franchises, the Cubs, of all teams, have been no-hit the fewest times: just seven.
Anyway, for a day, there's joy in Mudville, the mighty Yankees have struck out. In this season, and in this year, I'll take it.