The history of baseball in 2021 comes in the form of a big, big, zero.
That’s because, at this point in the MLB season, there have been seven no-hitting pitches, which allowed baseball to break the record for most throwing in a season.
While many teams and pitchers are happy to carve their names in the history books, Cleveland, the Mariners and Rangers are dangerously close to the brink of unwanted recognition, with the three teams not already touching twice in 2021. With four full months of tough play, there’s a good chance either team could set a non-hitting record against them in a season.
Everything you need to know about the “Year of the No-No” and more can be found here:
MORE: The Newest No-Hitter For All 30 MLB Teams
How many hits were thrown in 2021?
So far in 2021, seven hits have been thrown:
- The Padres’ Joe Musgrove started a scoreless season on April 9 against the Rangers.
- White Sox starter Carlos Rodon defeated division rival Cleveland on April 14.
- Baltimore pitcher John Means did not touch the Mariners on May 5.
- Reds starter Wade Miley scribbled his name in the history books with the second scoreless game of the season against Cleveland on May 7.
- The Tigers’ Spencer Turnbull in Seattle on May 18, the second time the Mariners have been untouched this season.
- Corey Kluber of the Yankees without a hitting in Texas the following night, May 19, the second time the Rangers have been without a hitting this season.
- After a short respite, Cubs pitchers Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel combined to throw a no-no, tying the MLB record.
The MLB single-season hitterless record (since 1900) is seven, which has now happened five times: 1990, 1991, 2012, 2015 and 2021.
To make this year’s hitting matches even more impressive, Musgrove, Rodon and Kluber were each far from perfect matches. Musgrove and Rodon hit the batters (Rodon in ninth) and Kluber walked a batter.
There could be a number of reasons there have been so many draws so early in the season:
– Changes to baseball might be the hottest reason, with pitchers (and MLB) acknowledging that some changes have affected the flight of the ball, resulting in fewer home runs and a more level playing field for pitchers.
– Offensive ideologies that continue to value home run-or-bust approaches at home and downgrade contact, which, to be fair, are supported by statistics. Still, the MLB batting average is unusually low, and that’s not a good sign for offenses to increase.
– The pitchers are getting nastier and meaner, although the seven no-cast so far have not been made by pitchers with the best “tricks”.
Most hitterless in a single MLB season
If things continue as they are, then we’ll see the story in the 2021 season.
The single-season hitting record is seven, a number that has been recorded five times in MLB history: in 1990, 1991, 2012, 2015 and now, 2021.
Prior to the modern era (1900), there were eight draws in the 1884 season.
Most non-strike goals against a team in a season
Cleveland, the Marisners and the Rangers are on the verge of a very unfortunate story: the three teams have not already been hit twice in the 2021 season, and unless there are major changes in their respective offenses, they could set the record for most no hit in a season.
No team has ever been without a hit three times in a season, but the last two not having a hit twice in a season have turned out to be pretty good fortune: the Mets and Dodgers have been no hits twice in 2015, and both teams won their division. The Mets won the National League championship before losing to the Royals in the World Series.
So it might not be all bad news for Cleveland, Seattle and Texas, although no one will mistake these teams for potential World Series contenders.
When was the last perfect MLB game?
While the aforementioned Musgroves, Rodon and Kluber came close to writing the perfect 24th, 25th and 26th games in MLB history, respectively, the baseball world will have to wait for the next one.
Three of the seven no-hitting games in 2012 were perfect games: White Sox right-hander Philip Humber, Giants right-hander Matt Cain and former Mariners great Felix Hernandez each threw perfectos that season.
The nine years between perfect games is the longest wait in MLB history since the split between Catfish Hunter in 1968 and Len Barker in 1981.