To whoever got here by searching for “graph of no-hitters by year” (I’m overdue for another one of those search engine roundup posts…), welcome! As some of you know, my graphs of no-hitters specify walks and errors…which sort of helps pin down another variation on a no-hitter, the “facing the minimum.” This was the feat accomplished by Justin Verlander in his (second) no-hitter (of course, facing the minimum can occur while giving up hits. Also of course, the minimum number of batters one can face in a game is zero…retire a runner by throwing them out or something and then leave the game. The minimum batters one can face when throwing a complete game is 25, if you lose a road game (but you need one runner to score) (and that’s not even getting into rain-shortened games)).
But on the subject of actual pitchers of multiple no-hitters and how they did, facing-the-minimum wise, here were my top nine observations…
- Mark Buerhle has two twenty-seven up, twenty-seven (eventually) down games; the perfect game and another no-hitter in which one batter was walked but got picked off.
- Sandy Koufax also faced the minimum twice, once a perfecto; in his other two no-hitters, he left one and three on, respectively.
- On the subject of more than two no-hitters, Bob Feller faced 6, 5, and 4 more than the minimum in his three no-hitters. In the last case, one of them scored.
- Nolan Ryan’s high-water mark in seven attempts was 8.
- The overall record among the pitchers I looked at was Jim Maloney, with ten left on base (but cut him some slack, it was ten innings).
- Johnny Vander Meer faced just one more than the minimum in his first no-hitter. Perhaps rattled by the attention four days later, he faced eight more.
- Warren Spahn also faced the minimum in one of his no-hitters; he walked two batters, but they both got out on the basepaths. Moreover, his team is recorded with making one error; a foul catch that should have been made, wasn’t. However, that batter struck out, so the error did not put a runner on base.
- This is something I had not thought to consider in my previous graphs and as a result those “error” numbers, while correct, are perhaps misrepresentative.
- This analysis only included games that Retrosheet had box scores for, so I’ll have to look up the exploits of Adonis Terry on my own.