MLB: The 5 Best Active Pitchers That Have Never Thrown a No-Hitter

Chris Schad@@crishadContributor IIIAugust 15, 2012

MLB: The 5 Best Active Pitchers That Have Never Thrown a No-Hitter

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    No-hitters are one of the greatest spectacles in baseball. When somebody goes to a game in their favorite ballpark, there's always somebody who cracks a joke about a no-hitter at the beginning of the game.

    As the game goes on and the zeros light up across the scoreboard, the atmosphere in the stadium becomes pure euphoria no matter who the home team is.

    On the flip side, the pitcher is thrown into an unimaginable pressure cooker, as even his own teammates don't want to talk to him as the sixth, seventh and eighth innings unfold.

    While the number of no-hitters in Major League Baseball has increased over the past few years, there are still several elite pitchers that have yet to achieve this feat of dominance—even after Seattle's Felix Hernandez tossed one on Wednesday afternoon.

    Here's a look at the top pitchers in baseball that have yet to throw a no-hitter at the major-league level.

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

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    To start the discussion, we'll look at one of the brightest young arms in the game. Stephen Strasburg's career is fairly young, so it's unfair to label him as somebody who has crumbled under the pressure of a no-hitter.

    However, one can make the argument that Strasburg is one of the best pitchers in baseball, as his career 19-9 record and 2.76 career earned run average states.

    Strasburg hasn't had the opportunity to throw a no-hitter, mainly because of the Washington Nationals' fear that he'll burst into flames if he goes over 160 innings two years removed from Tommy John surgery.

    But, when the kid gloves come off of Strasburg in a year or so, he could easily humiliate a team by picking up his first of what could be multiple no-hitters.

CC Sabathia, New York Yankees

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    CC Sabathia is another pitcher who has been dominant, but has never been able to finish the job when it comes to throwing a no-hitter. Sabathia has come close several times, but lost his no-hit bids very late in the process.

    Over 12 seasons in the major leagues, Sabathia has racked up 188 wins and has a shot at 250 before his career is over. He also plays for a team with a potent offense that could have the opposing team quitting before they even get to the plate.

    Like Strasburg, Sabathia will have the opportunity to go deep into a game with a no-hit bid. However, his time in the major leagues is running out, and he may never be able to complete the feat.

Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants

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    Tim Lincecum is having a miserable season in 2012, but he is a two-time Cy Young Award winner, and his freakish delivery could have given him a no-hitter by now.

    Lincecum plays in one of the best hitter's parks in all of baseball, and prior to this season, he regularly has had an earned run average hovering between 2.00 and 3.00 for the majority of his young career.

    Lincecum should figure out the root of his problems over the upcoming offseason, as he is another pitcher that could have a no-hitter on his already-stellar resume in the near future.

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Clayton Kershaw is another young arm that has yet to throw a no-hitter, but his stuff almost assures him that he'll get one in the near future.

    The Dodgers' ace has been dominant in his brief career, as he's limited opposing batters to a .216 average. Kershaw has also been in the mix of the Cy Young Award race in recent years, and even took one home in 2011.

    When it comes to young pitchers, Kershaw could be baseball's brightest star. Like his cross-town counterpart, Jered Weaver (who threw a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins in May), Kershaw will likely have his day in the sun after throwing a no-hitter of his own.

Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Finally, the pitcher who just got paid the most is missing one important thing on his resume: a no-hitter.

    Actually, it was just one season ago when Cole Hamels was the forgotten guy among Philadelphia's "Four Aces," which also included Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.

    While Halladay has thrown a regular-season perfect game and a no-hitter in the playoffs, the other three pitchers on that vaunted staff have yet to accomplish the feat.

    Since we're going with the best pitchers in baseball without one, Hamels gets the nod because he is currently in the prime of his career (and having a much better season than Lee).

    The Phillies were wise to lock up Hamels with a long-term contract in their effort to rebuild, and eventually, he should be able to accomplish the feat with the team he began his career with.