The 10 Best Strikeout Performances in a No-Hitter Since 1954
Jonathan Sanchez became just the 10th pitcher since 1954 to fan 10 batters and not issue a walk during a no-hitter.
Sanchez is just one of two pitchers to strike out 10 and walk zero batters in a no-hitter but not record a perfect game.
This list consists of the top 10 strikeout performances, while issuing zero walks, during a no-hitter in the Retrosheet Era.
The players are arranged in ascending order, from lowest strikeout total to highest.
Jim Bunning: June 21, 1964
Bunning tossed a perfect game on Father's Day in 1964 and struck out 10 Mets batters.
He was the perfect candidate to reach the milestone on such a day--Bunning was a father of seven.
The Phillies won 6-0 at Shea Stadium in the first game of a doubleheader. The most unbelievable stat of the day was that Bunning threw 90 pitches and only 11 were out of the strike zone.
Bill Singer: July 20, 1970
Singer struck out 10 at Dodger Stadium in a 5-0 win over the Phillies.
He could have had a perfect game it he hadn't plunked Oscar Gamble in the first inning and then made an error later in the same frame.
Another interesting tidbit about Singer is that he recorded the first save in Major League history on April 7, 1969.
Mike Witt: Sept. 30, 1984
In the final game of the Angels season, Witt was perfect at Arlington Stadium against the Texas Rangers.
He struck out 10 and out-dueled knuckle-baller Charlie Hough in a 1-0 win. Hough went a complete game also but gave up seven hits.
Witt got Rob Wilfong to groundout to second base to achieve what was, at the time, just the 11th perfect game in Major League history.
David Cone: July 18, 1999
Maybe everyone should have known that this was going to be a special day when Don Larsen threw out the first pitch to Yogi Berra. The two were the battery from Larsen's 1956 World Series perfect game.
On a tragic weekend in America that saw John F. Kennedy Jr. perish tragically in a plane crash over Martha's Vineyard, David Cone brought something to cheer for on a Sunday afternoon in the Bronx.
Cone struck out 10 Montreal Expos in this interleague gem. He threw just 88 pitches, 68 of those pitches were strikes, and made his way into "Baseball Immortality" as Yankees announcer Michael Kay so emphatically put it.
Jonathan Sanchez: July 10, 2009
Sanchez got 11 Padres batters to fall victim to the strikeout but is the only one of two pitchers on this list (Bill Singer) to not see a perfect game as a reward for his efforts.
An eighth-inning Juan Uribe error cost Sanchez his perfection, but the no-hitter was saved with one-out in the ninth when Aaron Rowand made a spectacular catch up against the centerfield wall.
Recently brought back into the Giants rotation only because of an injury to Randy Johnson, Sanchez threw his first career complete game and first career shutout in grand fashion.
His father Sigfredo was visiting from Puerto Rico and saw his son throw the first Giants no-hitter since John Montefusco did so on Sept. 29, 1976.
Catfish Hunter: May 8, 1968
Hunter threw a perfect game against a lineup that featured Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew but only a shade over 6,000 people were there to witness it.
He struck out 11 Twins in the 4-0 A's win and Killebrew K'd three times himself in the dominating performance.
Bruce Look struck out for the third time in the game and then Rich Reese went down looking to end the historic game.
Len Barker: May 15, 1981
Barker struck out 11 Blue Jays in front of just 7.290 fans at Cleveland Stadium on a bitterly cold night.
Game time temperature was just 49 degrees in a 3-0 Indians win.
Affectionately called "The Big Donkey" by manager Dave Garcia, the big right-hander made his way into the record books with this effort.
David Wells: May 17, 1998
It took Wells 120 pitches to retire all 27 Minnesota Twins in order. He struck out 11 on the day.
"In the seventh inning, I started getting really nervous. I knew what was going on, I was hoping the fans would kind of shush a little bit. They were making me nervous." said Wells of the experience.
It was the first perfect game thrown at Yankee Stadium since Don Larsen tossed his infamous World Series perfect game.
Everyone can remember Wells anxiously awaiting Paul O'Neill to catch the Pat Mears pop-up down the right field line to finalize things.
Randy Johnson: May 18, 2004
The Big Unit was 3-4 in the '04 season until he tossed a perfect game at Turner Field against the hometown Atlanta Braves.
Randy got Eddie Perez to go down swinging for the final out.
Johnson's Diamondbacks were able to muster two runs off of opposing pitcher Mike Hampton, who tossed a complete game, en route to the 2-0 win.
He struck out 13 and allowed just seven balls to reach the outfield.
Sandy Koufax: Sept. 9, 1965
Koufax struck out 14 Chicago Cubs on this magical night at Dodger Stadium.
On the evening the Cubs hitters managed just seven balls into the outfield.
Sandy struck out the side in the top of the ninth, the final victim being Harvey Kuenn.
Perhaps the most remarkable part about the night was the fact that opposing pitcher Bob Hendley tossed a complete game one-hitter in the 1-0 Dodgers victory. Hendley threw just 76 pitches and the only run he allowed was unearned.
Koufax earned his 22 win of the season and tossed a perfect game for the final no-hitter of his career.
The victory brought the Dodgers within 1/2 game of National League leading San Francisco and from that point on they went 17-4 en route to winning the pennant and then the World Series.