It's Not O-K: Lowest Strikeout Totals in a No-Hitter Since 1954
Hopefully you got a chance to check out the first part of my no-hitter series: The 10 Best Strikeout Performances in a No-Hitter Since 1954.
This list takes the opposite approach and focuses on the guys who didn't dominate their opponents with punch-outs.
Eight pitchers have struck out three or fewer while walking multiple batters in a no-hitter, and I've compiled those hurlers into this slideshow.
We will kick things off with three guys who deserve honorable mention—they all fanned just three but also walked one hitter in their no-hit bids.
Steve Busby: Jun. 19, 1974
The Royals defeated the Milwaukee Braves 2-0 while Busby walked one and struck out three.
Rick Wise: Jun. 23, 1971
Wise cracked two home runs for the Phillies at the plate and tossed a 4-0 no-hit win against the Cincinnati Reds, also walking one and striking out three.
Jack Kralick: Aug. 26, 1962
The Twins southpaw walked one and struck out three in a 1-0 win over the Kansas City Athletics.
Jim Abbott: Sept. 4, 1993
Abbott, who had no right hand, beat the Cleveland Indians 4-0 on a remarkable day under a cloudy sky at old Yankee Stadium.
Jim tossed 119 pitches, walked five Cleveland hitters, and struck out only three en route to the lone no-hitter of his career.
The 6'3" right-hander attended the University of Michigan, played on the 1998 U.S. Olympic team, and was brought straight into the Major Leagues by the California Angels in 1989.
Ken Forsch: Apr. 7, 1979
Forsch propelled his Houston Astros to a 6-0 win over the Atlanta Braves. He joined his brother Bob to become the only pair of brothers to throw no-hitters.
It was his first start of the '79 season, and he struck out three and walked two. At one point retiring 20 consecutive hitters from the second until the eighth, Forsch faced just two batters over the minimum.
Until 2001, when Hideo Nomo tossed one on Apr. 6, Forsch had the earliest no-hitter in the history of the game.
Tom Seaver: Jun. 16, 1978
Famously dragging his right knee on the ground in his delivery for years with the New York Mets, Tom threw a no-hitter for the Reds against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 win.
It was Seaver's first and only career no-hitter.
Seaver was the only pitcher on this list to break even—three walks and three strikeouts.
Prior to this, Seaver had thrown five complete game one-hitters.
Bob Forsch: Apr. 16, 1978
The 6'4" right-hander no-hit the visiting Phillies in a 5-0 victory for the hometown Cardinals.
Forsch walked two and struck out three, but the no-hitter didn't come without controversy.
In the eighth inning, Phillies leadoff hitter Gary Maddox laced what appeared to be a single past third baseman Ken Reitz. The Crowd let out a loud moan because they thought the no-hitter was lost.
Shortly after, official scorer Neal Russo, a baseball writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, posted the error on the scoreboard, and the crowd went wild.
Carl Erskine: May 12, 1956
Erskine tossed the first of two no-hitters for the defending World Champion Dodgers in '56. He beat the rival New York Giants 3-0 at Ebbets Field.
It was the first of two Dodgers no-hitters that season, as Sal Maglie (next on this list) would toss one that September.
Carl struck out three but also walked two Giants in the no-hit effort.
Erskine was given a $500 bonus after the game by owner Walter O'Malley.
Sal Maglie: Sept. 25, 1956
The Brooklyn Dodgers got their second no-hit performance of the season in a 5-0 win at Ebbets Field against the Phillies.
Maglie took 110 pitches to achieve the feat and walked two while striking out three.
Sal also received $500 from O'Malley.
Clyde Wright: Jul. 3, 1970
The California Angels celebrated the Fourth of July a day early with Wright's no-hitter in a 4-0 win against the Oakland A's.
Slugger Reggie Jackson was the lone strikeout of the game, and Wright walked three A's on the day.
Wright recorded just the second no-hitter in franchise history and faced only 29 batters.
Bob Keegan: Aug. 20, 1957
Keegan's White Sox beat the Washington Senators 6-0 on a late-August day.
He struck out just one hitter, and it didn't come until the ninth inning. Julio Becker pinch-hit with one out in the ninth and K'd for the next to last out of the game. Keegan also walked two Senators.
Nicknamed "Smiley," Keegan kept Washington hitters frowning on this August day.
Ken Holtzman: Aug.19, 1969
Holtzman's first place Cubs defeated Phil Niekro and the Atlanta Braves 3-0 in the only no-hitter since 1954 when the pitcher did not record a strikeout.
The 23-year-old left-hander put his Cubbies eight games in front of the second place Mets.
Holtzman walked three Braves and no-hit a lineup that featured Felipe Alou in the leadoff spot and also had Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Orlando Cepeda.
Perhaps aided by a near 20-MPH wind blowing in, Holtzman got some help from the elements when a sure-thing home run by Hank Aaron got held up in the wind and was caught at the wall.
“I thought it was gone—even with the wind blowing in,” said Holtzman.
The rowdy bleacher fans at Wrigley Field poured over the walls and onto the field to celebrate the accomplishment with Holtzman.