After Justin Verlander's near no-no (again), it's time to figure out who will be the one pitcher from each team most likely to throw a no-hitter this season. Suspending reality for a moment, we will pretend that every team will have one of their pitchers throw a no-hitter. This is the list of the pitchers who will do that for each team. The list will take into account: pitching ability, past performances, and surprise factor.
Here's Ian Kennedy's line so far: 7-2, 3.23 ERA, 75 K, 1.09 WHIP. Now, you might be wondering, "why not Daniel Hudson?" Hudson may lead the D-Backs in wins and strikeouts, but Kennedy has him beat in ERA and WHIP. Hudson's WHIP is 1.28 compared with Kennedy's 1.09.
Besides, look at that face. That is a face with "no-hitter" written all over it.
The line: 8-3, 2.13 ERA, 49 K, 1.09 WHIP. Hasn't this guy already flirted with a no-no this season? Probably. He was named NL pitcher of the month for May. If anyone on the Braves is going to throw a no-hitter, it's going to be this guy.
I'm pretty sure the expression on Zach Britton's face in this photo sums up how Orioles fans are feeling. It's cool though, Zach. You've been picked to throw the no-hitter for the O's in this fictional season! Congrats! I would have gone with Jake Arrieta, but his ERA was too high for me to justify it.
Here's Britton's line: 6-4, 3.18 ERA, 47 K, 1.23 WHIP.
Surprise! Nope, no Josh Beckett. No Jon Lester, either. This one is going to be a surprise performance by Clay Buchholz. Last time out, Buchholz pitched 7 solid innings, allowing only one earned run and three hits. Not too shabby.
Yes, Ryan Dempster's record is 5-5. Yes, his ERA is 5.48. However, I still can't believe the Rays got rid of Matt Garza and I just don't want Carlos Zambrano to throw one. Next on the list was Dempster.
Philip Humber has the fifth lowest WHIP in the MLB. Seriously. It's 0.97. This will be the guy on the White Sox to pull out a no-no when the time is right.
The leaders for the Reds in ERA all have an ERA over 5.00. Wood's is 5.38. Let's be honest, I picked him because his last name is the same as mine. How cool would it be to share a last name with a guy who threw a no-no?
Plus, it's my list and I'll do what I want.
I think the most astounding thing about Tomlin is that in 82.2 IP, he has only walked 12. Just let that sit with you for a bit. Yes, I know walks aren't hits, but that is still pretty awesome.
Man, what happened to Ubaldo Jimenez? I bet Jhoulys Chacin doesn't really care. He leads the Rockies in their pitching categories of wins (7), strikeouts (74), ERA (2.90) and WHIP (1.09). He also has the hardest name to spell on the team.
He already did it against Toronto. Come on, was it going to be anyone else?
Sanchez has already thrown two complete games and one shutout this season. He only has one loss on his record and has only given up eight home runs in over 80 IP.
For a team that is 13 games out of first place in the NL Central, the Astros' pitching isn't that bad. At least, it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Norris held the offensively-charged St. Louis Cardinals to one hit in eight innings. Not bad.
The Kansas City Royals pitching staff has a tendency to give up hits all over the place. That being said, look for Jeff Francis to be the pitcher on the mound when they don't give up any.
The line: 8-4, 2.06 ERA, 96 K, 0.92 WHIP. Weaver will do it for the Angels. If he doesn't, Dan Haren will.
He pitched a complete game against the Florida Marlins and only allowed two hits while striking out 10.
Yovani Gallardo is an interesting pitcher. One game he gives up a lot of hits, the next game he only gives up a couple. Gallardo will pitch a no-no followed by a game with a lot of hits.
I get a text message from ESPN every time a pitcher takes a no-hitter into roughly the 7th inning. If it's a Yankee, Phillie, or Red Sox, ESPN lets me know at about the 6th inning.
I have two problems with this:
1. Who talks about a no-no while it's in progress? Seriously, who does that (MLB Network does it, too. I'm not putting all of the blame on ESPN for this one)?
2. Off of that, when will they just let Liriano finally throw another no-no without jinxing him?
One day ESPN and MLB Network will figure it out and not break the cardinal rule of baseball. That day will be the day Francisco Liriano finally throws another no-hitter.
Dillon Gee is 7-0 for the Mets. I'm not making that up. He hasn't lost a game yet. His WHIP isn't bad either at 1.10. The best part? He's a rookie.
C.C. Sabathia grew up in the Bay Area. I did as well. So, automatically, I will be biased. C.C. does have the numbers to back this up. He has the most wins for the Yankees (eight), a not bad WHIP (1.23) and a whole bunch of strikeouts (81). He does have a tendency to give up a lot of hits, but I think he can pull a no-no out if he really wanted to.
He's a better pitcher than a guy with a 5-5 record. His best start in his last 10 was a seven inning start against the Angels. He held them to one hit and got the win.
Roy Halladay has to throw a no-hitter in every season. It's in his contract. He gets a bonus for perfect games.
He may not have the most wins for the Pirates, but the Pirates don't have the best offense in the MLB. He hasn't been allowing that many hits in his past few starts. If anyone for the Buccos can throw a no-no, it's going to be Karstens.
Don't let Dustin Moseley's 2-6 record fool you. Since I live in San Diego, I hear all about the woes of the Padres. Moseley's numbers are respectable coming from a team that has a .435 winning percentage. He posts a team best 3.16 ERA and a 1.29 ERA.
There's a rumor that the Freak will do a back-flip off the mound if he throws a perfect game. I want to see if the same is true if he throws a no-hitter. The only thing that might prevent this is his recent slide. However, last time he struggled (August 2010), he came back and dominated the rest of the season and into the postseason.
Felix Hernandez already has 103 K and a 1.19 WHIP in 106.1 IP. Michael Pineda has a better ERA and WHIP, but it's only fitting if King Felix gets it done.
I was going to go with Jaime Garcia for this one, but then I looked at Lohse's numbers. He put up a complete game shutout against the Washington Nationals and allowed only two hits. He also has a 1.02 WHIP.
Not only will David Price throw the no-hitter for the Rays, he'll also hit a home run in the game. This is mainly so we can see that awesome home run trot, complete with cartwheels, a slide and a forward roll into home.
Without Cliff Lee on the staff, C.J. Wilson will have a chance to show just how good he really is.
I'll be honest, I'm not very familiar with the Toronto Blue Jays. Here's Romero's line: 5-6, 3.18 ERA, 75 K, 1.23 WHIP. He's already pitched two complete games this season so we know he can go the distance.
Poor Jordan Zimmermann. He has some solid numbers despite having a 4-6 record. You can't control your team's offense.
Here's his line: 4-6, 3.10 ERA, 61 K, 1.08 WHIP.