Ervin Santana pitched a gem of a game today. After giving up a run in the first inning on an error, stolen base and a wild pitch, he proceeded to give up no hits while striking out 10 and walking one.
How do you determine just how good a no-hitter is? By looking at the strikeouts and walks. You don't need a lot of strikeouts to a make a no-hitter good or great. However, you can't give up a lot of walks.
If you look back at the no-hitter Francisco Liriano threw earlier this year, the one thing he was criticized for was the sheer amount of walks he gave up, especially in comparison to the number of strikeouts he had.
There are many different levels of dominance. Simply relying on your defense to not allow any hits while you yourself don't allow runners on by issuing walks is in the middle of the road.
Allowing a ton of walks while relying heavily on your defense is "the worst kind of no-hitter."
Then there's the kind of no-hitter Santana threw today. The kind where the pitcher rarely relies on his defense because he amasses double-digit strikeouts and he's not allowing a single runner on base by not allowing a single walk (or in Santana's case having a 10 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio).
The only reason Santana didn't get a perfect game is because of a single error in the bottom of the first inning and a walk in the eighth.
Congratulations Ervin! This is an accomplishment that was well earned.
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