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Madison Bumgarner on 7-Inning No-Hitter: I Don't Control How Long Games Are

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2021

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner, right, is congratulated by catcher Carson Kelly after pitching a seven-inning no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves, at the end of the second baseball game of a doubleheader, Sunday, April 25, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Madison Bumgarner's seven-inning no-hitter won't be officially recognized, but that won't stop the Arizona Diamondbacks southpaw from treating it like one.

"I didn't give up any hits today," Bumgarner told reporters after holding the Atlanta Braves hitless in a 7-0 victory Sunday. "I'm not in control of how many innings we're playing."

Arizona and Atlanta were playing the second game of a doubleheader.

MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed in February to limit each leg of a doubleheader to seven innings for the second straight season. MLB.com's Matt Kelly noted last August those games would need to extend to at least nine frames for Elias Sports Bureau to consider them in the no-hitter or perfect game categories.

There are plenty examples of a pitcher—Bumgarner included—losing a no-no or perfect game in the eighth or ninth innings.

Bumgarner's achievement has the possibility to become baseball's version of "Is a hot dog a sandwich?" but his comments underline how nobody is beholden to follow the official ruling.

Perhaps the Braves would've gotten a hit on the four-time All-Star. His pitch count had climbed to 98 through seven, and he hadn't gone more than five innings in any of his previous four starts.

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But Bumgarner went as far as he possibly could Sunday. If not formally a no-hitter by rule, it certainly qualifies under the spirit of the classification.

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