Wait, What Happened?

This past week proved to be quite the eventful one in major league baseball. The AL continued its domination of the senior circuit, the Tigers climbed back to .500, the Diamondbacks continued to fall toward .500, C.C. Sabathia dropped his ERA to 3.78 while taking the league lead with 118 strikeouts, and then there were the two events or oddities I will profile here: the Dodgers were no-hit and won, and the Twins faced four former Cy Young Award winners in five days.

First, the Twins: From 6/20 to 6/25 they played and won five contests in their nine-game winning streak, beating Randy Johnson, Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, and Greg Maddux. Now, they did not beat all four of these pitchers, specifically, as Trevor Hoffman lost Peavy’s game; still, this made me wonder if something similar has ever happened before. Facing four Cy Young Award winners in five games would require two or more award winners to be on the same team as well as the schedule to pan out to one of the following:

a) 3 on one team, 1 on the team played after that series, faced consecutively
b) 2 on one team, 2 on the next team, comprising the final and first games of different series
c) 1 award winner in the final game of a series, 2 in a two-game series, and 1 to start the next

My first thought was that the Braves might factor in here as, from 1997-2002, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux, and Tom Glavine had all at least won one award. If the three of them pitched in a series and the opposing team then faced, say, Randy Johnson in their next game it would work. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything coded for this; if anyone out there does, please let us know if this has ever happened before.

Secondly, the Dodgers beat the Angels last night, 1-0, yet did not record one hit. Their lone run came on two errors and a sac fly in the fifth inning. Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo combined to surrender no hits—it isn’t officially labeled a no-hitter by major league baseball since the Dodgers only batted eight times.

Though reported that this was the fifth time since 1900 in which a team won while failing to record a hit, the other four all appear to have taken place from 1956 until now. Here are the other four:

1) 4/23/1964, Reds 1-0 Colt .45′s, no-hit by Ken Johnson
2) 4/30/1967, Tigers 2-1 Orioles, 8.2 hitless from Steve Barber
3) 7/1/1990, White Sox 4-0 Yankees, 8.0 hitless from Andy Hawkins
4) 4/12/1992, Indians 2-1 Red Sox, 8.0 hitless from Matt Young

Only in a game like baseball can a pitcher allow no hits to his opposition, while pitching a complete game, yet lose the game and additionally fail to get his efforts recognized as a no-hitter. Such a crazy week in an unpredictable sport topped off with just the fifth hitless win in history.

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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.

3 Responses to “Wait, What Happened?”

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  1. NadavT says:

    Their lone run came on a sac fly followed by two errors in the fifth inning

    Damn, that must have been one hell of an inning! I imagine it played out something like this:

    With nobody on, the sac fly scores the nonexistent runner. Then the two errors combine to put a runner on base and move him to third base so that he could score on the sac fly that was previously hit.

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  2. Eric Seidman says:

    Fixed. Though I enjoy your scenario much better,

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  3. jpo says:

    > if anyone out there does, please let us know if this has ever happened before.

    I found a few, most of them built around the accumulation of Cy Young talent in Baltimore and Cleveland in 1974/1975.

    In 1974, from 9/24 to 9/27, the Brewers had four straight games against the Indians and the Orioles, facing Gaylord Perry, Jim Perry, Jim Palmer, and Mike Cuellar, and losing three out of four.

    They then repeated close to the same cycle in the beginning of the 1975 season, playing four straight over five days from 4/15 to 4/19 against the Orioles and then the Indians, facing Palmer, Cuellar, Gaylord Perry, and Jim Perry, this time winning three out of four.

    Also in 1974, the Yankees ran into the same lineup, with four games (out of six) over a five-day period from 9/17 to 9/21 against first the Orioles, and then the Indians, facing Palmer, Cuellar, Gaylord Perry, and Jim Perry, taking the pair against the Orioles and dropping the pair against the Indians.

    The best of the bunch (because it was four straight days, instead of five) came in 1975 right after Gaylord Perry moved from the Indians to the Rangers. The Indians had a four-day span from 6/14 to 6/17, playing two against the Rangers and two against the Orioles, and facing Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry (in his first game in a Rangers uniform), Palmer, and Cuellar, and dropping three out of four.

    The only noteworthy streak not involving this crew came in 2001, when over a seven-day period from 6/20 to 6/26, the Devil Rays matched up against David Cone and Pedro Martinez (Boston), Roger Clemens (New York), and then Cone and Martinez again, losing all five games.

    Finally, the 1975 Brewers streak mentioned above was part of a longer, 13-day streak from 4/11 to 4/23, with back-to-back series against the Indians and the Orioles. Over this span, they faced a total of eight Cy Young winners (Perry/Perry/Palmer/Cuellar), winning five of the eight games.

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