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.