In a lot of ways, a combined no-hitter is as much fun as when one pitcher alone performs the feat. The main reason is because it is such a rarity.
Counting the Phils' no-no in Atlanta yesterday, there have been 243 no-hitters in Major League Baseball's modern era (starting in 1901), but only 11 of them have been official nine-inning, combined no-hitters. That's a scant 4.5%.
Here are some other fun facts about the Phils' combined no-hitter against the Braves yesterday.
- As I mentioned in my piece earlier today on numberFire (with assistance from our very own Schmenkman), the Phils' Game Score yesterday for their no-hitter was 94. That's the 3rd-best Game Score ever for a combined no-hitter, trailing only the 10-inning combined no-no thrown by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1997 (with a Game Score of 100) and the six-pitcher masterpiece hurled by the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium back in 2003 (Game Score of 97).
- Their Game Score of 94 was 2nd-best among the four no-hitters thrown in 2014, trailing only Clayton Kershaw's insane 15-strikeout, zero-walk performance (Game Score 102). It bettered Tim Lincecum's six-strikeout, one-walk no-hitter (Game Score 92) and Josh Beckett's gem against the Phils (Game Score 90).
- The staff's 12 strikeouts were 2nd-most ever in a combined no-hitter. Cole Hamels had 7 of them, with Jake Diekman recording two in his inning of work and Ken Giles striking out all three batters that he faced. Only Houston's 13 against the Yankees in 2003 was better.
- The 12 strikeouts and five walks are the first no-hitter of any kind with that many strikeouts and that many walks since Nolan Ryan's 15-K, 8-BB no-no against the Twins in 1974.
- There have in fact been 12 combined no-hitters in Major League Baseball, but one is left off the list. There was an eight-inning combined no-hitter thrown by the Angels back in 2008 against the Dodgers. Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo lost 1-0 thanks to a walk and an error by Weaver that scored the game's only run. Because L.A. was at home, they did not need to bat in the bottom of the 9th, meaning Angels pitchers only pitched eight innings of no-hit ball, making it ineligible for the official list.
- One of the most memorable combined no-hitters in history occurred in 1917, when Babe Ruth walked the first batter and was then kicked out of the game for arguing balls and strikes. Ernie Shore came in, the base runner was caught stealing, and then Shore retired the next 26 hitters for a "perfect game," even though it would never be recognized as such. That was the first ever combined no-hitter, by the way.
- From ESPN Stats & Info, even though there have only been 11 official combined no-hitters, two of them have happened in the last three years. Only one had been thrown between 1998 and 2011.
- Also from ESPN: After getting no-hit by Beckett, the Phils became the fourth team in the last five years to be no-hit and also throw a no-hitter in the same season.
- Carlos Ruiz has now caught three no-hitters in his career. This was the first one that did not feature Roy Halladay. Only one catcher has caught more than three no-hitters; Boston's Jason Varitek, with four. None of those four were thrown by Pedro Martinez (Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester).
- Courtesy of MLB Network, the Braves were no-hit for the 17th time in team history, 2nd in MLB history, trailing only the Phillies, at 19.
Just some fun notes from a very fun day in Atlanta. If you want more, ESPN Stats & Info has a fun list to peruse as well. Thanks to all the stats and record-keepers (Baseball Reference, Elias and ESPN) who make our blogging jobs so much easier and so much fun!