Is the sacred no-hitter in baseball mean anything these days? It certainly doesn’t seem to have the significance or weight that this rare feat once held for America’s favorite pastime. There have now been six no-hitters this season. The latest occurred less than 24 hours from the fifth no-hitter.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull pitched a no-hitter on Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners. Then, former Cleveland Indian ace Corey Kluber and current New York Yankee threw a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
There have been three seasons in the Major Leagues where there were seven no-hitters pitched in a season. Those years were 1990, 1991, and 2012.
Some have argued with the recent uptick in no-hitters that the reason is that pitchers have become more powerful and controlling of all their pitches and thus as contributed to the poor hitting averages by players. I mean teams in the major league are hitting a terrible .236 overall. Remember when hitting above .300 was considered relative and decent. Right now, there are only seven teams that are hitting above .250.
To an extent, I agree that pitchers have gotten better over the years with their athleticism. The defense also has improved over the years for that same reason.
But if you buy the argument above that the pitchers are just more superior these days then why has it been almost ten years since the last time we had seven no-hitters in a season? Would the previous argument suggest that we would have seen several more seasons, in the previous decade, that were producing seven or more no-hitters?
I have another idea. The six no-hitters this season have only occurred against three teams. The Mariners, Indians and Rangers have all been no-hit twice this year. Maybe these three teams are just really bad when it comes to hitting.
I also believe that players trying to hit for a consistent .300 average is not something most players these days care about. Players are all about making a splash. Hitting home runs and big swings are what these players care more about. I also don’t believe players are students of the game like years past. I don’t think the current ballplayer studies how to spray the ball around the ball field either.
Yes, the batting averages are down, but is it really all about the dominating pitching? I just don’t buy it.
Based on this current rate of no-hitters, we might see between 15-20 no-hitters, but I don’t expect that. Baseball tends to come back to its regular patterns. And I’m guessing those “hitting for the fences” ballplayers will make a bit more contact as the hot summer progresses and prevent that higher number of no-hitters.
This latest surge of no-hitters certainly has been watered down because of the rate they’re coming at and I, as a baseball fan, certainly would prefer to see these ballplayers start hitting for a more respectable batting average. That starts with getting back in the batting cages and working at getting better. If I don’t see another no-hitter this season that would be fine by me.