Statistical Possibility Does Not Really Permit This: Update

This does boggle the mind. Since Mark Buehrle’s perfect game against them last July, the Tampa Bay Rays have now been no-hit three times in a span of 140 games. 

They’ve now been victims of a perfect game in a day game after a night game (Buehrle), victims of a perfect game on an ordinary road weekend game (Dallas Braden, in Oakland, this season), and victims of a no-hitter in their own stadium, at the hands of a pitcher whom they once thought might become the ace of their own staff, Edwin Jackson, tonight.
These are not the 1998 Twins or the 1999 Expos, light-hitting, fringe-player-filled line-ups that are the kinds ordinarily slightly more susceptible to being utterly blanked. Ever looked at the line-up David Wells knocked down with only 27 tries in ’98? Lawton, Gates, Paul Molitor, Cordova, Coomer, Ochoa, Shave, Javier Valentin, Meares. Not quite murderers’ row.
The Rays, on the other hand, have sent Jason Bartlett, Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton, and Ben Zobrist to the plate in each of these games. They are a combined 0-for-42. Carl Crawford did not bat tonight due to his cranky shoulder, but he managed another 0-for-6 in the perfectos.
These are good hitters who have, in essence, been stymied three times in what amounts to 22 games less than a full season. The laws of statistical possibility are angry at some one or some thing.
UPDATE: From Marc Topkin of the St Pete Times on Twitter the Rays are indeed the first team to be no-hit three times, in full length games, in such a short span. The 1906 Brooklyn Superbas were blanked three times between May 1st and September 24th (Johnny Lush of the Phillies, Jake Weimer of the Reds, and Stoney McGlynn of the Cards), but the last two of the games were seven-inning jobs (the McGlynn game, in fact, was a tie). That was not uncommon then in the time when doubleheaders were frequent and lights were 30 years in the future – second games of DH’s often were pre-arranged to last only seven frames. In fact some were played not to an inning total but to the clock, so teams could catch trains to get from city to city.
The ’06 Brooklyns, by the way, also had a decent offense. Tim Jordan led the NL with a then-******** dozen homers, and Harry Lumley led in Slugging Percentage (.477). But they were frequent victims in that era. Nick Maddox of the Pirates would no hit them in September, 2007 (thus four no-hitters in 16 months), and Johnny Lush would come back and throw a six-inning no-hitter in August of ’08.
One other creepy thing of which an MLB.Com headline just reminded me: Edwin Jackson pitched his no-hitter a year to the day Michael Jackson died.


  1. jwin214

    Well, this Math Nerd really cannot disagree on this one with the Baseball Nerd. Baseball is confoundingly fun like that.

    Speaking of Dallas Braden, what is the fate of the A’s? Why hast the City of Oakland forsaken them so?

    I ask this as I wear my Athletics sweatshirt and Giants visor. Yes, I am conflicted. And geeky. Hopeless, really.

  2. mrlyngreen

    That’s baseball. Strange things happen. The Cardinals have a post season caliber team yet look at their record so far. With the exception of the Dodgers, the Cardinals losses have mostly come by playing inferior teams. They were swept by the Astros but swept the Braves. They won two series from the Reds and got beat by the Diamondbacks. I can’t figure it out.

    The first thing I thought about when I heard about Jackson’s no-hitter was how unfortunate it was that the Diamondbacks can get quality games out of their starters yet have the worst bullpen in the NL. I watched the game the other night against the Yankees when the Dbacks beat the hell out of A.J Burnett. Their starter, Lopez, pitched a fantastic game. The Yankees got most of their runs late in the game off the bullpen though they still lost. Now tonight, Jackson pitches a no-hitter. I’ve been hearing rumors that A.J Hinch’s job is on the line. Who knows? I think statistical possibilities are irrelevant.

    Speaking of no-hitters, I also watched the White Sox/Cubs game when both Floyd and Lilly had no hitters going into the 8th inning (they both eventually lost them). As a baseball historian you would know this but has there ever been a game that ended with both pitchers pitching no hitters? That is something I should investigate.

    Well, I am going to lick my wounds as a result of the Cardinals letting themselves get beat by ANOTHER inferior team (Royals) I don’t care that it was Greinke who was pitching, they should have won that game. Dagnabit.


    i feel like its not really “creepy” that he did it on MJ’s deathday, just a coincidence. doesnt really strike me as that creepy. slightly ironic, i guess

  4. mrlyngreen

    Keith, you have a typo in your update that you may want to correct. Nick Maddox could not have pitched a no-hitter in 2007. He died in 1954. Just sayin. :>)


    What strikes me as creepy is that Edwin Jackson and Dallas Braden just plain threw no-hitters,period.Neither one would’ve been on my list of “Top 200 Potentials to throw a no hitter”.But Dave Morehead did it for the Red Sox(1960 something),and the never to be remembered Alva “Bobo” Holloman did it for the Browns(I think it was 1952,maybe ’54) only to be sent down to the minors 6 weeks later,never to return to the Major Leagues.I may be the only person left standing who remembers Bobo Holloman,I wonder if the same fate will befall Dallas Braden 60 years from now.

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