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Tim Lincecum pitches no-hitter against Padres

Tim Lincecum just owns the Padres.

The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday no-hit the Padres for the second time in his career. Lincecum struck out six and walked one while getting the win in the Giants’ 4-0 victory. A walk to Chase Headley’ in the second inning was his only blemish of the game.

Lincecum made some history with his feat. He became just the second pitcher in history to no-hit the same team twice. The last pitcher to do it was Addie Joss of the Cleveland Naps, who no-hit the White Sox in 1908 and 1910. He also joins Christy Mathewson as the second pitcher in franchise history to toss two no-hitters.

Lincecum’s no-hitter came less than a year after his last one, as his previous no-hitter against the Padres was on July 13, 2013. Big Time Timmy Jim walked four, hit a batter, and struck out 13 in the 9-0 win last year.

This time around he wasn’t quite as nasty, but he was much more efficient.

“It’s hard enough to do one,” said manager Bruce Bochy, “to do two, that puts you in a different class.”

Also see: Tim Lincecum leads Giants in Daniel Bryan “YES” chant

Tim Lincecum no-hitter

Josh Beckett throws no-hitter against Phillies

Josh Beckett no-hitter

Josh Beckett has been pretty sharp for the Dodgers this season, but he really had his best stuff working on Sunday when he no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies in a 6-0 win to give the Dodgers a series win.

Beckett walked three and struck out six and had plenty of suspense while getting the no-hitter. He had two strikes on Jimmy Rollins but walked the shortstop on a full count to bring up Chase Utley. Utley worked the count to 3-1 and thought a curveball outside was out of the zone for ball four, but it was called a strike. Beckett then froze Utley on a 3-2 fastball at the knees for strike three, giving him the no-hitter.

The no-hitter was the 21st in Dodger history and first for the team since Hideo Nomo’s improbable no-no at Coors Field in 1996. It was the first time the Phillies had been no-hit in 36 years.

Beckett is now 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA this season.

Dee Gordon appears to have beaten throw in Mariners’ no-hitter (Picture)

The Mariners used six pitchers to no-hit the Dodgers in Seattle on Friday for the 10th combined no-hitter in MLB history. Mariners reliever Tom Wilhelm came in to pitch the 9th to save the 1-0 game, and his inning involved a controversy.

Dodgers shortstop and leadoff hitter Dee Gordon was the first batter of the inning, and he was called out on a close play at first. Gordon was jammed and hit a broken-bat flare to shortstop Brendan Ryan who threw onto first. It was a bang-bang play at the bag, the kind where the “tie goes to the runner” rule generally applies, but Gordon was called out.

In the screencap above, it appears as if Gordon’s foot touched the bag just before the ball arrived in first baseman Justin Smoak’s mitt.

While I don’t believe in rules being bent or favors being done so pitchers can achieve milestones like no-hitters and perfect games, I will say that if the Dodgers needed a broken-bat infield flare to get their first hit, they deserved to be embarrassed.

The no-hitter was the third in Mariners’ history, and first time the Dodgers were no-hit since 1994.

Johan Santana gets Mets first no-hitter ever with help from blown call, Mike Baxter

Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history on Friday in an 8-0 win over the Cardinals. Santana threw 133 pitches and walked five batters, but he managed to no-hit the best offense in the National League.

Although he didn’t allow any hits, Santana’s game was far from perfect. In addition to the five walks, he got some help on an umpire’s blown call, and a teammate’s great catch.

First up was a line drive down the third base line from Carlos Beltran in the sixth that was ruled foul by umpire Adrian Johnson, although replays showed it hit the chalk and therefore should have been ruled fair:

Though he didn’t see the Beltran play, he knows he got some assistance.

“There are times when one play makes the whole difference, one call makes the whole difference. If that was the case, tonight [the Beltran ball] was the call.”

In addition to the umpire’s mistake, Santana benefited from a great play in the seventh. Left fielder Mike Baxter crashed into the left-field wall chasing down a Yadier Molina fly ball:

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Minor Leaguer Luis Mendoza Has No-Hitter Taken Away Two Days Later

Imagine you were a pitcher. Now, imagine you had a no-hitter going into the ninth and a ball was ripped to left field, bouncing off the left fielder’s glove. Now, imagine said play was ruled an error even though it looked like a hit, keeping your no-hitter intact. Next, imagine the official scorer overturning his initial ruling and scoring the play a hit, leaving you an inning short of the no-no. And finally, imagine the official taking two full days to decide to overturn the play.

Was that a roller coaster of emotion or what? For Kansas City Royals minor leaguer Luis Mendoza, that roller coaster was a reality.  Mendoza took a no-hitter into the ninth inning on Monday when his teammate, David Lough, was ruled to have made a welcomed error on a ball hit to left.  You can see a video of the play here.

To me, that is clearly a double.  Had Lough caught the ball it would have been a tremendous play.  That doesn’t excuse John Guinozzo, the Memphis scorekeeper, from making the wrong call and taking two days to correct it.  In addition, I know no team wants to be no-hit but did Memphis really need to request a review after the fact?  It’s over, the other guy caught a break, let it go.  At least when an umpire blew Armando Galarraga’s no-hitter he did it instantly.

Tough to Be Brandon Morrow

There’s nothing worse than losing a no-hitter or perfect game with two out in the 9th.  When it happens at the hands of a seeing-eye ground ball, it’s even more painful.  When it happens because the umpire blows a call, it’s excruciating.  Unfortunately for Torono Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow, a hit is a hit and you can’t give a player an error when they fail to make a spectacular play that would have preserved your no-no.  Check out the video of Brandon Morrow’s no-hitter broken up with two out in the ninth, courtesy of YouTube user xKevTiffx:

I’ve already heard rumblings of Aaron Hill “blowing it” and how the scorekeepers should have ruled it an error, but let’s not be ridiculous.  Could Hill have made the play?  He’s probably capable of it, yeah.  But he didn’t in this particular instance and it would have been a great one if he did.  At least Morrow can still hang his hat on 17 strikeouts in nine innings.

Video Credit: YouTube user xKevTiffx

Tigers Injuries Assisted in No-Hitter

This season in baseball has already been termed the “Year of the Pitcher” for excellent reason. Edwin Jackson and Ubaldo Jimenez both have thrown no-hitters, Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden tossed perfect games, and Armando Galarraga had a 28 out perfect game. Matt Garza joined the party by no-hitting the Tigers on Monday night, becoming the fifth pitcher of the season to complete the task. While I do not want to diminish Garza’s accomplishment, I would like to point out that several recent injuries to the Detroit Tigers offense eased Garza’s burden.

In the span of a week, the Tigers lost third baseman Brandon Inge, right fielder Magglio Ordonez, and second baseman Carlos Guillen to injuries. Inge broken his hand getting hit by a pitch last Monday, Ordonez broken his ankle sliding into home on Saturday, and Guillen strained his calf on Saturday. The Tigers still had triple crown contender Miguel Cabrera batting cleanup on Monday, rookie of the Year candidate Brennan Boesch batting fifth, Johnny Damon hitting third, and Austin Jackson leading off, but the lineup was certainly less challenging than when healthy. The Tigers had a rookie without a hit in his career in the lineup, as well as three other hitters batting .206 or worse.

Matt Garza is an above average pitcher with good stuff who threw six scoreless innings two starts prior to the no-hitter. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball in April and he helped pitch the Rays to the World Series in 2008. He’s always had the type of stuff to throw a no-hitter, but there’s no doubt that the recent injuries in Detroit resulted in the Tigers running out a weakened lineup. Rather than this being a commentary on Garza’s outing, maybe this is more of an indication of how the final two months of the season will go for the injury-depleted Tigers.

Photo Credit: AP/Mike Carlson