Less than halfway through the 2021-22 MLB season and it can’t go unnoticed that it is the pitcher’s year. The days are behind us where a hitter is knocking the ball out of the park night after night. This season has turned the spotlight on the pitchers, and they have not let anyone down.
The first no-hitter of the year came from the San Diego Padres and their very own San Diego Native in Joe Musgrove. April 9th, Musgrove pitched 9 hitless innings while delivering 10 strikeouts to their opponents, the Texas Rangers. The Padres won the game with a final score of 3-0.
Less than a week later, another no-hitter was served by Chicago White Sox pitcher, Carlos Rodón. April 14th, Rodón stunned the Indians with 7 strikeouts and allowing 0 hits. The White Sox grabbed an early lead and held onto it for the remainder of the game, winning 8-0.
There were 2 no-hitters in the opening month of the MLB. As if that wasn’t enough to satisfy MLB fans around the world, the amount of no-hitters in the month of May doubled, and we still have a week of baseball left in the month.
It wasn’t too long before the next no-hitter was dealt out as Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means found his groove against the Seattle Mariners. May 5th, Means was able to collect his 4th win of the season while dominating with 12 strikeouts and no hits allowed. The Orioles were able to win the game with a final score of 6-0.
A day went by without another no-hitter until there was the next day where the Cincinnati Reds went up against the Cleveland Indians. The Indians went hitless for their second time this season as Wade Miley battled his way to his first career no-hitter while distributing 8 strikeouts. May 7th, Miley lead the Reds to a 3-0 victory while entering his name in the record books.
The Detroit Tigers hold the right to one of the worst records in the MLB at this stage of the season with 18 wins and 28 losses (.391 winning %). That didn’t stop Tigers pitcher Spencer Turnbull from accepting the spotlight and delivering the league’s 5th no-hitter of the season on May 18th when facing the Seattle Mariners. Turnbull struck 9 batters out while giving up 0 hits and captured the 5-0 victory.
Less than 24 hours later, another headline broke the news. New York Yankees pitcher, Cory Kluber had pitched the 6th no-hitter of the season, beating his former team, the Texas Rangers 2-0. May 19th, Kluber dominated from the opening inning collecting 9 strikeouts and not allowing a hit.
Last season, the MLB decided to shorten double-header games to 7 innings as opposed to the standard amount of 9 innings. Earlier this year on April 25th, the Arizona Diamondbacks went against the Atlanta Braves in a double-header. Madison Bumgarner pitched 7 hitless innings and captured the win, but did not receive credit for dealing a no-hitter. Personally, I think Bumgarner deserves the recognition simply because he pitched the complete 7 innings while not allowing a hit.
We are less than halfway through the 2021-22 MLB season and there have been 6 no-hitters (should be 7). Last year, there were a total of 2 no-hitters throughout the entire season. Perhaps times are changing and it is no longer the year of the hitter, but rather it is the year of the pitcher.
Why This is Good for the MLB
6 no-hitters in the MLB this season is great for the league and attracting more people to the game. I have been a fan of baseball for my entire life and no offensive moment can outweigh the significance of a pitcher allowing 0 hits.
Home runs are a commodity; every player is capable of hitting one and they occur for the most part in each game so you are likely to see one. On the other hand, a no-hitter is infrequent and rare. Nothing compares to witnessing a no-hitter because there isn’t anything like it in the rest of sports. No other sport presents the opportunity for a single player to be as close to perfect as possible.
The counterargument of too many no-hitters being poor for baseball revolves around fans wanting more action on offense. It can be a struggle watching player after player get struck out, but for me, it makes it that much more impressive for when the batter does make contact and launches the ball 400+ feet.
With the abundance of no-hitters this season, there have been many headlines surrounding the MLB. On evenings that other sports may have had outbreaking news, it’s baseball that’s being covered because of the miraculous pitching outings. I can’t wait to see how many no-hitters the MLB has in store for us in the month of June.
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