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A Few More Cubs No-Hitter Notes

There are a few things I hadn't mentioned about Saturday's no-hitter and the no-hit streak, so here they are.

Al Yellon

The Cubs' streak of not being no-hit stretched to 7,920 games before Cole Hamels no-hit them on Saturday.

Or did it? On August 29, 2009, I wrote this article that indicated the Cubs, if they got a hit that night (they did), would break the Yankees' record streak of not being no-hit that stretched from 1958 to 2003 at 6,981 games.

But wait, you say. The Cubs actually broke the streak the following year, and it was 7,003 games. Here's the explanation from May 6, 2010, the date the Cubs actually broke that record:

The Elias Sports Bureau, which keeps track of these things, stated that since games of less than nine innings were no longer considered "official" no-hitters, that they wouldn't count official games of less than nine innings in tallying up a game count for the purpose of this record, either.

Personally, I think that's false equivalence. I can understand why Elias eliminated no-hitters of less than nine innings, but if you have an official game where a team gets a hit in fewer than nine innings, they still have that hit, right? Since Sandy Koufax' perfect game in 1965, the Cubs have played 44 official games of less than nine innings, and they got a hit in all of them. So... Elias might not count them, but here it is: 7,964 consecutive official games in which the Cubs got a hit since Koufax, before last Saturday.

Also of interest: this Tribune article says that Joe Maddon is no stranger to no-hitters:

"I am the anomaly," he said. "I have seen four perfect games in person. How many no-hitters? I am not even sure now. About four or five, I think. Plus, I threw one in high school."

So, I looked that up. Maddon was witness to three perfect games and a no-hitter as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. As an Angels coach (and two-time interim manager) from 1994 through 2005, he saw a perfect game (Kenny Rogers of the Rangers against the Angels on July 28, 1994) and a no-hitter (Eric Milton of the Twins against the Angels September 11, 1999). So that's four perfect games and now three no-hitters in the big leagues (including Saturday); if he remembers other no-hitters they were likely during his minor-league managing career.

The Reds now hold the longest active streak of not being no-hit, 7,036 games since Rick Wise no-hit them June 23, 1971. As you know, the Cubs had been no-hit exactly three weeks before Koufax's perfecto by Jim Maloney of the Reds. In an odd coincidence, the Reds had also been no-hit earlier in 1971, one day short of three weeks earlier, by Ken Holtzman of the Cubs. Oddity in Holtzman's no-hitter: He scored the only run of the game after reaching on an error, advancing on a groundout, and scoring on a single.

The Reds today stand 884 games short of the Cubs' all-time mark. They have 66 games remaining this year. That would leave them 818 games short if they make it through 2015; that counts up to five full seasons and eight games, so they'd have to make it to the ninth game of the 2021 season to break it.

I think it would be awesome if Jake Arrieta (who's come close to no-hitters several times) or Jon Lester (who's thrown one and came close this year) could no-hit the Reds later this year to break their streak. (Arrieta nearly did it last year, throwing a one-hit shutout against the Reds at Wrigley last September 16.)