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Outside The Confines: No no-no? Oh no!

Madison Bumgarner pitched a no-hitter on the weekend, except he didn’t.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Ah, major league rule changes, aren’t they fun? This season, in order to expedite game times, MLB maintained the rule that all doubleheader games would be played as two seven-inning games rather than nine-inning games. These seven-inning games would be considered complete in terms of MLB game rules.

Except one thing no one considered when establishing this new rule was what would happen if a pitcher threw a no-hitter during one of those league-mandated seven-inning games. On Sunday night, that turned out to be something the league should have thought about ahead of time.

During a Sunday game, Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner threw a no-hitter against the Braves. Except he didn’t. While Bumgarner went through all seven innings of the complete game without giving up a hit, MLB rules clearly state that for a no-hitter to count the pitcher (or pitchers) must get through a complete game of nine innings, with the nine being explicitly stated in the rules.

So there were no hits given up in the game, but it does not at present stand as a no-hitter. This topic is, naturally, being wildly debated online, as purists (myself included) think the nine-inning rule should stand, as many, many no-hitters are given up thanks to the times through the order penalty; while others (who also have a point) are adamant that if the games have been shortened by MLB intentionally, then the no-hitter should stand since the game wasn’t shortened by weather or outside factors.

The no-hitter may get a second look by MLB and the coming days will confirm whether or not Bumgarner will get to claim the official no-no, but for now it’s just one of those weird little anomalies.

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.


Should Madison Bumgarner’s seven-inning no-hit game Sunday be considered an official no-hitter?

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