Saturday night, Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers threw eight no-hit innings against Cleveland. He had 14 strikeouts and had thrown 115 pitches (78 strikes).
And then Brewers manager Craig Counsell lifted him in the ninth for Josh Hader, who completed the 3-0 no-hitter. It was the ninth no-hitter this year, establishing a new MLB record for one season.
It was also the 16th combined no-hitter in MLB history, and the second in Brewers history. The other one was thrown by Juan Nieves in 1987. Check out Bob Uecker’s call of the last out of that one:
Back to Saturday night’s game: Personally I’d have let Burnes finish, or at least try to. True, the pitch count was a bit high, but how often does a guy get a chance to throw a no-hitter? The Brewers have two off days this week, so Burnes could have extra rest before his next start. On the other hand, here’s what Burnes himself said about it:
“Pushing the pitch count there probably wasn’t the smartest idea,” Burnes said. “I had to fight to go out there for the eighth, so I knew I had no shot for the ninth.”
The largest number of pitches thrown by a MLB starter this year is 129, by Gerrit Cole in a three-hit shutout July 10.
At the bottom of this article I’ll ask you what you would have done. (If you are reading this article on Google AMP or Apple News you’ll have to go to a browser to see the poll.)
In the meantime, here are the other 15 combined no-hitters in MLB history, including the one thrown by four Cubs pitchers earlier this year.
June 23, 1917, first game, Boston Red Sox: Babe Ruth and Ernie Shore. The first of these is perhaps the most famous combined no-no. Ruth walked Washington Senators leadoff hitter Ray Morgan and argued balls and strikes so vehemently that he was ejected. Ernie Shore replaced Ruth and Morgan was immediately caught trying to steal second. Shore then retired the next 26 batters, completing a game in which he recorded 27 consecutive outs. For many years this game was considered a perfect game by Shore, but when MLB revisited the no-hitter list a few years ago, it was deemed to be a combined no-hitter.
April 30, 1967, first game, Baltimore Orioles: It took 50 years for another combined no-hitter to enter the record books, this one by Baltimore’s Steve Barber and Stu Miller. Barber threw 8⅔ innings, but had to yield to Miller to record the final out. The Orioles lost the game 2-1, one of only two MLB-recognized losing no-hitters. (Here's the other one, in case you were wondering.)
September 28, 1975, Oakland Athletics: Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers. It was the last day of the season and the A's were resting up their rotation for the ALCS, so Blue pitched just five innings. The rest didn't help him in the postseason, as Blue got roughed up in Game 3 by the Red Sox, who swept the Athletics in the then five-game league championship series.
July 28, 1976, Chicago White Sox: Blue Moon Odom and Francisco Barrios. Odom, a former Athletics phenom trying to resurrect his career with the White Sox, threw five no-hit innings against his former team. Unfortunately, he had walked nine and allowed a run; with the game tied 1-1, manager Paul Richards lifted him for Francisco Barrios, who completed the no-no with the White Sox winning 2-1. The 11 combined walks is the most in any no-hitter.
April 11, 1990, California Angels: Mark Langston and Mike Witt. It was just the third game of the season and Langston was pulled after 99 pitches in a scoreless tie after the top of the seventh. The Angels pushed across a run in the bottom of the inning and Witt, who had thrown a perfect game six years earlier, threw two perfect innings to finish the no-hitter.
July 13, 1991, Baltimore Orioles: Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson. The Orioles became the first team to throw more than one combined no-hitter, adding this to the one thrown 24 years earlier. This time, the O's won. Milacki had issued three walks, but had thrown only 80 pitches when he was taken out with a 2-0 lead, which the three other pitchers preserved, as well as the no-hitter. Four weeks after this game, the Orioles were no-hit by the White Sox' Wilson Alvarez.
September 11, 1991, Atlanta Braves: Kent Mercker, Mark Wohlers and Alejandro Pena. In the middle of their first pennant race in years, the Braves were involved in this tight 1-0 game against the Padres, so manager Bobby Cox went to his strong bullpen to relieve Mercker; Wohlers and Pena finished it off, but not before Pena had let a runner reach on an error with two out in the ninth. Mercker later threw a complete-game no-hitter in 1994.
July 12, 1997, Pittsburgh Pirates: Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon. This is the only combined no-no that went into extra innings. Cordova threw nine innings and Rincon the 10th as the game had gone into extras scoreless. The Pirates won on a three-run walk-off homer by pinch-hitter Mark Smith in the bottom of the 10th inning.
June 11, 2003, Houston Astros: Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner. Oswalt started the game but left due to injury after only one inning. Because the Astros led throughout in an 8-0 win, the official scorer had the discretion to name the winning pitcher, since Oswalt didn't go the requisite five innings. He chose Lidge, who threw two perfect innings. This no-no ended a streak of nearly 45 years during which the Yankees were not no-hit, dating back to September 20, 1958, when they were no-hit by Hoyt Wilhelm, then with Baltimore. That streak, verified at 7,003 games, was broken by the Cubs May 6, 2010. The Cubs still hold that record, but their streak ended at 7,920 games when Cole Hamels no-hit them July 25, 2015.
June 8, 2012, Seattle Mariners: Kevin Millwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen. Millwood had to leave the game after six innings with a groin injury and the other five finished up, only the second combined no-no with that many pitchers. Millwood became just the fourth pitcher in major-league history to throw a no-hitter by himself and also be part of a combined one (Vida Blue, Mike Witt and Kent Mercker are the others).
September 1, 2014, Philadelphia Phillies: Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon. Hamels had run up a large pitch count of 108 in six innings due to five walks, so the Phillies called on three other pitchers to finish off the 7-0 win. It was one of only two no-hitters in MLB history where a player on the team being no-hit had a player steal three bases (Jason Heyward); the other such game was in 1903. The Phillies also became the fourth team since 2010 to throw a no-hitter and be no-hit in the same season, as the Dodgers' Josh Beckett had no-hit them earlier in 2014. As noted above, Hamels was added to the list of pitchers who threw a no-hitter by himself and also was part of a combined no-no when he no-hit the Cubs in 2015.
May 4, 2018, Los Angeles Dodgers: Walker Buehler, Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia and Adam Liberatore
Buehler, a rookie righthander making just his 11th big-league appearance and third start, threw six no-hit innings against the Padres and was lifted after 93 pitches. He combined with the three other Dodger pitchers to complete the no-no. The Dodger hurlers combined for five walks in the game, two of them in the third inning with one out, bringing the tying run to the plate. But Eric Hosmer lined into a double play to end the only real threat the Padres had. In addition to this being a rare feat on its own, the game was played in Monterrey, Mexico, making this the first MLB no-hitter thrown outside the U.S. or Canada.
July 12, 2019, Los Angeles Angels: Taylor Cole and Felix Pena
The Angels, in their first home game since the passing of Tyler Skaggs, chose to honor their teammate by all wearing his No. 45. The tribute became even more emotional when Cole and Pena combined to no-hit the Mariners. Cole, normally a reliever, was used as an “opener” in this game and retired all six batters he faced. Pena, a former Cub, finished the game with seven no-hit innings. The only baserunner was a fifth-inning walk drawn by Omar Narvaez. The 13-0 score is the largest for any combined no-hitter and the largest for any Angels no-hitter. Here are a couple of odd coincidences from this game:
[Mike] Trout was in disbelief after the game and pointed out that the Angels scored seven runs in the first inning and had 13 hits overall, which correlates with what would’ve been Skaggs’ 28th birthday on Saturday (7/13). In another crazy coincidence dug up by Stats Inc., the last combined no-hitter thrown in the state of California was when the Orioles no-hit Oakland on July 13, 1991, which is the same day Skaggs was born.
The Angels became, after the Orioles, the second team to throw two combined no-nos.
August 3, 2019, Houston Astros: Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski
The Mariners were the losing team in a combined no-hitter for the second time in a month, and Aaron Sanchez threw six no-hit innings in his first start since being traded from the Blue Jays to the Astros. Martin Maldonado, also recently acquired in trade by Houston from the Cubs, was the starting catcher in this 9-0 no-hitter. It was the 12th no-hitter in Astros history and their second combined no-no. They became the third club to throw two combined no-hitters.
June 24, 2021, Chicago Cubs: Zach Davies, Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel
The four Cubs hurlers walked eight in this no-hitter over the Dodgers, tied for the fourth-most walks in any no-hitter. Another fun fact about the Cubs’ first-ever combined no-hitter:
The #Cubs are the first team in MLB history to throw a no-hitter (solo or combined) against a team with three former MVP winners in the starting lineup (Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Albert Pujols) via STATS.— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 25, 2021
The Cubs also became the first visiting team to throw two no-hitters at Dodger Stadium. The other was by Jake Arrieta in 2015. Hard to believe this one happened less than three months ago.
Would you have let Corbin Burnes try to finish his no-hitter Saturday night?
This poll is closed