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An update on MLB no-hitter streaks

Who’s got the longest active streak of not being no-hit?

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

All of you likely know that the Cubs hold the MLB record for most consecutive games not being no-hit, 7,920, between Sandy Koufax’ perfect game against them September 9, 1965 and Cole Hamels no-hitting them for the Phillies at Wrigley Field July 25, 2015.

Hamels’ no-hitter, the only one thrown at Wrigley Field since Milt Pappas’ for the Cubs in 1972, was disappointing not only because it snapped the Cubs’ no-hit streak, but because it broke that streak just a few weeks short of 50 years since it began, as well as just 80 games short of an even 8,000.

Before 1965, the Cubs had not been no-hit since Carl Erskine of the then-Brooklyn Dodgers did it in 1952. Jim Maloney also no-hit the Cubs in 1965, just three weeks before Koufax’ perfect game.

And before that — not since 1917, when Fred Toney of the Reds no-hit them in just their second year playing at the ballpark at Clark & Addison. In fact, the Cubs hold a distinction among all the “Original 16” teams by being no-hit the fewest times of any of them — just seven, and just four in the last 106 seasons (Erskine, Jim Maloney, Koufax and Hamels).

I thought I’d update you on what’s happened regarding teams’ streaks of not being no-hit since the Cubs’ was snapped. At the time, in 2015, the team that moved into the top spot on that list was the Reds. They had been no-hit twice in 1971, once by Cubs lefthander Ken Holtzman, then three weeks later by Rick Wise of the Phillies. Wise, in fact, just about singlehandedly defeated the Reds in that game June 23, 1971 — not only did he throw a no-hitter, but he provided all the offense the Phillies would need by hitting two home runs. Indeed, it was a different time.

So the Reds, moving to the top spot on that list in July 2015, were a bit more than 44 years into their streak, potentially only a little more than five years from breaking the Cubs’ record.

Jake Arrieta took care of that when he no-hit the Reds in Cincinnati April 21, 2016.

Next up were the A’s, who had last been no-hit in 1991 by four Baltimore Orioles pitchers. About 25 years into their streak, the Cubs’ streak seemed safe, since the A’s streak was only a bit more than halfway. And then Oakland’s streak ended this past summer, when Domingo German of the Yankees no-hit them June 28, 2023.

The team with the longest active streak of not being no-hit is now the Angels, who were last no-hit September 11, 1999 by Eric Milton of the Twins. The Angels will enter 2024 with 3,807 consecutive games of not being no-hit, about 48 percent as many games as the Cubs’ record streak. Assuming the 162-game schedule remains in effect — and that’s not guaranteed — the Angels wouldn’t break the Cubs’ streak until sometime around early 2050. So the Cubs’ mark appears safe, for now at least. After the Angels, the Royals would be next up, and the 2008 no-hitter thrown against them was by future Cub Jon Lester when he was with the Red Sox.

For the Cubs’ part, they have not been no-hit since Hamels did it, and so their current streak entering 2024 stands at 1,261 consecutive games. That ranks 12th-best among all teams. Here are all 30 teams, the date on which they were last no-hit, and the number of games since that no-hitter. The Reds, who were no-hit by Arrieta in 2016, had it done to them again in 2019. Cubs no-hitters account for two on this “most recent” list: Alec Mills’ no-hitter against the Brewers in 2020 and the combined no-no by four Cubs against the Dodgers in 2021.

The number of games listed below is from each team’s last time being no-hit through the end of the 2023 season.

Games since each team was last no-hit

Team Last date no-hit Games since
Team Last date no-hit Games since
Angels 9/11/99 3,807
Royals 5/19/08 2,446
White Sox 5/3/11 1,972
Twins 5/2/12 1,818
Cardinals 6/1/12 1,790
Astros 6/13/12 1,780
Giants 7/2/13 1,597
Tigers 9/29/13 1,513
Rockies 6/18/14 1,445
Braves 9/1/14 1,378
Marlins 9/28/14 1,354
CUBS 7/25/15 1,261
Orioles 8/12/15 1,243
Mets 10/3/15 1,195
Diamondbacks 6/3/17 974
Red Sox 4/21/18 829
Reds 5/7/19 672
Pirates 8/25/20 521
Brewers 9/13/20 502
Mariners 5/18/21 443
Rangers 5/19/21 441
Dodgers 6/24/21 411
Padres 8/14/21 366
Phillies 4/29/22 303
Rays 6/10/22 293
Yankees 6/25/22 272
Athletics 6/28/23 80
Blue Jays 7/8/23 72
Guardians 8/1/23 54
Nationals 8/9/23 47