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No-No Good?

 by mgluskin

The Seattle Mariners and their six-headed, no-hitting pitching monster should feel good about shutting down baseball’s best team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, on Friday night. But they shouldn’t celebrate for too long.

In fact, they may want to think to themselves, “No-no-no-no-no-no!”, which was Saturday’s headline in the hometown Seattle Times newspaper.

The reason for this negative thought process? This year’s pitchers who have thrown no-hitters (Friday night’s was the fourth of the season already) have struggled since their dazzling pitching performances. Will the Mariners’ six feel the same hex?

A brief examination:

  • The White Sox’s Philip Humber, who tossed the only perfect game of the quartet, did not get another win until more than a month later. Only half of his starts since the perfect game have been quality outings, defined by going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs or less.
  • The Angels’ Jered Weaver tossed the next no-no, and he actually went 2-1 with pretty good numbers overall (minus one disastrous outing) immediately after his game. But in his fifth start following the no-hitter, Weaver got hurt, and he’s currently on the disabled list with a strained lower back.
  • Johan Santana, who we featured in our first blog post earlier this week, has only pitched once since his flawless outing. But against the crosstown Yankees, Santana got lit up, giving up four homers in five innings. Sure, it’s a small sample size, but it was a far cry from perfection.

Seattle may already be feeling the no-no jinx, seeing as how their Friday starter, Kevin Millwood, left the no-hitter after the sixth inning with a groin injury. Although the severity of Millwood’s injury is not yet know, it’s an ominous sign that the Seattle Six may soon suffer from the no-hitter hangover.

On a more positive no-no note, these outings always inspire great, pun-infused headlines in newspapers and on websites across the country. A popular one following Humber’s perfect game was “The Humber Game,” a clever reference to the young adult book and movie series, “The Hunger Games.” Sure, Humber wasn’t fighting for his district and life, but it’s too good of a headline opportunity to pass up.

No-Han Santana already has jerseys being sold with that phrasing on them, and Seattle’s story is no different. Aside from the headline referenced and pictured above already, websites featured phrasing like “Sixcess” and “Hitless in Seattle.”

Clearly, these moments bring out the best in select pitchers and English majors all over the country. Although the no-hit pitchers have mostly struggled since their great games, we as readers and baseball fans have benefitted; there’s no(-hit) doubt about that.


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