I wasn’t at a TV last night as Justin Verlander, the best pitcher in baseball, was throwing a no-hitter. I was at a ballgame. I heard about it after he’d finished seven, but by the time I got to the ballpark’s bar and got them to switch it to MLB Network, he was just finishing off the eighth. It was then that a Red Sox fan, wondering why that game wasn’t on anymore, asked why:
“Verlander is throwing a no-no,” I said.
“Again? Wow,” the man replied (I’m paraphrasing here).
So then it was just waiting. MLB Network kept showing the Red Sox game, but promising they would head back to Detroit once Verlander took the mound again. It felt like an eternity, waiting for them to get back to Detroit. It felt like it was going to be inevitable that he was going to throw it, so it was something of both a shock and a disappointment when Josh Harrison got a soft hit to center with one out. No-hitters always seem to end with the littlest hits, as that is all it takes.
For most pitchers, to lose a no-hitter in the ninth would be a great missed opportunity, one they likely would never have the chance to have again. With Verlander, however, that isn’t the case, as we are now to the point where every time he steps to the mound, there is a real chance he could throw a no-hitter. It doesn’t matter where he is or who he is facing. Barring injury, I have no doubt that he will throw another no-hitter. Heck, he could have several more. He is the first threat to Nolan Ryan‘s record since… ever.
Only Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Cy Young, Bob Feller and Larry Corcoran (a ace of the 19th century who died at the age of 32 from Bright’s Disease) have three or more no-hitters. It is probably only a matter of time before Verlander joins them, and, perhaps, one day surpasses them.