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Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano amongst worst no-hitters in MLB since 1956
Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano(notes) pitched the first no-hitter of the 2011 MLB season on May 3, 2011. Liriano entered his first May start against the Chicago White Sox with a 9.13 ERA as the Twins were considering a removal from the rotation following a rough April.
It's only fitting that he pitched one of the worst no-hitters in MLB history as he accumulated a 6/2 walk/strikeout ratio. Some baseball enthusiasts would dispute the impressiveness of the feat because of this.
There have been a plethora of no-hitters that have been uglier or more controversial than Liriano's accomplishment. Many of those have been accomplished during this century. Here are five of the worst MLB no-hitters since 1956.
The Tampa Bay Rays had been previously no-hit by the Boston Red Sox (2002), Chicago White Sox (2009), and Oakland Athletics (2010). Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson was the ideal candidate to toss an interleague no-hitter against the Rays on June 25, 2010, because of his past history with the Rays (2006-2008).
Jackson was erratic throughout the entire game and didn't look like he'd survive through the fifth inning. No one would have imagined the Rays would be hitless entering the ninth inning of a 1-0 contest. Jackson completed the feat with a walk/strikeout ratio of 8/6. This was the third time since 1956 that a pitcher accumulated eight walks and walked more batters than struck out during a no-hitter.
Oswalt (1), Pete Munro (2 2/3), Kirk Saarloos (1 1/3), Brad Lidge(notes) (2), Octavio Dotel(notes) (1) and Billy Wagner(notes) (1) combined for the six-headed gem against one of the MLB's most prolific offenses. The Astros won 8-0, which lessened the pressure as it wasn't overly competitive throughout.
A.J. Burnett was far from perfect on May 12, 2001. After 129 pitches, Burnett had surrendered nine walks, one HBP, one wild pitch, and three stolen bases. Yet somehow, Burnett allowed no hits in a 3-0 no-hitter phenomenon.
Burnett recorded the most walks over a nine-inning no-hitter. His 9/7 walk/strikeout ratio is the worst amongst pitchers who've surrendered nine or more walks in a no-hitter. Only one other pitcher has allowed more than nine walks in a no-hitter since 1956 (Continue…).
1970: Dock Ellis
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis pitched the 2000-era equivalent of A.J. Burnett's no-hitter in 1970. Ellis accumulated an 8/6 walk/strikeout ratio over nine innings while also allowing one HBP and three steals in a 2-0 victory against the San Diego Padres on June 12, 1970.
1965: Jim Maloney
Jim Maloney had already lost a no-hitter earlier in 1965 because of the Cincinnati Red's inability to score through extra innings. His second no-hit attempt against the Chicago Cubs on August 19, 1965, wasn't going much better, but it was certainly eventful.
Maloney needed ten innings to complete his feat. He surrendered no hits but allowed 10 walks (one IBB) and one HBP. He did accumulate 12 strikeouts.
The Reds eventually won 1-0, giving Maloney his first official no-hitter.
(Dis?) Honorable Mentions: Steve Barber & Stu Miller (1967), Ken Johnson (1964)
Honorable Mentions: Darryl Kile (1993), Joe Cowley (1986), John Odom and Francisco Barrios (1976), George Culver (1968), Dean Chance (1967), Don Nottebart (1963)
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid 1990s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months.
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