In the process of making history, the Houston Astros are also defying whatever logic there may be in the game of baseball.
On Friday, Brandon Barnes became the 297th player in baseball history to hit for the cycle, yet the Astros were still outslugged and outscored 10-8 by the Seattle Mariners. 24 hours later, Erik Bedard was looking to become the 282rd pitcher to throw a no-hitter, and was 6 1/3 innings of the way there, but had to exit early after walking five batters and reaching a new season-high with 111 pitches.
He ended up taking the loss, because three of those walks ended up coming around to score, including the go-ahead run and an insurance run on Michael Saunders double off José Cisnero in the seventh inning. That double, by the way, would prove to be Seattle's only hit in their 4-2 victory.
Bedard's final line: 6 1/3 innings, 3 runs (1 earned), 0 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts and a loss to fall to 3-7.
To answer your question: No, games like this don't happen very often. In fact, everything from Bedard's pitching line to the outcome and everything that fell in between was unique. Here are a few examples, along with some other tidbits.
• MLB teams have won 95.7 percent of games since 1920 when allowing the opponent one hit. The Astros now fall in that unfortunate 4.3 percent who haven't. (via ESPN Stats & Info)
• Erik Bedard is only the second pitcher during the Live Ball Era to yield three or more runs while allowing no hits in six-plus innings. The others was New York Yankees hurler Andy Hawkins against the Chicago White Sox back in 1990. (via ESPN Stats & Info)
• Though Bedard didn't go the distance, the most recent pitcher to throw a complete game with no hits and still take the loss was Matt Young of the Boston Red Sox in 1992. He pitched eight innings — considered a complete game — and allowed two runs in a start on the road. (via Eye on Baseball)
• The Mariners scored two unearned runs in the sixth inning without a hit or the assist of a true defensive error. The inning included three walks, two passed balls (which are essentially errors, but not defined as such) and a sacrifice fly.
• Seattle saw their franchise-record streak of 23 straight games with a home run come to an end.
• Had the Astros thrown a combined no-hitter, it would have been their second such no-no in a row. On June 11, 2003, Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner no-hit the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
• On June 9, 2012, Kevin Millwood, Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor, Lucas Luetge, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen tossed a combined no-hitter for the Mariners against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That is the most recent combined no-no in baseball.
I watched the game. I confirmed the items listed. Then I wrote them. But I still don't believe what happened.
This truly was one of the strangest baseball games you'll see, because it could have ended up going in several different directions that were noteworthy in their own right. It just happened to end up here, with Erik Bedard taking a loss after allowing zero hits and the Astros as a team losing after throwing a combined one-hitter.
It also makes you wonder what the Astros could possibly have end their sleeve for Sunday afternoon. And now after thinking about it for a minute, I'm actually frightened.