This has been the 12 months of the no-hitter — and it is solely May.
Already, six pitchers have gone the total 9 innings with out permitting successful. Add in a seven-inning, no-hitter from Madison Bumgarner, which MLB just isn’t recognizing as an official no-no, and 2021 would have already got tied the document for most no-hitters in a season. As of May 21, it appears virtually definitely just like the document of seven will be damaged this 12 months.
But check out who thus far owns these items of historical past: Joe Musgrove, Carlos Rodon, John Means, Wade Miley, Spencer Turnbull and Corey Kluber. That’s not precisely Jacob DeGrom, Gerrit Cole, Max Scherzer and Yu Darvish.
So who might throw the next no-hitter? That might be onerous to foretell. Betting markets would likely put the chances on a DeGrom or Darvish sort of arm, however within the pattern measurement of seven no-hitters — sure, Bumgarner’s getting credit score for his gem on the mound — these pitchers do not seem like those who’ve blanked groups within the hit column.
In a time when velocity is at a premium, not one of the pitchers who’ve thrown a no-hitter could be thought of fireballers. Rodon is the one pitcher to common greater than 94 mph on a fastball, as he sits at 95 mph, according to Baseball Savant.
He, Means and Turnbull are additionally the one pitchers who use a fastball greater than 35 p.c of the time, and solely Miley and Turnbull have fewer than three inches of horizontal motion on their heaters. Means is the one pitcher who does not throw a slider or cutter greater than 20 p.c.
The hurlers additionally test in above-average in each soft-hit share and outdoors swing charges, except Bumgarner. Means and Bumgarner are additionally the one two pitchers to not generate at the very least a 40 p.c floor ball price.
So who’re another pitchers who would possibly fit this profile of soft-tossing, pitch-to-contact arms? With the information obtainable on the seven pitchers who’ve tossed no-nos thus far this season, we will take a stab at who most carefully matches the profile of these arms. Here’s the factors we regarded for when placing collectively this record (pitchers wanted to satisfy at the very least 4 of the 5):
- At least three inches of horizontal break on the fastball
- A slider or cutter used at the very least 20 p.c of the time
- A fastball slower than 94 mph and used not more than 37 p.c of the time
- Groundballs in 40 p.c of at-bats and tender contact at the very least 17 p.c of the time (in accordance with Fangraphs)
- A chase price of at the very least 31 p.c
Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
All proper, so this record is not precisely beginning out with an actual sleeper. Bieber, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, has as soon as once more been one of many most dominant pitchers within the sport this season. But he is not like different aces within the league who hit triple-digits.
Bieber’s fastball averages simply 93 mph, but it surely’s obtained loads of motion, displaying 10 inches of horizontal break. It’s his most-used pitch, however at 35.6 p.c utilization, it isn’t a typical weapon for him. He additionally mixes in a slider at 26.6 p.c of the time. Batters chase him out of the zone 32.3 p.c of the time and make tender contact 16.9 p.c of the time. Batters hit floor ball outs
Kenta Maeda, Minnesota Twins
After making a compelling case to be thought of for the Cy Young Award final 12 months, Maeda has struggled in 2021 to the tune of a 5.26 ERA. But does he fit the profile of the opposite pitchers within the 2021 no-hitter membership? Based on our mannequin, he really appears to be one of many closest matches.
His heater is used simply 22.6 p.c of the time and he slings it via the zone at a median of 91.1 mph with 7.5 inches of horizontal break. His main pitch? That’d be a slider he throws at a 40.8 p.c price. Batters are hitting the ball on the bottom in 42.3 p.c of batted ball occasions and 20.2 p.c of the contact towards him is tender. He’s additionally getting hitters to chase 30.7 p.c of his pitches. The downside? Well, he is getting hit onerous 46 p.c of the time.
Jordan Montgomery, New York Yankees
Another pitcher who has been inconsistent up to now within the season, Montgomery has what it takes, based mostly on 2021’s group of pitchers, to twirl a no-no.
Montgomery infrequently makes use of a four-seam fastball, throwing his 92.6 mph pitch simply 12.1 p.c of the time, but it surely’s obtained seven inches of horizontal break. Batters swing at pitches out of the zone 31.3 p.c of the time towards him and roll over on grounders 43 p.c of the time. His hard-hit price is simply sitting at 35.3 p.c as effectively, so it is attainable the proprietor of a 4.75 ERA has simply been somewhat unfortunate this season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Toronto Blue Jays
It may be much less stunning to see Hyun-Jin Ryu on this record than some others. He’s pitched to an ERA under 3.00 every season since 2017 and has a 2.51 ERA this 12 months.
The 34-year-old southpaw has been an ideal instance of how velocity is not all the time wanted to dominate lineups. His heater checks in at a gradual 89.5 mph, but it surely will get 10.8 inches of horizontal motion. He makes use of it 28.6 p.c of the time whereas typically turning to his cutter, which he throws 25.5 p.c of the time. Batters hit floor balls at a 48.5 p.c clip and he elicits tender contact 16.4 p.c of the time. Perhaps most impressively about his season thus far, batters are chasing at a price of 32.5 p.c, which places him within the 88th percentile, in accordance with Baseball Savant.
Martin Perez, Boston Red Sox
This has been a breakout season for Perez, who up to now has racked up an ERA of three.40, the primary time he is pitched under 4.00 since 2013. Could a no-hitter be next?
Perez does not use a straight four-seamer fairly often — simply 9.9 p.c of the time, and he throws it at 93.3 mph. It will get 10.6 inches of horizontal break. But his favourite pitch will get loads of motion, as he prefers to show to a cutter that will get 22.6 inches of drop and that he throws 34 p.c of the time. Batters are rolling over and hitting grounders 41.7 p.c of the time and making tender contact a whopping 20.7 p.c of the time, the best price of his profession. Batters aren’t chasing as typically as with different pitchers, nonetheless, swinging out of the zone 23.7 p.c of the time.
Logan Webb, San Francisco Giants
It’s been fairly the stunning begin to the season for the Giants, and largely they’ll thank their beginning rotation for turning into considered one of baseball’s finest. Certainly not the ace of the employees, Webb has been a precious contributor — and he appears to be like like somebody who might have himself a no-hitter sooner or later.
He makes use of his 93.1 mph fastball solely 15.3 p.c of the time, extra typically turning to his slider, which he makes use of at a 22.6 p.c price. When he does use his fastball, it will get 8.7 inches of break. Batters chase his pitches 31.5 p.c of the time outdoors the zone and he has racked up a 58.7 p.c floor ball price and 22.3 p.c soft-contact price.
Alex Wood, San Francisco Giants
A workforce hasn’t had two separate beginning pitchers throw a no-hitter in the identical season since 2014, when Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw every delivered one for the Dodgers. Could Wood and Webb each have no-nos in 2021?
Wood appears precisely just like the soft-tossing lefty profile that has already produced a pair this 12 months. He throws a sinker 40 p.c of the time that checks in at 91.6 mph and he throws a slider 34.2 p.c of the time. That sinker will get 16 inches of horizontal break. He’s posted a ridiculous 61.5 p.c floor ball price this 12 months and batters have made tender contact 20.4 p.c of the time. Wood has additionally seen batters swing at pitches outdoors the zone 35.5 p.c of the time.
Ryan Yarbrough, Tampa Bay Rays
One of the most important obstacles for Yarbrough would possibly simply be whether or not he can begin — and end — the sport. The Rays have had him begin 5 video games this season and enter as a protracted reliever on bullpen days 4 instances. In his 5 begins, he has but to pitch greater than six innings. Flirt with a no-hitter, although, and perhaps he will get to complete what he began.
Another starter who does not use a conventional four-seam fastball, Yarbrough throws a sinker 11.4 p.c and a cutter 44.4 p.c of the time. His sinker will get 14.1 inches of horizontal break whereas the cutter has a drop of 33.5 inches. Batters are chasing 28.6 p.c of his pitches outdoors the zone. Yarbrough has pitched to 38.3 p.c floor ball and 21.7 p.c soft-contact charges.