May 12, 2011 // 0 Comments

Baseball and recreational gambling I needed some event to get me interested in baseball this year. The Tigers have been playing poorly while winning less than half of their games. They are second in the league in strikeouts. Their lead-off hitter Austin Jackson, their starting third baseman Brandon Inge, and their starting right fielder Magglio Ordonez all have batting averages that have been under the dreaded “Mendoza” line, meaning their averages are below .200. Not good. The prized free-agent hitting signee, Victor Martinez, has been hurt, affecting both his playing time and hitting production. There just has not been much to get excited about—until Saturday night. In one game, Justin Verlander single-handedly got Detroit back on track. He pitched his second career no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays. How rare is this? The Tigers are charter members of the American League, starting play in 1901. In their 110-year history, only five pitchers have thrown a total of seven no-hitters. Their first one was thrown in 1912 by George Mullin. Forty years passed, until 1952, when Virgil Trucks threw two no-hitters in the same season—none for 40 years, then two in one season. They had another by now-Senator Jim Bunning in 1958, and then went until 1984 when Jack Morris turned the trick. Then nothing until Verlander pitched his first no-hitter in 2007 and followed up on that with Saturday’s overpowering performance. That puts him in pretty elite company. Only 30 pitchers in all of baseball history have two or more no-hitters, led by Nolan Ryan with seven. Before we think the Tigers haven’t had many good pitchers, we have to remember there have only been 249 no-hitters and many of the best pitchers ever don’t have any no-hitters. Some Hall of Fame pitchers who never threw a no-hitter include Lefty Grove, Whitey Ford, Don Drysdale and Dizzy Dean. Dizzy’s brother Paul Dean, got his, but Dizzy couldn’t pull it off. Some Hall of Fame pitchers who have one no-hitter include Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, Juan Marichal and Carl Hubbell. In the second All-Star game in 1934, Hubbell consecutively struck out future Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin. Hubbell was one of the most effective pitchers […]