|photo credit: flickr user imagesbyferg|
Matt Garza threw the first no-hitter in Rays' history last night, and the fifth no-no all year. How does his no-no stack up against the the others? Probably the easiest way to compare all the no-hitters and perfect games is to use game score*. I used Baseball-reference.com's play index tool to create this table:
*Game score is calculated thusly:
1) Start with 50 points.
2) Add 1 point for each out recorded, so 3 points for every complete inning pitched.
3) Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th.
4) Add 1 point for each strikeout.
5) Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed.
6) Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed.
7) Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed.
8) Subtract 1 point for each walk
So, Garza's no-no was the third best no-hitter this season, behind the perfect games thrown by Roy Halladay (according to game score, Halladay's perfect game against the Marlins is actually the best pitching performance of the year) and Dallas Braden, though it would probably be tied with Braden's perfecto if it weren't for that one walk he issued. There have also been a couple of one-hitters with higher game scores than Garza's performance last night: Matt Cain's nine strikeout complete game against the Diamondbacks (94) and Johnny Cueto's eight strikeout, nine-inning performance against the Pirates (93). How does Garza's no-no rank in baseball history? Well, according to game score, Garza's performance ranks 67th among the no-hitters thrown since 1920 (that's as far as the retrosheet data used by baseball-reference.com goes back). He only struck out six, which hurts his ranking quite a bit (every single pitcher in the top 20 recorded at least 10 strikeouts). What makes this performance particularly interesting, though, is that Garza's own team has been no-hit three times in the past year, and four times in franchise history. So, for fun, here is how Garza's no-hitter ranks compared to those thrown against his team:
|1||Dallas Braden||2010-05-09||OAK||W 4-0||9.0||0||0||0||0||6||93|
|2||Mark Buehrle||2009-07-23||CHW||W 5-0||9.0||0||0||0||0||6||93|
|3||Derek Lowe||2002-04-27||BOS||W 10-0||9.0||0||0||0||1||6||92|
|4||Edwin Jackson||2010-06-25||ARI||W 1-0||9.0||0||0||0||8||6||85|
Garza's no-hitter is tied with Derek Lowe's performance and just slightly behind both Braden and Mark
Buehrle's perfect games (walks will haunt). Not surprisingly, it is far more impressive than former teammate Edwin Jackson's no-hitter, in which he walked more batters than he struck out.