Justin Verlander Pitches Second Career No-Hitter

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Justin Verlander's Low Strikeout Total Unusual

Every so often, a pitcher not known for any sort of strikeout prowess will throw a no-hitter. The opposing team will put the ball in play throughout the game, but either the contact is weak, or the fielders are in the right place at the right time. It happens, and it’s still fantastic. It’s not like no-hitters are ranked by style points when the Hall of Fame displays the memorabilia.

What is odd, though, is when a strikeout machine throws a no-hitter without using one of his favorite weapons. Justin Verlander has one of the best repertoires of pitches in baseball right now, if not the past couple of decades. His off-speed stuff is fantastic, but he’ll always be known for a consistent, ridiculous 100 MPH fastball, and the combo has translated to a career K/9 of 8.2 -- well above-average for a starter. For his second no-hitter, though, he only struck out four batters.

Of the pitchers with a career K/9 ratio over 8.00 who have thrown a no-hitter, here are the lowest strikeout totals of any of their no-hitters:

Nolan Ryan: 9 strikeouts

Sandy Koufax - 4 strikeouts

Randy Johnson - 8 strikeouts

Hideo Nomo - 8 strikeouts

David Cone - 10 strikeouts

A.J. Burnett - 7 strikeouts

Only Sandy Koufax had a no-hitter that was as anomalous as Verlander’s when it came to a lack of strikeouts. Considering that only 20 starting pitchers have thrown more than 1,000 innings with a K/9 over 8.00, it might be a while before we see another no-hitter from a purveyor of strikeouts that was light on the strikeouts quite like this.

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List Of Pitchers With More Than One No-Hitter

Update 7/2/2013: Homer Bailey just threw the second no-hitter of his career and joins this prestigious list.

Justin Verlander threw the second no-hitter of his career, mowing down Blue Jay after Blue Jay with a 100+ MPH fastball. He became the 26th pitcher in MLB history to throw more than one no-hitter. The full list:

Nolan Ryan (7)
Sandy Koufax (4)
Bob Feller (3)
Larry Corcoran (3)
Cy Young (3)
Jim Bunning
Steve Busby
Mark Buehrle
Carl Erskine
Allie Reynolds
Warren Spahn
Bill Stoneman
Bob Forsch
Pud Galvin
Ken Holtzman
Randy Johnson
Addie Joss
Dutch Leonard
Jim Maloney
Christy Mathewson
Hideo Nomo
Virgil Trucks
Johnny Vander Meer
Don Wilson
Roy Halladay

Halladay's second no-hitter was in the playoffs, pitching one against the Cincinnati Reds just months after a perfect game against the Florida Marlins in May.

Verlander's first no-hitter was in 2007 against the Milwaukee Brewers. The longest gap between no-hitters was that between the first and seventh(!) from Nolan Ryan, whose first was in 1973 and last was in 1991.

Only five pitchers have thrown more than two no-hitters, so with Verlander only being 28 years old, every start he makes from now on will have an added measure of interest. Only five more to catch Nolan Ryan there, Justin!

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Justin Verlander Pitches Second No-Hitter Of His Career

Using a fastball regularly clocked at 100 MPH and above, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Saturday afternoon. It was the second no-hitter this week, following Francisco Liriano's effort on Tuesday, and Verlander became the 26th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw more than one no-hitter in his career. Behind the historic pitching performance, the Tigers defeated the Blue Jays, 9-0.

Despite the blistering fastball and fine command, Verlander's chief weapon was getting quick outs in the field rather than racking up a gaudy strikeout total. His highest pitch count in any inning was 16, and that included a 12-pitch walk to J.P. Arencibia that was quickly erased by an Edwin Encarnacion double play. The start was only the 57th out of 173 starts in Verlander's career in which he recorded four strikeouts or fewer -- a sharp contrast to his previous no-hitter, a 12-strikeout performance against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Tigers' right-hander threw 108 pitches in the game.

There were a couple of late challenges to Verlander's bid. In the bottom of the eighth, Mike McCoy lined a shot to center field, but it was right at Austin Jackson, who barely had to move to record the out. Moments later, Arencibia lined a shot just foul down the left-field line before working the walk that spoiled Verlander's bid for a perfect game.

David Cooper led off the ninth with a one-pitch out, popping up to second.  Jason McDonald followed with a grounder to second base just past a diving Verlander's glove, and Rajai Davis ended the game by striking out on a nasty slider.

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