As you've heard, Wednesday night, Angels ace Jered Weaver pitched a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins. He pitched a no-hitter at home in Anaheim, in front of family, presumably some friends, presumably some acquaintances, and a whole lot of other people. Weaver's family joined Jered on the field afterward and it made for a pretty stirring, emotional scene. It would be hard for someone to not have been touched, unless that someone is a Twins fan, in which case that someone is probably incapable of feeling feelings anymore.
One could choose to snark about the fact that Weaver threw his no-hitter in a pitcher-friendly environment, and that he threw it against the Twins. But then, the Twins came in with a barely-below-average team OPS+, and more importantly, there's no sense quibbling with statistics here. Jered Weaver threw a major-league no-hitter. That's amazing. It's amazing to no-hit anyone. Nobody no-hit the 2011 San Francisco Giants. Nobody no-hit the 2010 Seattle Mariners.
And Weaver's no-hitter wasn't even one of them ugly ones! He finished with nine strikeouts and one walk. Most impressively, of the 19 balls that Twins hitters put into play, zero of them were recorded as line drives. There was a bunt, there were four grounders, there were nine fly balls, and there were five pop-ups. True, the last ball hit by Alexi Casilla to right field might've been a line drive, but it did hang up. Probably the best contact any Twins hitter made came in the top of the eighth, when Trevor Plouffe pulled a deep liner to left just foul.
It all goes in the books as the Angels' tenth no-hitter, and as Weaver's first no-hitter. That gives Weaver more career no-hitters than, for example, Tim Lincecum and Felix Hernandez. But what's that over there? Is that an asterisk? It sure as hell is!
On June 28, 2008, Weaver started for the Angels against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Matt Kemp reached base on an error by Weaver, stole second, advanced to third on an error by the catcher, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Blake DeWitt. That gave the Dodgers a run. It would be the game's only run. The Dodgers finished without a hit. They won, 1-0, but they finished without a hit.
On June 28, 2008, Jered Weaver kept the Dodgers hitless for six innings. He gave way to Jose Arredondo, who kept the Dodgers hitless for two innings. That would be it, and Weaver would get pinned with the loss. Jered Weaver got the loss in a combined eight-inning no-hitter.
Obviously, it doesn't count the same. An eight-inning no-hitter isn't the same as a nine-inning no-hitter, and a combined no-hitter isn't the same as an individual no-hitter. But as we think about how incredible Weaver was on Wednesday night, we can also think about how incredible it was that Weaver lost in a combined no-hitter. That's got to be an awkward, bittersweet feeling. Wednesday night, there was none of the awkward or bitter. Maybe a little of the awkward, depending on how Weaver normally interacts with his family.
Wednesday night, Jered Weaver made no-hitter history for the second time in his career. For the first time, it went the way he wanted it to. Kudos to Jered Weaver on being even more outstanding than usual.