Lady Lucky Smiles on All No-Hitters
By: Larry Dierker
Lady luck smiles on all no hitters. Some more than others. Canadian James Paxton was lucky to pitch his in Toronto — a two percent chance. He was also lucky that Kyle Seager made a highlight film catch and throw to end the seventh. He struck out seven, so the Blue Jays hit twenty balls that were turned into outs.
Ken Holtzman was luckier. He pitched one at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing in. According to broadcaster Milo Hamilton, Henry Aaron hit a shot to left field that was over the bleachers momentarily before blowing back to left fielder Billy Williams, who was facing the ivy wall when he caught it. That’s really lucky, or perhaps an exaggeration, either of which is possible. But the other 26 outs were all fielded. No strikeouts. Zero. No seeing-eye choppers. No broken bat bloopers. No swinging bunts. What are the odds?
The odds were a lot better for Nolan Ryan when he no-hit the Tigers. They only put ten balls in play. The other seventeen walked back to the dugout without making contact.