How unusual was Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter?

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A Baseball Reference search brings up 171 no-hitters of exactly nine innings since 1919. Liriano’s 1-0 shutout of the White Sox on Tuesday night doesn’t match up with most of them.

– Liriano tied Lefty Chambers for the lowest game score of the 171 outings.  Since there are no hits and usually no runs associated with a no-hitter, the base game score for a nine-inning no-no is 87.  After that, just add the strikeouts and subtract the walks.  Nolan Ryan (16 K, 2 BB) and Sandy Koufax (14 K, 0 BB) had the highest game scores in nine-inning no-hitters at 101.  Liriano (2 K, 6 BB) and Chambers (4 K, 8 BB) came in at 83.

– Liriano is the only pitcher in the whole 171 to get three double-play balls in his no-hitter.  Jose Jimenez in 1999 was the last two get two double plays.

– His two strikeouts were the fewest in a no-hitter since Jerry Reuss fanned two on June 27, 1980.  In fact, one had to go all of the way back to Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter in 1996 to find someone with as few as five strikeouts.

– Because of the walks and double plays, White Sox hitters were a mere 0-for-24 against Liriano.  The last no-hitter with just 24 official at-bats was Joe Cowley’s for the White Sox against the Angels on Sept. 19, 1986.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below:

The Mets are promoting Tim Tebow to Single-A St. Lucie

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Mets GM Sandy Alderson told the media on Sunday that the organization is promoting outfielder Tim Tebow from Single-A Columbia to advanced Single-A St. Lucie, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports.

Tebow, 29, wasn’t hitting particularly well to merit the promotion. Across 241 plate appearances with Columbia, he hit .222/.311/.340 with three home runs and 22 RBI. He had just seven extra-base hits (all doubles) in his most recent 20 games. Alderson, however, defended the decision by citing Tebow’s exit velocity and other metrics.

I think we can all agree that the real reason is that promoting Tebow creates another opportunity for the Mets to sell merchandise with his name on it.

One has to feel for the outfielder Tebow will displace. St. Lucie’s regular outfielders have comparable stats to Tebow’s, so they aren’t exactly being replaced on merit. That outfielder will see less playing time, hurting his future prospects. Adding Tebow to St. Lucie’s roster will push someone off of the roster, which will also harm that player’s future prospects. And, remember, these players don’t make much money to begin with.