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.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.