Jackson Posts Fourth No-Hitter in Less Than Three Months
Edwin Jackson pitched the fourth no-hitter of the 2010 season yesterday defeating the Rays 1-0 on a home run by Adam LaRoche. The 26 year old Jackson in his eighth major league season walked eight batters in the contest but was the beneficiary of three double plays.
He made 149 pitches which is almost unheard of in these days of pitch counts. His no-hitter was the 19th since 1999. Four of those have come in the first half of the 2010 season and a near no-hitter by Armando Galarraga was lost by an umpire’s call.
Seven no-hitters were thrown during 2000-2005 and eight were thrown between 2006-2009. In the first year of this decade there are already four in half a season.
Three were thrown in 2001 and 2007 but those were in entire seasons. There are only five hitters in the NL hitting higher than .308 during the 2010 season. 12 NL hitters are hitting between .300 and .308.
In contrast the AL has 14 hitters hitting .308 or higher and has only seven hitting between .300 and .308.
Coming into the 2010 season there had been only six perfect games since 1988 and only two since 1999. Then in less than two months of this season Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay pitched perfect games and Armando Galarrago narrowly missed pitching a perfect game on June 2 which would have been less than two months after the season started.
Hitters are not hitting with the power they have in the past like Alex Rodriguez who hit 54 home runs in 2007 probably due to steroids has only 10 this season with the season almost half over. Albert Pujols led the NL in home runs with 47 in 2009 but only has 15 so far in 2010 and on a pace hit less than 35 home runs this season.
Six AL hitters have more than 15 home runs as of today while the NL has five hitters with more than 15 home runs.
Who would have thought that on July 26 that Jose Bautista with 20 home runs and Corey Hart with 18 would be leading the AL and NL in home runs?
It will be interesting to see if any more no-hitters are pitched during the 2010 season in a year in which the pitchers seem to have the advantage.
Eleven pitchers finished the 2009 season with an ERA under 3.00. This season 22 pitchers have ERA’s under 3.00.
The five lowest ERA’s this season have been posted by NL pitchers. The Dodgers had the lowest ERA of the 2009 season with a 3.41 mark but the Padres lead the majors in 2010 with a 3.03 ERA.
We will see as the 2010 season unravels if this is a first half trend or if the pitchers continue to post good numbers at the expense of the batters.