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No-hitter facts, figures and oddities

No-hitter facts, figures and oddities

With the Cubs holding the Astros hitless for 15 consecutive innings over two games on Sunday and Monday, here is a look at some other exceptional and rare no-hit feats in baseball history.

• Johnny Vander Meer is the only pitcher in Major League history to throw no-hitters in consecutive appearances. The Reds left-hander threw his first vs. the Boston Bees on June 11, 1938, then followed it up on June 15 with another no-no vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers. Including his two starts before and after the no-hitters, Vander Meer pitched a total of 21 1/3 no-hit innings over four games.

• Though no team in history has tossed a no-hitter in consecutive games, the feat has been done in consecutive days. On May 5, 1917, Ernie Koob of the St. Louis Browns threw a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox, winning 1-0. The next day, in the second game of a doubleheader, teammate Bob Groom did the same thing, winning 3-0.

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• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time a team pitched or succumbed to a streak of 15 consecutive no-hit innings was June 2-3, 1995, when the Expos held the Padres without a hit for that span. On Sept. 25-27, 1981, the Astros held the Dodgers without a hit for 16 consecutive innings.

• Cy Young holds the Major League record with 23 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, although some sources list this streak to be as high as 25 1/3 innings.

• Cincinnati's Ewell Blackwell nearly matched Vander Meer's feat in 1947. He threw a no-hitter vs. the Boston Braves on June 18, then fell two outs shy of duplicating that effort vs. Brooklyn four days later.

• In September 1968, no-hitters were thrown in back-to-back games during a series between two teams. On Sept. 17, Gaylord Perry of the Giants no-hit the Cardinals, 1-0, at Candlestick Park. On the following day, Ray Washburn duplicated the feat for the Cardinals with his 2-0 win over the Giants.

• In 1969, Houston and Cincinnati traded no-hitters on consecutive days: on April 30, Jim Maloney of Cincy no-hit Houston and won 10-0; the next day, Don Wilson of Houston no-hit the Reds and won 4-0.

• On June 29, 1990 two no-hitters were thrown within hours of each other. Dave Stewart of the A's pitched a no-hitter in Toronto against the Blue Jays. Later in the day, the Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela pitched a no-hitter at home against the St. Louis Cardinals.

• The Yankees' Don Larsen became the first to throw a no-hitter in the World Series with his Game 5 gem vs. the Dodgers in 1956. He remains the only pitcher to record a no-no in the postseason.

• The only Opening Day no-hitter in baseball history took place on April 16, 1940, when Indians Hall of Famer Bob Feller shut down the White Sox.

• In 1953, Bobo Holloman of the St. Louis Browns pitched a no-hitter in his first Major League start.

• Bob Forsch and Ken Forsch are the only pair of brothers to both pitch official no-hitters. Bob pitched two no-hitters while with the Cardinals, the first in 1978 and the second in 1983. Ken pitched one for the Astros in 1979. Brothers Pascual Pérez and Melido Pérez both pitched rain-shortened, unofficial no-hitters; Pascual for five innings for the 1988 Expos and Melido for six innings for the 1990 White Sox.

• Boston's Jason Varitek has caught four no-hitters, the most of any catcher: Hideo Nomo (2001), Derek Lowe (2002), rookie Clay Buchholz (2007) and Jon Lester (2008).

• Boston's Babe Ruth and Ernie Shore combined for one of the more unconventional no-hitters in baseball history in the first game of a doubleheader on June 23, 1917. Ruth walked the leadoff batter, then was promtly ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Shore came in to replace him, watched his catcher throw out the runner on an attempted steal, then retired the next 26 batters.

• Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan holds the Major League record with seven no-hitters. The first came in 1973 during his tenure with the Angels, and the last took place in 1991, when he was a 44-year-old with the Rangers.

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