A.J. Burnett’s almost-perfect outing helped the Pirates to a 5-0 win.
So many events have to go right for a no-hitter to happen. We sometimes lose sight of that, living in this Golden Age of 23 no-hitters in the last six years. Even with no-hitters becoming almost as common an occurrence as Clint Barmes home runs, they still require a potent combination of talent and good fortune to come true (you know, like a Clint Barmes home run).
When looking at A.J. Burnett taking a perfect game into the 6th inning and a no-hitter into the 7th inning of Wednesday night’s win over the St. Louis Cardinals, it is important to look at both skill and luck.
Talent and Skill
Burnett generated nine swings-and-misses on Cardinals hitters, which actually is about average for the veteran pitcher in any particular start. Thing is, Burnett’s “average” is quite good for getting batters to whiff. His swinging-strike rate since the start of 2011 is better than that of aces like Felix Hernandez and Gio Gonzalez...