Originally written August 16, 2012 on New England Sports React:
Boston_red_sox_efce
If 2011 was “The Year of the Pitcher,” 2012 has been “The Year of the No-Hitter.” Felix Hernandez recorded a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, marking the sixth no-no to have been thrown this season and the third bout of perfection. The six no-hitters marks the most in the MLB since 1886, when eight was the benchmark. Besides Hernandez, the Giants’ Matt Cain and White Sox’ Philip Humber have achieved perfection this season. Johan Santana, Jered Weaver, and a combined effort from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff round out the no-nos. That’s half the amount there has been since Mark Buehrle’s outstanding effort in 2009, quite a high number for a single season. And it’s only August! I find it amazing that no-hitters have become seemingly a regularity in the majors, especially considering how rare they were in the early 2000′s when the steroid era was in full swing. It appears that the pitchers have adjusted, and adjusted very well. With drug tests much more strict nowadays, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. But then again, hitters have adjusted to pitchers using steroids as well. Those on the mound seem simply to have gotten the best of batters as of late, using more off-speed and breaking pitches to mix up at-bats. I tip my cap to their efforts, and I hope the rest of the season brings more terrific performances to us baseball fans who have nothing left worth watching until football starts. -Ryan Hartley
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