Random no-hitter tidbits
Soon-to-be division mates, the Houston Astros used six pitchers in a combined no-hitter on June 11, 2003. Soon-to-be division mate (with the Rangers) Roy Oswalt started that game, but only lasted 1 inning, so Millwood outdid him easily. After that you had Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel, and Billy Wagner. Curiously, just like this game, it was in interleague play (against the Yankees). Since the Astros were up 2-0 before Oswalt even left and 4-0 in the third, it was a little more like a bullpen day for manager Jimy Williams, and it took Eric Wedge using his relievers like Tony LaRussa to catch up.
It’s interesting to think about who the Astros, 87-75 that year, had in the bullpen together. Lidge, Dotel, and Wagner, all closer material then or later, with two of the three being truly ace relievers for at least a year or so. At that point, though, Lidge was just a rookie. Out of Furbush, Pryor, Luetge, League, and Wilhelmsen, well there’s a decent chance that three guys out of that group get a run as closers, and again one of them is a rookie. I suppose you can take Dotel’s record-tying 4 strikeouts in one inning and set it up against Pryor being credited with his first big-league victory in a no-hitter.
The other random tidbit concerns Millwood. He joins Vida Blue and Kent Mercker in managing to start a combined no-hitter while also having his own no-hitter outright. Blue in the AL, Mercker in the NL, and Millwood crossing leagues in between (that is, his complete game no-hitter was in the NL, and he was pitching for an AL team this time, though again, interleague play).
Did somebody mention that combined, the Mariners and their AAA and AA affiliates only gave up 4 hits tonight in 3 games? Unfortunately, after Erasmo Ramirez had a no-hitter for 7-2/3 innings, the only two hits he gave up were a single and a home run in a 2-0 loss (Delabar retired the side in order in the ninth). Meanwhile for Jackson, Danny Hultzen lost his “no-hit bid” in the first inning, but only gave up one other hit, one walk, and struck out 8 before giving way to Carter Capps for a perfect ninth.