Joe Camporeale -USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Zack Godley
There have been 297 no-hitters in MLB history, an average of about two per season. While we only saw one in each of the past two seasons (Jake Arrieta in 2016 and Edinson Vólquez in 2017), we have already seen three (in three different countries) in 2018. James Paxton threw the latest no-no in his most recent start against the Blue Jays — a 99-pitch sparkler.
— C.J. Tumbarello (@TumbarelloHB) May 9, 2018
Maybe we can finally see someone throw back-to-back no-hitters for the first time since 1938 when Johnny Vander Meer did so for the Reds. Vander Meer, a southpaw like Paxton, remains the only pitcher in MLB history to accomplish that feat.
Let’s take a look at Paxton’s matchup against the Tigers, who will also send out a lefty in Blaine Hardy — who will make his first career start on Sunday afternoon. We’ll also touch on the Sunday Night Baseball game between the Diamondbacks and Nationals. Can Jeremy Hellickson really keep this up for Washington? I know Diamondback fans are looking at this as a matchup of Hell vs. God.
Seattle Mariners (-185) at Detroit Tigers (+165) | O/U: 8.5
James Paxton (2-1, 3.40 ERA) vs. Blaine Hardy (0-0, 2.70 ERA)
1:10 p.m. ET
The Big Maple: Everybody knows Paxton just threw a no-hitter, but if you include his previous start as well, he has allowed no runs and five hits and has struck out 23 over his past 16 innings. Locked in. — Stuckey
Looking beyond the no-hitter, Paxton has been one of the best starters all-around this season. Entering Saturday, the Canadian is one of only seven starters with 60+ strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .200 or less. He joins pretty impressive company on that list. — Evan Abrams
Southpaw Specialist: Detroit recently placed Miguel Cabrera on the 10-day DL. He joined Leonys Martin, reliever Alex Wilson and starters Daniel Norris and Jordan Zimmermann. As a result of the injuries to their starters, the Tigers purchased the contract of Hardy from Triple-A Toledo to allow him to make his first career start after 167 previous big league appearances out of the pen. You can expect the southpaw to throw 60 to 70 pitches — if all goes right.