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Brandon Morrow and the Rays' "Almost No-Hitter"

According to Albert Larcada of ESPN Stats & Information, here are the details of how Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow attacked the Rays on Sunday:

  1. He threw 25 changeups (career high) for 18.3 percent of his pitches (3rd-most in a start in his career).
  2. The Rays chased 38.5 percent of pitches out of the zone (2nd-most in a start in his career).
  3. He threw 70.8 percent strikes (2nd-most in a start in his career).
  4. He induced 20 swings-and-misses (2nd-most in a game in his career).

According to Bill James' metric "Game Score," which is a one number-summary of how good a pitcher's single-game performance is, Brandon Morrow's 17-strikeout, 2-walk, one-hitter on Sunday -- which got a score of 100 -- is tied for the 4th-best single-game pitching performance since 1920. It was the highest by any pitcher in a single game since Randy Johnson scored 100 in his perfect game back in 2004:

Morrow gave up a single to right field to Evan Longoria (off the glove of Aaron Hill) with two out in the ninth inning. It was the fifth time in just 37 major-league starts that Morrow didn't allow a hit through five innings. That's one more such start than Cliff Lee has had in his nine seasons in the majors. It was the third time this season that Morrow took a no-hitter to the sixth inning, the same number as Andy Pettitte, Orel Hershiser, and Roy Oswalt recorded in their entire careers (3 each).

On another subject, in one of the odd occurances that is hard to explain, although the Tampa Bay Rays have the second best record in all of baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, after only 2/3rds through the 2010 season, the Rays' five games of being held to one or no hits is the most for a team in a single season in the live ball era (since 1920).

There are 11 teams that have had four such games in a season since then, most recently the Rangers last season and the Padres in 2001. The only teams held to one or no hits more times in the modern era were the 1910 White Sox and Browns, with six each. Go figure.... - Blake Kearny

Blake is a retired baseball scout (34 years) from Los Angeles, California. He currently runs a baseball school for children in Los Angeles.

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