Last night, Marlins skipper Don Mattingly pulled starter Wei-Yin Chen after the seventh inning after the lefty had thrown 100 pitches. This wouldn’t be a huge source of conflict had it not been for the fact that Chen was pitching a no-hitter. And had six outs left. But let’s just tackle one controversy at a time.
Brad Ziegler came in from the bullpen and did not allow any hits in the eighth inning. It was only until Kyle Barraclough
ruined everything gave up a hit to Mitch Haniger that the game lost a huge amount of note. So here’s where things get a little fuzzy: can you tout the game as a no-hitter even when multiple pitchers were involved? Does a combined no-hitter even exist?
This fun new controversy had some of our former staffers debating the redeeming qualities of teamwork and taking their sides.
COMBINED NO HITTERS AREN'T NO HITTERS— Michael W Bradburn (@MWBII) April 19, 2017
This is a take I 1000% agree with.... https://t.co/31UjB5Lc0l— Chris Schubert (@ChrisRSchubert) April 19, 2017
And there was resistance felt across both argument alignments, with one side adding that even though two pitchers contributed, having a team not be able to scrap together a single hit is part of what makes baseball so enthralling.
As for this writer, my opinion is a simple one: A combined no-hitter is a fun buzz word to use to get people excited when the already should be. Let’s be real, if the MLB announcers said, “Wow, we’ve got a really great game going on over in Miami,” instead of using the term “combined no-hitter”, you’re not exactly going to be ripping up couch cushion to find the remote because God forbid you’re the only person not able to talk about where they were when a combined no-hitter happened.
Yes, seeing Seattle’s offense crash and burn is super exciting and albeit shutting out a team doesn’t happen a lot and yay let’s remind everyone how fun baseball is...but wouldn’t it be even more fun in Chen went for bust and tried to retire those six outs himself? And maybe actually got a no-hitter?
It’s parallel to when a team wins a big game and someone tweets, “Wow, we really pulled that one off,” assumably from the dugout and totally not from their living room in sweatpants. Or that guy in a group project that only contributes half of a PowerPoint slide and then shows up for the presentation and soaks in all of the glory (I’m looking at you, Jeff from Sociology 201). A mission was accomplished, but the burden wasn’t equal. Chen had a no-hitter. Ziegler just did his job.
Also, while I’m here, a hot dog is not nor will it ever be a sandwich. Thank you and have a nice day. **Everybody Hurts plays softly in the distance**