Looking for hits? Don’t try MLB

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Major League Baseball this season has turned into the no-hitter league.

There have been six no-hitters thrown already into this season, and these pitchers are on track to obliterate the single season record for no-hitters. The shutouts have happened seemingly in pairs of two, with no-hitters happening within a week of each other three times this season.

The first was Joe Musgrove on April 9th, tossing the first no hitter in Padres’ franchise history. Five days later Carlos Rodón helped shutout the Indians, throwing a no-hitter on the 14th of April. The next set of two started with John Means on May 5th against the Mariners, and then on May 7th Wade Miley made the Indians two time victims of no-hitters this season.

Lastly just days ago Spencer Turnball threw a no-hitter against the Mariners on May 18th, and then the very next night it was Corey Kluber giving up nothing against the Rangers in a 2-0 win for the Yankees. In this era of hard-throwing relievers and fewer complete games, you might expect more combined no-hitters, but each one this year has been a solo effort. 

Pitchers are better than ever. Hitters seem worse than ever.

With six no-hitters by May 19, baseball is two away from tying the full-season record, which was set in 1884. Batting average is at its lowest point (.236) in modern history, and for the fourth consecutive year, strikeouts are outpacing hits. The enduring emphasis on power over contact leads to hitting famine: the unwanted opposite of a power feast.

With all of these no-hitters it would seem logical that a perfect game would be mixed in, but baseball is in a strangely long stretch without one. Both Carlos Rodon and John Means came tantalizingly close to perfection this season, but Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners threw baseball’s last perfect game on Aug. 15, 2012.

This is the 11th time in major league history that at least six no-hitters have been thrown in a season, and this year it was done in a span of 41 days. The six no-hitters are also the most through May 19, outpacing 1917 for the fastest start by a few weeks. Tossing a major league no-hitter should be a monumental achievement. But is it losing its glamour? 

It should be a monumental achievement to throw a no-hitter, and forever be cherished in baseball history, but when there’s a no-hit watch every time you turn on the TV, it loses its glamour. With six no-hitters already in this MLB season, by the next day after one is tossed people are on to talking about who is gonna throw one next. The flare, the celebration is no longer there and it’s becoming expected.

If another no-hitter is thrown this season (which is already expected to happen) people will slowly forget who threw the first one, and then the second and third and so on. A no-hitter is lovely to witness and while it’s amazing to get to see it so much this year, it’s almost bittersweet as the frequency has slightly impacted the delicacy of the event.