If someone said to you, “real quick, what’s the ultimate achievement for a pitcher,” you’d probably answer that it’s a no-hitter. You’d be wrong, of course, because the ultimate achievement is a perfect game. But a no-hitter is the next best thing, and that’s not a terrible answer. After all, we usually think of no-hitters as these amazing achievements that every pitcher would love to have on his resume.
But here’s the thing: precisely because we make a distinction between regular no-hitters and perfect games, a large amount of grey area is created. Of course, a perfect game is 27 up, 27 down—no hits, no walks, no errors, nobody hit by a pitch. That’s why there have only been 22 of those. Ever. But a no-hitter is simply “no hits.” You can walk a guy, hit a guy, have a guy reach on an error, and even allow a run, and that still counts. Yeah, it’s hard to go a whole game without giving up a hit, so most of the time a no-hitter does indeed indicate greatness. But you know another way to go a whole game without giving up a hit? By walking 10 guys. Because if you’re constantly walking them, then you’re obviously not giving them pitches to his.
The point? Not all no-hitters are great games. Sometimes a no-hitter isn’t even a good game. And, in fact, sometimes a no-hitter is downright sad.
In any case, that’s what we’re taking a look at today: the worst baseball no-hitters of all time. Prepared to be amazed at how bad a “great” game can be.