The seven no-hitters for 2012 tied the record for most no-hitters in a season set first in 1990 and then repeated in 1991. Three of the no-hitters in 2012 were perfect games. In 2010, five pitchers tossed no-hitters. This was the first year since 1991 to have at least three no-hitters. Sabermetricians are asking the following questions: Is there any reason for the sudden surge in no-hitters? Can we expect a repeat performance in 2013 just like 1991 repeated the performance of 1990? Here is the timeline for the 2012 no-hitters.
Philip Humber, a starting pitcher for the White Sox, threw the 21st perfect game in Major League history on April 21, 2012 against the Mariners.
Jered Weaver, pitching for the Angels, threw a no-hitter against the Twins on May, 2, 2012. He came within several inches of losing his no-hitter in the top of the fifth inning when the Twins batter Chris Parmelee lined a ball down the third base line that was barely foul.
Johan Santana, coming back from surgery on his shoulder, pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history against the Cardinals on June 1, 2012. It took Johan 134 pitches to complete the game. , Santana’s no-no would have been lost thanks to a Carlos Beltran (the former Met) potential double down the left field line. Instead, despite the liner landing on the chalk line past third base, the drive was ruled foul preserving Johan’s no-no. Considering his 18-month rehab program, the question asked was: Did this 134 pitch outing cause Johan to wind up on the DL ending his season prematurely? What would you have done if you were the manager?
Six Mariner pitchers combined to hurl a no-hitter against the Dodgers on June 8. Kevin Millwood pitched the first six innings and then left the game with a groin injury. Five relievers finished the no-no. Millwood already pitched a no-hitter when he was with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003.
Matt Cain of the Giants hurled a perfect game against the Astros on June 13, 2012. In hurling his perfect game he struck out 14 Astros. The 14 punch-outs tied Sandy Koufax’s 47-year-old standard of most strikeouts in a perfect game. His perfect game was saved by Gregor Blanco’s tremendous catch. This became the 22nd perfect game in Major League history.
Felix Hernandez of the Mariners pitched the third perfect game of the season against the Rays on August 15, 23rd overall in MLB history.
Homer Bailey of the Reds hurled the seventh no-hitter of the season against the Pirates on September 28.
Other notable pitching performances not involving a no-hitter were:
Jamie Moyer, in defeating the Rockies on April 17, 2012, became the oldest player in Major League history to record a win. On April 17 Moyer was 49 years and 150 days old.
Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox pitched a perfect inning against the Orioles by striking out the side on just nine pitches. It was the 47th perfect inning in MLB history.
R.A. Dickey had the greatest season of any knuckleball pitcher in the history of baseball. His knuckleball was different from all other past knuckleball pitchers because of its velocity and his ability to control it. In spite of the awful season by the Mets, R.A. finished with a 20-6 record and an ERA of 2.73. He led the league with 230 strikeouts. Yes, he won the NL CY Young Award for 2012. R.A. was the first pitcher in MLB history to win a Cy Young having a knuckleball as his primary pitch.