Following Up On A No-Hitter

From Joe Posnanski at on May 13:

Who was the last person to follow up a no-hitter with a complete game? A shutout? Do pitchers throw better after perfect games than after no-hitters? How did Nolan Ryan do after each of his seven no-nos? All those answers and more follow.

But the main point here is this: I found all those answers. It didn’t take too long. My editor called Wednesday evening and wondered if I would have any interest in doing something on no-hitter follow-up games, and upon first blush I managed to count only 59,485 things I would rather do. But, of course, my editor is smarter than I am, and he certainly knew that just throwing out an open-ended question like, “How do pitchers throw after no-hitters?” would gnaw on my mind until, just out of curiosity, I fired up the computer and went to the incomparable Baseball Reference and began to look back at a few pitchers who threw no-hitters and then looked at a few more and then …

… suddenly I had a spreadsheet with every follow-up game to no-hitters since 1970, and every follow-up to a regular season perfect game the last 75 years.

This is a new development, of course, this easy access to sports information. [SABR member] Bill James used to do his seminal baseball work using box scores clipped out of The Sporting News. How long would it have taken me to find every post-no-hitter the last 40 years using that clip-and-file system? I can’t even imagine. A week? A month? Longer? I’ll tell you exactly how long it would have taken: Forever. Because I never would have even started the project. I’m interested. But I’m not THAT interested.

Now, the information is there, easy to find, easy to sort, it took me three mouse clicks per player to find the game I wanted. And so I can tell you that since 1970, pitchers have followed up their no-hitters by throwing, on average 6 2/3 innings.

They allowed, on average, 5.78 hits.

Their ERA in those was 3.42.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 13, 2011. Last Updated: May 13, 2011.