Jaffe: Examining the numbers behind the rise in no-hitters

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at SI.com on June 14, 2012:

No-hitters seem to be occurring as often as thunderstorms this spring. Matt Cain’s perfect game was the second no-hitter in less than a week, following a six-pitcher combined effort by the Mariners on June 8, the third of the month going back to Johan Santana’s gem on June 1 and the fifth of the season. No fewer than 14 no-hitters have been thrown since the beginning of the 2010 season, including Roy Halladay’s Division Series effort, just the second in postseason history. To find a three-year stretch with more no-hitters, you’d have to go back to 1990-1992, when 15 were thrown — seven in 1990 and 1991, plus one in 1992.

Those years with seven no-hitters are tied for the single-season major league record, a mark that suddenly appears in danger of falling; at the current rate, we’d finish the season with 13. Why are these jewels suddenly more commonplace? While luck and/or randomness has to be part of the explanation, the increased number is helped along by the collision of a few long-term trends, some of which are nestled inside of others.

Read the full article here: http://mlb.si.com/2012/06/14/matt-cain-giants-perfect-game/

Originally published: June 14, 2012. Last Updated: June 14, 2012.