On April 17, Ubaldo Jimenez threw the first no-hitter in Colorado Rockies’ history.
As a disclaimer, I could never hope to pitch as well as Jimenez, and he has more talent than I could ever hope to have.
He also did something I could never hope to do.
That being said, Jimenez walked six batters in his no-hitter, and it’s just a little troubling to me.
For starters, six walks is the equivalent of two full innings of hitters.
Though Jimenez didn’t do this, a pitcher could intentionally walk the best power hitters (likely numbers three and four in the lineup) or best contact hitters (the leadoff man and second) in each of their first three at-bats and really only pitch to them once. This would make pitching this no-hitter considerably easier for Jimenez.
In addition, a pitcher with 6 BB could walk six batters in a row and lose a complete game no-hitter by a score of 3-2, 3-1, or 3-0.
In order to back up my claim, I looked on Baseball Reference (baseball-reference.com).
As it turns out, more than a few pitchers have thrown no-no’s with more than a couple walks.
Randy Johnson (6) and Sandy Koufax (5) are the most notable names on the list, and A.J. Burnett holds the record with nine walks in his no-hitter on May 12, 2001.
Jim Maloney had 10 walks in a 10-inning no-hitter in 1965, but this game isn’t considered a no-hitter because it was broken up in the 11th inning.
Ubaldo Jimenez pitched a gem on April 17, and he deserves some serious recognition for it.
Six walks or not, Jimenez became the first Rockies pitcher to throw a no-hitter, and he’ll be remembered for it forever. As a final poke in the ribs, though, I would like to point out that there have been 264 no-hitters since 1876, but only 18 of those were perfect games.