A Look Back at the Strangest No-Hitter Ever

The Chicago Cubs recently no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record tying seventh no-hitter this season. The Cubs won 4-0, and used four pitchers. They also allowed eight walks. Jeremy Frank, @mlbrandomstats on Twitter, has a scoring system for no-hitters where the higher the score is, the worse it is. It is based on walks given up and pitchers used. According to him, the Cubs no-hitter is tied for the second worst no-hitter of all time with the 1967 game of the Baltimore Orioles vs Detroit Tigers with a score of 12. The only no-hitter worse was the Chicago White Sox vs Oakland A’s in 1976 with a score of 13. The Orioles no-hitter over the Tigers is the strangest no-hitter of all time because the Orioles lost that game.

The game was on April 30, 1967 at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. The duration was two hours and thirty-eight minutes. Steve Barber started for the Orioles and Earl Wilson for the Tigers. The Orioles used two pitchers with Stu Miller replacing Barber in the ninth. 

Steve Barber faced four batters in the first with a walk. This would be a common theme for Barber throughout the game. In the second, Barber faced another four batters and one more walk. He didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning until the fifth. In total, Barber faced thirty-eight batters in 8 2/3 innings. Barber walked ten batters and also hit two.

Going into the bottom of the eighth, the score was still 0-0, but on three walks and a sac fly, the Orioles grabbed a 1-0 lead. Barber walked out to the mound for the ninth, three outs away from a no-hitter. The inning started poorly with back-to-back walks. Then, Earl Wilson bunted the runners over. The next batter popped up to the catcher. Barber was one out away, but then a wild pitch ensued causing a run to score and thus tying the game. The next batter was walked and then Barber was pulled. Stu Miller came in and did his job, and got what should’ve been an easy out. Woodie Held made an error on the play causing the go-ahead run to score and giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. The next batter grounded out, keeping the no-hitter intact. 

It went into the bottom of the ninth with the Orioles needing to score. They went down 1-2-3 and lost. There have only been two no-hitters ending in losses in MLB history with the only other one being Ken Johnson of the Houston Colts losing to the Milwaukee Braves 1-0 despite giving up no hits. A no-hitter is one of the main goals of any pitcher, but it’s not as important when your team loses the game.