Los Angeles Angels best moments that didn’t make the top 10.
By David Rice
Nolan Ryan throws multiple No-Hitters for Angels
Nolan Ryan was the best pitcher to ever put on an Angel uniform. Unfortunately he pitched for the team when they were at or near the bottom of the American League, but that didn’t stop Ryan from excelling.
Starting in May of 1973 until June 1st, 1975 Ryan threw not one, not two, not three, but four no-hitters. His four no-hitters tied Ryan with Sandy Koufax for most career no-hitters. Ryan would end his career with seven no-hitters, but his first four come as an Angel.
Ryan’s fourth no hitter made our top 10 list so we will discuss it later. In this article we will discuss Ryan’s first three no hitters.
Nolan Ryan’s first no hitter came against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City. Ryan walked three batters, but did not allow a hit. Rudy Melli made a diving catch of a Gail Hopkins blooper in short right field to preserve the no-no in the eighth inning.
In the ninth inning Ryan got Freddie Patel to pop-up for the first out. Then he struck out Steve Hovley before getting Amos Otis which Ken Berry caught at the warning track to give Ryan his first no-no.
Ryan’s second no-no occurred later that same year on July 15th of 1973. This may have been Ryan’s most dominant no-hitter as he struck out 17 Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Ryan walked four batters in throwing his second no-hitter of the season.
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The Angels scored a run in the third inning to give Ryan a 1-0 lead however, they would not score again until they put up a five spot in the top of the eighth inning on two-run singles by Winston Lineas and Al Gallagher and an RBI single by Bob Oliver to make the score 6-0 going t the bottom of the eighth.
Ryan retired the side in order in the eighth recording his 17th and final strikeout Ed Brinkman. In the bottom of the ninth Ryan retired Mickey Stanley on a ground out, then he got Gates Brown to line out to short for the second out. Then Norm Cash ended the game with a pop out to short and Ryan had no-hitter number 2.
On September 28, 1974 Ryan threw his third no-hitter, the first at Anaheim Stadium for Ryan. He walked eight batters and struck 15 Minnesota Twins with a 156 pitch outing. The Angels scored two runs in the third and fourth innings to give Ryan a four run cushion.
Ryan did not have his best control on this night walking four batters in the first three innings of the game. Ryan twice walked two batters in an inning, but the Twins were never able to get a hit off the Express. In the 9th inning Ryan faced Tony Oliva on a fly ball to center. Ryan then struck out Larry Hisle for out number two. He then walked future Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew before ending the game and his third no-hitter with a strikeout Eric Soderholm his 15th and final punchout.
Nolan Ryan would continue to cement his place as the best pitcher in Angel history over the next six seasons.