With MLB doing 7-inning double-headers, will they finally recognize Jered Weaver’s no-hitter?
By Kyle Franzoni
Los Angeles Angels’ pitchers Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo combined for a no-hitter through eight innings, but it is not recognized by Major League Baseball.
On June 28, 2008, Angels pitchers Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo threw a combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. While the feat was astounding in its own right, neither man has been able to claim it because of one thing.
Major League Baseball doesn’t recognize it as a no-hitter.
In that match-up, Weaver tossed the first six innings before giving way to Arredondo, who threw the last two frames. However, two errors led to the only run of the game scoring in the 5th and the Angels would lose the game 1-0. As the Dodgers were the home team, they didn’t need to bat in the ninth, limiting the Halos to only pitching eight innings.
In 1991, MLB changed the rule, requiring that no-hitters would only count if the pitcher or pitchers had completed nine innings of work, and the game ended with zero hits. That meant no rain-shortened no-hitters, no no-hitters that were broken up in extra innings, and, as important to the Angels, no no-hitters that ended in the eighth because the home team didn’t need to bat. As such, MLB does not recognize Weaver and Arredondo’s no-hitter.
So why are we bringing it up?
As we all know by now, MLB and the MLBPA came to an agreement earlier today about how to handle double-headers for the shortened 2020 season. Those games will now by two, 7-inning games, thus limiting the stress on already taxed rosters.
That raises the possibility of a 7-inning no-hitter being thrown and whether MLB would recognize it. What about a perfect game? What if a pitcher loses a perfect game due to the new runner on second base rule in extra innings?
You’d be hard-pressed to find a pitcher in one of those games who holds his opponent hitless over a 7-inning contest to not feel justified in claiming it as a no-hitter. The length of the game is outside of his control, while his ability to stymie his opponent is not.
That got us thinking. If Major League Baseball amends the rules to allow those games to be recognized, should they then retroactively do so for other games that exceed seven innings?
While we would love to see Weaver and Arredondo get their credit here, it may be a slippery slope to walk. Where would you draw the line? What about those rain-shortened games that barely qualified as official games?
One thing is for certain. The 2020 season is going to be unlike anything we have ever seen in the history of the game, even outside of its length. Seeing a no-hitter in that atmosphere would just be the icing on the cake, even if it doesn’t mean Weaver getting his just due.