By Andy Lindberg
Say what you wish about hitting, but in order to completely dismantle or dominate a baseball team, you have to start with pitching. No other position in the game of baseball asserts their will as much as the starting pitcher. There is a reason it is they, the pitchers, and not the left fielder or shortstop, who get a win or a loss on any given day. The pitcher, the pitcher who decides the pace and the comfort of any batter at the plate, dictates the ebb and flow of any game strictly.
So it is no surprise that the no-hitter and perfect game have special places in baseball lore. They are the extreme rarities of the game. Beginning with Joe Borden’s July 28, 1875 no-hitter over the Chicago White Stockings, and continuing until the most recent no-hitter thrown by Detroit’s Justin Verlander over the Toronto Blue Jays, there have been a total of 268 no-hitters sanctioned and recognized by Major League Baseball. There have been 20 perfect games, not including the two pitchers who threw nine perfect innings (Harvey Haddix and Pedro Martinez) only to see their offenses not support them and lose the perfection in extra innings.