June 17, 2007 [LINK / comment]

No hitters & almost no-hitters

Over the past week, we've had one no hitter, by Justin Verlander of the Tigers, and two almost no-hitters, by Curt Schilling of the Red Sox and [Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs. Schilling went eight full innings before giving up any hits, and Zambrano went seven-plus].* For the aging Schilling, that was a shame, as he may not get many more chances. For the young Zambrano, it was all the more frustrating because the Cubs failed to get any runs, and he ended up losing the game. Doh! Verlander's no-hitter on Tuesday was the first in Comerica Park history. Today's Washington Post had an interesting list of the longest periods ("droughts") that various teams, stadiums, and individual pitchers have ever gone without any no-hitters:

Verlander is a graduate of Old Dominion University, where he played baseball, and is a native of the Old Dominion (Virginia).

* [Corrected for spelling and facts.]

Nats avert sweep in Toronto

The former Montreal Expos had a rough time up in Canada this weekend. Their vulnerability in starting pitchers was "exposed," once again, and the bats cooled off just when they were needed most. At least they averted getting swept by the host Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon, pulling out a 4-2 victory.