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The Reds and a Mostly Fake Streak

Former UC Bearcat Sandy Koufax was the last pitcher to no-hit the Cubs. Last week.
Former UC Bearcat Sandy Koufax was the last pitcher to no-hit the Cubs. Last week.

Much like the naming of generations post-"X," the post-steroid era is still looking for an identity. This could just be because we're in it right now and don't have any perspective. Some would call it the Era of the Pitcher. Seems fair enough, though I hope history will consider: "Era of Red Reporter Is The King Kong Ultimate and Votto is the Master of the Universe."

The last time the Reds were no-hit was notorious - and also pounded into our heads by highlights on heavy Fall classic promo rotation. But being no-hit by Roy Halladay should hardly be a permanent black eye, playoffs of not.

While the Reds are inextricably linked to the second no-hitter in playoff history, it's been a while since they have been no hit in the regular season. Their team hitting streak spans almost 41 years, since the Baby Machine was no-hit twice in 1971 (ironically, the last two no-hitters the Reds have suffered have been at the hands of the Phillies - who are themselves the most no-hit offense in baseball history).

Only the Cubs have a longer regular- season team hit streak, which stretches back to September 9, 1965 (notably, a perfect game by Sandy Koufax - which may be the greatest pitching performance of all time). Ignoring the Halladay no-no is industrial strength cheating, but I do think the Reds teams from the dawn of the BRM through the all bats/no arms teams of the early 00s have been more no-hit-resistant than your average.

Consider that, since 1972, there have been 96 no hitters.

I'm not attaching any meaning to any of this, other than as a curiosity. Part of it probably has to do with the Reds being a more traditionally offense-heavy club and part of it probably has to do with park effects. Almost all of it has to do with happenstance. No-hitters aren't very common and avoiding them - on either side of the ball - isn't as hard as it seems.

One other tidbit, about the current givers up of not-man-hits in the NL: RA Dickey and Matt Cain.

In one 2012 start, Cain has his 2nd-highest OPS-against and 3rd-highest ERA against any team this season...

PAs ERA WHIP OPS-against
25 4.26 1.105 .845

Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history and did it such a convincing way that it's in the conversation as one of the greatest regular season pitching performances ever.

Against Dickey, the Reds are tied with the Astros for 2nd highest team ERA and are third in OPS-against:

PAs ERA WHIP OPS-against
24 4.50 1.00 .768

The Reds only faced these two Monsters of ERA 12.1 innings this season, but if nothing else - this is a good comfort blanket if the Reds hit a slump. The team's performance against good teams (15-9 against the NL & AL East, for one example) has been one of the most encouraging indicators so far. I'm not sure how I got here from a post about no hitters, but I'm glad I did.