No-Hitters Should Prove To Be Good For MLB

No-Hitters Should Prove To Be Good For MLB | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

Major League Baseball is on a record setting pace for the highest number of no-hitters pitched in a season. For a sport that prides itself on history, it appears many in the game are saddened by this, not excited that after years of home runs dominating the headlines, pitchers have finally regained some control over the game. While some inside the clubhouses and press boxes are saying all these no-hitters are bad for baseball, I say that if those inside the front offices learn from these games and change their ways, no-hitters should prove good for Major League Baseball over the long haul.

Six different starting pitchers have tossed nine inning no-hitters so far in 2021. This is just as much a product of the three teams on the opposite end of the pitching performances (Cleveland, Seattle and Texas) who combined records are below .500, as it is to how hitters in general are approaching their at-bats in today’s game. 

Even as pitchers rack up record setting strikeout totals, hitters still insist on swinging for the fences on every pitch. The result is that pitchers are dominating again, mainly because the approach used by hitters during the game is so poor … something six early season no-hitters is highlighting.

I predicted back in March that Major League pitchers would dominate the game again this season. I said this because I was hearing about how MLB was taking the juice out of baseball, something that in recent years was clearly increasing the number of home runs hit and the distances they were traveling. With pitchers once again able to rely on batted balls to only travel as far as they’re meant to, it was up to hitters to adjust their approach and not try to hit every pitch out of the park. 

So far, the earlier returns are that from the game’s best to even middle of the road pitchers, those toeing the rubber are now able to take advantage of how most hitters approach their at-bats, home run or bust. With teams unable or unwilling to break this un-entertaining style of play, a style that Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly calls “sometimes unwatchable.”

Part of this no-hitter backlash, I believe, comes from a lack of star pitchers tossing them. Because other than former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber tossing the sixth no-hitter of the season, and the seven-inning no-hitter Madison Bumgardner threw (which MLB is not counting at all), there have been no marquee names involved these dominating outings. This, in the mind of many, makes five of the no-hitters thrown this season a fluke more than being about the pitchers themselves.

For me, however, it only proves that it is not just the pitchers who are dominating the game this season, but the front offices who are permitting hitters to get themselves out with bad approaches at the plate. They are unable to convince hitters to use the whole field despite facing defensive shifts, and even with two strikes and facing a pitcher with more than two quality pitches in their arsenal, refuse to ask hitters to change their swing for the fences approach to an old-fashioned “put the ball in play and see what happens” strategy that baseball saw for decades. The result, strikeouts are way up, and we are now two no-hitters away from an all-time single season record before Memorial Day. And the game of baseball is shaking their heads at the level of stupidity hitters now have in the box.

Major League Baseball needs to understand what they are doing to their game and fix it. Instead of placating pull hitters by trying to outlaw shifts or putting running on second base in extra innings and still have games take over 4:30 and 12 innings to finish, force the front offices of these teams to change how they are teaching their hitters in the minors. Encourage contact over strikeouts, rallies comprised of singles and steals, not walks and home runs. Make pitchers throw to contact, not bounce pitches in the dirty that sluggers swing and miss at. Otherwise, it will be dirt that is thrown over the game itself as baseball is buried by fans no longer inspired to watch since they crave action from their sports entertainment and the game can’t give it to them as it is played today. 

 


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No-Hitters Should Prove To Be Good For MLB | TooAthletic.com

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