No-hitters all over, with former Braves doing daring deeds!

Jordan Schafer hit this ball. Making like Willie Mays, Gregor Blanco caught it.

Jordan Schafer hit this ball. Making like Willie Mays, Gregor Blanco caught it. (AP photo)

The San Francisco Giants, who began life in 1883 as the New York Gothams, had never seen one of their pitchers work a perfect game — until Matt Cain did the deed Wednesday night. It came very close to being the second no-hitter of the evening — the Met knuckleballer R.A. Dickey had yielded only one soft single in Tampa — and it underscored the growing reality that extreme pitching feats have become business as usual.

Think not? Well, the New York Mets, who opened play in 1962, had gone their entire existence without even a simple no-hitter until Johan Santana managed one on June 1. Not three weeks later, all that stood between Dickey and a second Mets no-hitter was B.J. Upton’s first-inning roller, which David Wright tried to bare-hand and dropped.

The play was ruled a hit, which seemed reasonable, but the Mets announced afterward that they would protest the scorer’s ruling, thereby seeking the first ex post facto no-hitter in baseball history. Then again, the Mets are lucky baseball doesn’t offer replay review on fair-or-foul calls or else they’d still be stuck on zero no-nos. (Carlos Beltran’s liner off Santana kicked up chalk but was ruled foul.)

Five nights before Cain yielded nothing and Dickey next to nothing, six Seattle pitchers — that’s correct, six — endeavored to work a no-hitter against the Dodgers. It marked the second no-hitter at Safeco Field in 2012, the first having been the perfect game authored by Philip Humber of the White Sox against the Mariners on April 21. And how many no-hitters had been worked at Safeco, which opened in 1999, before this season? Why, none.

Baseball has just seen five no-hitters in 53 days, which is roughly one every week and a half. And if you’re wondering why none of this gold dust has been sprinkled over the Atlanta Braves … well, by extension it has. Kevin Millwood was the Seattle pitcher who worked the first six innings Friday but who strained a groin muscle and had to exit a no-hitter. And the two biggest plays of Cain’s perfect game were Melky Cabrera’s running grab of Chis Snyder’s deep fly and, one inning later, Gregor Blanco’s astonishing diving catch of  Jordan Schafer’s drive in the gap.

Millwood, Cabrera, Blanco, Schafer: All former Braves. And while we’re at it, Blanco’s snag might only have been the second-best catch ever made by an ex-Brave to save a perfect game. DeWayne Wise’s leaping/juggling/falling grab to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfecto on July 23, 2009, is still the leader in the clubhouse. But the clubhouse is getting mighty crowded.

By Mark Bradley

47 comments Add your comment

Scott

June 14th, 2012
8:19 pm

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:19 pm

Mark, long time, no chat. Bestt, Todd

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:22 pm

The Braves are mediocre at best. Mediocre hitting, starting pitching, relief pitching is good; speed fair; managing is just awful.

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:23 pm

what are the Braves in pinch hitting? something just at or under the Mendoza line?

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:24 pm

when Big Boys like the Yanks come to town the Braves fold like Grandma’s quilt.

@!$@!!XZ

June 14th, 2012
8:26 pm

Everyone plays better after they leave Atlanta . . . what does that say about the organization as a whole???? Must be the coaching, eh?

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:26 pm

said Fredi i just tip my cap
to the Yanks who just made us a sap
but as long as i’ve got Wren
who forgives all my sin
during the games i can still take my nap

Dubvee

June 14th, 2012
8:27 pm

Why do they play poorly for us, then become All Stars after they leave?

Mark Richt

June 14th, 2012
8:27 pm

Todd, shouldn’t you be working?

DetroitBraves

June 14th, 2012
8:29 pm

Mark Bradley, how would you rank the managers in the NL East? Is Fredi at the bottom?

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:31 pm

said Frank Wren there’s no more i can pay
to improve the Braves’ lackuster play
i’m not like Obama
who writes bad checks with no drama
i wish i could find a new kid say hey

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:32 pm

Mark, I am working. Right now Greg and I are having supper and contemplating your future.

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:35 pm

Right now I’m dining with McGarity
which for you Mark i know is a rarity
he’s fattening my check
as long as i dont car wreck
we are as one in polarity

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
8:36 pm

Gosh, i hate to waste good materail on a slow night

Mark Richt

June 14th, 2012
8:46 pm

Well played Todd.

Mike Bobo

June 14th, 2012
8:48 pm

I’m working coach. Todd, please ask Greg if I can have a raise too.

Tomy Fournier

June 14th, 2012
9:02 pm

HEPL…I NEED SOMEBODY………..HELP!!!

Peter

June 14th, 2012
9:07 pm

Yup the Braves have never been the same after they traded Blanco for Ankiel…..Great move Wren !

Peter

June 14th, 2012
9:09 pm

Why do they play poorly for us, then become All Stars after they leave?

Managers and coaching.

Skram30082

June 14th, 2012
9:15 pm

Dubvee & Peter

Way back in the day, all thru the 80s, All-Stars came to the Bravos and saw their careers tank.

jj

June 14th, 2012
9:40 pm

Fredi still here?

bulldogbubba

June 14th, 2012
9:50 pm

Two-thirds of the Giants outfield are former Braves. Three years ago Blanco was doing what Constanza is doing now (was).He was leadoff and was hitting and getting on base.What did Bobby Cox do, send him back to AAA and played a guy with lesser talent because he sticks by his players. Fredi has done the same by sending Constanza back to AAA and sticking with a cold Heyward,Diaz,and Jones.Seems history repeats it self. Fredi said when he took over that he would put the best team on the field!!! Phooey on that. TIME FOR A CHANGE.

Mark Bradley

June 14th, 2012
9:52 pm

The Braves’ pinch-hitters are batting .165 with one home run and eight RBIs.

todd grantham

June 14th, 2012
10:15 pm

hmmm. they cant even see the mendoza line.

Scott

June 14th, 2012
10:23 pm

Mark, my first ever “First” and no mention from you.

Doofus(Goober and Gomer's Smart Brother)

June 14th, 2012
10:26 pm

Would be interesting also to see if the Braves are close to setting a record for LOBs. That has to be a huge number so far.

Mark Bradley

June 14th, 2012
10:30 pm

Kudos, Scott.

Mike Lum

June 14th, 2012
10:34 pm

Millwood, Cabrera, Blanco, Schafer…none were all stars. None produced enough for the Braves to warrant re-signed them for higher free agent contracts. Same with Ankiel. Time for a change? That’s what you blogger “fans” were saying when Millwood/Melky/Gregor/Jordan/Ankiel were on the Braves!

TomB

June 14th, 2012
10:52 pm

If Francona is available then Fredi needs to go and Wren needs to fly away.

Packer Ed

June 15th, 2012
6:38 am

Can someone help me? Any team in recent history won a championship with the Braves formula?

1. reduced payroll
2. Team is owned by a big Corporation and was bought by latest owner for tax reasons?
3. Team can not do much by trading deadline because of limited or no cash
4. Managers that do not win and are kept
5. Rookies brought to major leagues early for cost reasons
6. Inability to sign first tier free agents.

cloudodust

June 15th, 2012
7:13 am

Judging from the tone of the whining posts, today’s ‘paper-fans’ hammering on the Braves would have committed suicide back in the 70’s. John Schuerholz was one of a kind. I’m thankful we has him but his downfall was spoiling Atlanta…

Double Zero Eight

June 15th, 2012
7:25 am

Someone told me when the Braves traded
Marquis Grissom and David Justice (after
winnimg the 95 World Series), that it would
be 20 Years before they won another one.
I did not believe that then, but it appears that
individual may have been correct.

After last years horrific finish, I am beginning to
wonder if this team is “cursed”.

GaryinBham

June 15th, 2012
7:50 am

Man, it’s a crazy list over the years of ex-Braves who have a better career just after leaving. Sometimes it’s just giving up too quickly, but then, with the clamor for winning now that fans have it’s hard to hold on to a Blanco or Cabrera. I really thought letting Melky go was a big mistake. We got him in his worst shape. Still, I understand why they did it.

As far as the no hitters, could it be that without steroids we know how weak and pitiful the hitting really is? Maybe A-Rod and the other juicers should have a couple hundred homers deducted from their totals or moved over to the “outhouse of shame” behind the Hall of Fame.

bruce

June 15th, 2012
7:52 am

Mark, thanks for the positive baseball column

Cecil34

June 15th, 2012
8:06 am

uh oh, what did Chipper do now?

Eb

June 15th, 2012
8:08 am

With all the great pitchers the Braves had over the last 20 years, it’s very surprising that the only no-hitter registered was a 4 pitcher combined effort. It really surprises me that Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux, Millwood, Hudson, Hampton, Avery, or one of the other guys wouldn’t have had that ’special’ night by now.

Eb

June 15th, 2012
8:20 am

One more thing….. While you can’t count on the Braves to throw no-hitters, you can certainly count on them to be no-hit. We’ve been on the wrong side of that deal twice in the last 8 years with one being a perfect game (Randy Johnson). Pretty typical of all ATL teams really.

Jack Dennis TN

June 15th, 2012
8:23 am

Not defending Wren, but he didn’t have the dough to throw around that Scheurhotz had. OTOH, Wren IS the guy that won’t get a quality RH hitter.

DawgFan

June 15th, 2012
8:24 am

I learned all I needed to know about the Braves watching the series with the Yankees. A wild pitch got past McCann at one point, with a runner on second. McCann just gingerly jogged back to the backstop to pick it up, letting the runner advance totally uncontested. He probably wouldn’t have gotten the out, but there was no drive behind his actions. And after that, it seemed like the entire team just gave up. I don’t know if Fredi Gonzalez isn’t instilling the proper motivation or what, but this team looks like they don’t have the drive and desire to win, and that will cost them in the long term.

Sons of Rick Matula

June 15th, 2012
8:45 am

Did anyone notice that the Mets – with a mostly no name lineup of kids – outslugged and outpitched the Rays ON THE ROAD, sweeping the series? Kudos to their feisty little manager, Terry Collins. Oh, if the Braves had him instead of the lumpen mass of Fredi.

Rob in Fayetteville

June 15th, 2012
9:39 am

I’m with the others here who say that (mysteriously? nah) many ex-Braves suddenly perform better once they go elsewhere. Will the myth that the Braves are this great organization finally be put to sleep? You would think that winning one world championship in fifteen tries since 1990 would give a clue, yet we keep hearing how wonderful it is to play for the Braves and how structured they are from top to bottom. The fact is, the Braves are fundamentally unsound throughout the organization – have been, and as long as the current culture remains, always will be. They are a bunch of flailing, undisciplined, unmotivated ballplayers who lack fire, beat themselves, and get in their own way. They always have a ready excuse for any loss, and perhaps they should just stop wearing ball caps all together, as I’m shocked that they all don’t have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from repeatedly tipping their caps to their opponents.

Several months ago, a local TV station asked fans how many wins the Braves will have this year. I said 78, and judging by the current roster they have, I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Fitting for such a mediocre team – and “mediocre” is an apt description for this franchise as a whole. Definitely not great.

Stank Wren

June 15th, 2012
9:48 am

The current version of the Braves is much more likely to be on the losing end of a no-hitter than the winning end

prpl dawg

June 15th, 2012
10:17 am

BRAVES PROBLEMS-NUNEROUS BUT IT CAN BE PINPOINTED TO A FEW MAJOR ITEMS, AS I HAVE BLOGGED BEFORE:

1. OWNERSHIP-TOO CHEAP TO BE TOP NOTCH.
2. MANAGEMENT- FREDI KRUGER IS NOT THE RIGHT CHOICE, NOR IN BIRD WREN. TAMPA BAY RAYS HAVE BEEN A POWER WITH LESS $, BUT BETTER LEADERSHIP. SINCE FREDI WAS FIRED FROM MARLINS, THEY HAVE STEADILY IMPROVED!!!!!

HOW MANY PLAYERS, ESPECIALLY PITCHERS, HAVE DONE BETTER IN RECENT TIMES AFRTER LEAVING THE BRAVES. SORIANO WAS OK WITH BRAVES, STARRED WITH RAYS. OTHER PITCHERS- VENTERS, JJ, EVEN HANSON, MINOR, HAVE TAILED OFF AFTER STAYING W ITH BRAVES.
3. PLAYERS-TEAM CULTURE. CULTURE IS THE WAY YOU THINK, ACT. NEVER A SENSE OF URGENCY. HOW MANY TIMES HAS SOMEONE BEEN BROUGHT IN AND GIVEN BRAVOS A SPARK, ONLY TO FALL INTO A RUT. THE EARLY PART OF THE GREAT STREAK SAW AVERAGE PLAYERS SUDDENLY SPARK THE TEAM AND OVER ACHIEVE. THUS, FANS WANTED TO SEE THEM. LATE IN THE STREAK AND AFTERWARD- HO HUM. NOT BAD ATITUDES, JUST HO HUM. WINNERS FIND A WAY TO WIN AND LOSERS FIND A WAY TO LOSE- GIVEN EQUAL TALENT.

FOR YEARS IT WAS SKIP CARAY YELLING “BRAVES WIN”. NOW IT’S “BRAVES CHOKE’. TWO PLAYS ACCOUNT FOR MOST OF BRAVES RUNS AGAINST YANKS.13 LOB THE LAST GAME? AND COACHES DID NOT TELL VENTERS TO GO OUT THE OTYHER NIGHT AND THROW THE BALL IN THE DIRT- GO 3-0 ON A-ROD AND HOPE. HE IS A BIG BOY. TIME TO GET HEAD ON STRAIGHT.

CHANGE LEADERSHIP-GET RID OF HO HUM ATTITUDE AND BRAVES WILL WIN. THAT MEANS CHANGE OUT SOME PLAYERS TOO.

TomB

June 15th, 2012
10:17 am

Wren must go if the Braves are going to have a chance. He would be a perfect fit for say, the Astros.

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LOL at the Braves

June 15th, 2012
12:37 pm

bobby

June 15th, 2012
1:24 pm

How many times have the Braves been on the losing end of a no-hitter?