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Quickie: Halladay’s All-Star No-Hit Bid July 13, 2011

Posted by tomflesher in Baseball.
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The All-Star Game is managed strangely. That’s a given. It’s the only place where Roy Halladay could start a game by retiring six consecutive batters and then be relieved by Cliff Lee. It’s the only place where you get a single inning pitched by Jered Weaver, no hits (one walk), and immediate relief in the second from David Robertson. (Robertson faced the minimum, but allowed a hit to Lance Berkman. Berk was then caught attempting to steal second.) Lee also pitched a no-hit inning before running into trouble in the third, requiring a call to the bullpen for the eventual winning pitcher, Tyler Clippard.

There has never been an All-Star Game where both starting pitchers were lifted with no hits. Since 1994, the norm has been to allow the starter to pitch no more than two innings. (Greg Maddux in 1994, Dwight Gooden in 1988, and Brett Saberhagen in 1987 each pitched three, but they’re the only ones since 1986 when Gooden and Roger Clemens each went three.) Even if we grant that Weaver only pitched one inning, the past three All-Star Games didn’t even feature no-hit first innings:

Halladay’s batting average against this year has been .240, and his OBP against is .264. That means the probability of two perfect innings is

(1-.264)^6 = .734^6 = .159

or odds of about 5.29 against.

Since the management of the All-Star Game is focused mostly on getting as many players in the game as possible, you can’t really fault Bruce Bochy for lifting Halladay. I have to say, though, I was pretty disappointed when Lee came out in relief to start the third.

A list of the thirteen All-Star Game pitchers prior to Halladay to be lifted after a no-hit start is here.

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