MLB News: The Debate
Given all of Bumgarner’s recent struggles, this bit of MLB news came as a bit of a surprise. A 13-year veteran of the league mostly with the San Francisco Giants, Bumgarner had never thrown a no-hitter at the professional level. There had been several outings where he would get close to achieving greatness, but he could not seem to make it into the later innings. All of that changed on Sunday.
When Commissioner Rob Manfred made the rule that there would be seven-inning doubleheaders to speed up the game, there was some speculation about what would happen when a pitcher would throw a no-hitter in one of these doubleheaders games. Well, we now have something to debate. When we think of a no-hitter, we think about a pitcher going nine full innings. Some have been perfect games without allowing a baserunner, and some have been no-hitters that ended with the runner getting on base via a walk or an error.
How would we classify a seven-inning no-hitter? Bumgarner went seven innings, allowing one baserunner that reached based on an error but struck out seven batters and did not walk a single batter in the win. The rule states that “a game in which a pitcher, or pitchers, gives up no hits while pitching at least nine innings. A pitcher may give up a run or runs so long as he pitches nine innings or more and does not give up a hit.” Regardless of the innings, this would classify as a no-hitter, regardless of what the rule states.
According to MLB Insider Jon Heyman, MLB is discussing whether or not this seven-inning no-hitter will officially be called a “no-hitter.” After the game, Bumgarner was asked if he considered this a no-hitter, “I didn’t give up any hits today. I’m not in control of how many innings we’re playing.” Even though Bumgarner did not officially say it, we will agree that he thinks this should qualify as an official no-hitter.
MLB News: Final Thoughts
There will much talk over the next few days as we all await the official ruling from MLB. No matter how we look at it, the rules of the game are changing; at some point, there will have to be amendments to the rules. Bumgarner throwing a no-hitter in a seven-inning game will change the rule as to how MLB officially records no-hitters. No matter how we look at it, Bumgarner and Diamondbacks fans will agree that this no-hitter should count.
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