9 fun stats and facts about Tigers’ combined no-no

Detroit Tigers

Here are nine stats and facts from a hitless Saturday spun by the home team in Detroit.

• This was the Tigers’ second no-hitter in the past three seasons, after Spencer Turnbull authored a solo effort on May 18, 2021, against the Mariners. It was their first at home since a 24-year-old Justin Verlander no-hit the Brewers on June 12, 2007, the only other no-hitter to take place at Comerica Park prior to Saturday.

• Manning did the heavy lifting for this no-hit effort, starting the game and throwing 91 pitches over 6 2/3 innings. It was the 35th career start for the right-hander, whom Detroit selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 Draft out of Sheldon High School in Sacramento. Manning had never pitched more than seven innings or 102 pitches in a Major League game.

• Manning became the first starting pitcher in Tigers history to be removed from a game after completing at least six no-hit innings.

• Manning succeeded Saturday despite not missing many bats. The Blue Jays swung at only 34 of his 91 pitches and missed on just five of those swings, a 14.7% whiff rate — below his career whiff rate of 18.7% entering the game. But Manning countered that by racking up 23 called strikes, including six on the first pitch and three for strikeouts. The 23 called strikes set a new career high for Manning and is tied for the single-game high by any Tigers pitcher in 2023 (Eduardo Rodriguez on May 4).

• While this was the 20th combined no-hitter in history, it was the first put together by the Tigers’ pitching staff. More than half of those total combo no-hitters (11) have taken place since 2011, as individual pitch counts continue to shrink across baseball. In fact, six of the nine MLB no-nos thrown since June 2021 have been of the combined variety, with the perfect game twirled by the Yankees’ Domingo Germán on June 28 an exception to that trend.

• This was the seventh time in Blue Jays history that the team was on the wrong end of a no-hitter. The previous instance came on Sept. 1, 2019, when Verlander (then with the Astros) no-hit Toronto at Rogers Centre. Coincidentally, Verlander also no-hit the Blue Jays as a member of the Tigers on May 7, 2011, a game that also occurred north of the border.

• How close did the Blue Jays come to a hit? They had three batted balls with a .500 expected batting average or higher, based on their launch angle and exit velocity. The highest of those was .750 by Bo Bichette on a third-inning lineout to Jake Marisnick. Matt Chapman had a .510 xBA on his fourth-inning groundout, and Alejandro Kirk .500 on his eighth-inning lineout.

• Another play worth noting on Bichette — the AL’s hit leader — was the shortstop’s sixth-inning popout. The ball seemed destined to be an out, and indeed, Tigers left fielder Matt Vierling had a 90% catch probability on the play. But it was shortstop Javier Báez who made the play, covering 120 feet to make the catch in left field. Not your usual popout to short, but ultimately, just another one of those 27 outs.

• This was the second no-hitter on July 8 in MLB history. The other came on this date in 1898, by the Phillies’ Red Donahue against the Boston Beaneaters.

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