‘It is wild’: Rays comment on spike in no-hitters this season

Sports

BALTIMORE, Md. (WFLA) – It is magical, it is memorable, and, prior to this season, a no-hitter in Major League Baseball could mainly be described as rare.

The majority of the 30 teams have played about 25 percent of their 162 regular season games. However, the number of no-hitters is nearing the number of no-hitters in a full regular season.

Currently, the league has seen six of them between April 9 when Joe Musgrove did it with the San Diego Padres and May 19 when Corey Kluber did it with the New York Yankees.

You could also argue that that six should be seven because Madison Bumgarner did not allow any hits against the Atlanta Braves in a seven inning game on April 25.

The current record for no-hitters in a 162 game regular season is seven so it is likely that that statistic will be reached or surpassed this season.

Why?

Brett Phillips, an outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, attempted to answer the question on Thursday.

“It is wild,” he said with a laugh. “I do not have an answer for it other than baseball is fun but baseball is hard, too.”

Yes, the sport is exceptionally difficult especially when you are tasked with hitting a baseball thrown at a high speed with plenty of movement. The pitchers are exhibiting more and more control in their deliveries and, consequently, the batting averages have decreased while the strikeouts have increased across the board this year.

“Pitchers are good,” stated the Rays manager, Kevin Cash. “I think I have always kind of said, looking from the side, it is really tough to hit in today’s game. You got to give credit where credit is due and it is just elite pitching, elite stuff, and, the way pitchers are attacking, I think they are recognizing what their strengths are and they are balancing that with pitches that are really tough to hit.”

You cannot discount the changes in the defensive positioning too but, for Phillips, he acknowledged he still needs to put the bat on the ball.  

“Pitchers are good,” he said, “but you got to find a way to continue to put the ball in play.”

The Rays currently have a .231 batting average, which is the 18th best average at the plate.

The Astros lead the league with a .271 batting average.

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