Handicapping the Mets’ Chances for a No-Hitter

2011 May 2
by CajoleJuice

I originally posted this as a FanPost over at Amazin’ Avenue last week, but I’ve been too lazy to re-post it over here. It probably would have came in handy since I didn’t post anything here last week, huh?

“And there goes the no-hitter” are the words that have haunted every Mets fans for years. The New York Metropolitans have played 7,821 regular season games and their opponent has had at least one hit in every game. Tom Seaver, arguably the greatest pitcher of the Post-War Era, started 395 games for the Mets, finishing 171 — five of them were one-hitters, but none were no-hitters. Naturally, he threw his one and only no-hitter for the White Sox Reds (I swear I keep making these dumb mistakes in Fanposts) in 1978, the year after he was traded away. Teammates Jerry Koosman and Jon Matlack (who had a wonderful chapter dedicated to him in the 2011 Amazin Avenue Annual) weren’t too shabby, either. Dwight Gooden and David Cone were two great young pitchers for the Mets in the 1980s, but they only threw no-hitters when they later went to the Yankees. Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters after being traded as a young, wild flamethrower. Al Leiter switched it up by throwing his sole no-hitter before joining the Mets in 1998.

Ok, I think that’s enough of a depressing history lesson for the day. We’d all be better served looking forward and trying to guess which current Mets pitchers have the best shot at rendering batters completely helpless. The current major league roster may not have any starting pitchers that hit the upper 90s on the radar gun, but no-hitters can sometimes come from unexpected places, and the farm is home to a few promising young arms.

Let’s set these unscientific lines. I have to give a tweet by @SurfingtheMets credit for the idea.

D.J. Carrasco 1,000,000-1

This dude is only here because he started one game for the Mets already. I give him the same odds as Lloyd Christmas marrying Mary Swanson, so I’m saying he has a chance. I also have a chance of stealing Minka Kelly from Derek Jeter.

Pat Misch 200-1

He’s had some success in the minors, but so far he’s given up 10 hits per 9 in his 195.2 ML innings. This is not going to happen.

Dillon Gee 150-1

He’s enamored himself to the fanbase somewhat with his number of good starts the past two years. Unfortunately, the number is only seven. He struck out AAA hitters at a solid rate last season, but his stuff isn’t particularly exciting. Sure, seemingly unlikely pitchers throw no-hitters, but it doesn’t happen all that often to guys with middling velocity. Not that I’ve done any research to back this up outside of quickly browsing the list of no-hitters at Wikipedia.

Jeurys Familia 120-1

He’s only 21 and lights up the gun at 96-97 mph. Last year in 121 IP at St. Lucie (High-A) he struck out 10 opposing batters per 9 for a FIP of 3.89, even if his ERA was a disappointing 5.58. He might not even stay as a starter, but he has an electric arm that I can see throwing a 5 BB no-hitter.

Chris Young 100-1

His flyball tendencies help him in the no-hitter department, but he might not even be healthy enough to throw a complete game all year. These odds are Mets career odds, but I don’t see Young staying with the Mets past this year. (Edit: I would shorten these odds if I were doing this again today.)

Chris Capuano 80-1

Another pitcher who might not be with the Mets past 2011, but one that I like more than Young. He has a much higher groundball rate, which doesn’t help in this exercise considering the notorious seeing-eye single, but he also isn’t a 6’10″ pitcher who can’t touch 90 mph. Sorry, I just really hate watching Chris Young pitch.

Mike Pelfrey 50-1

A groundball pitcher who really does not strike out many batters at all. This is not a recipe for a no-hitter. Maybe I should give him better odds since he’ll likely be with the Mets for at least a few more years, but I can’t go any lower. Of course, he could get lucky, like those couple of stretches where he’s looked like maybe he could be a top-of-the-rotation starter. Ha, yeah.

Matt Harvey 50-1

The 22-year-old Is off to a ridiculously hot start in St. Lucie, but apparently Mike Pelfrey had a similar start. But Harvey has a legitimate breaking pitch and still has a good chance of developing into a dominant starter — something I can’t see happening with Pelfrey. Maybe it’s kinda dumb to give him similar odds to Pelfrey since he’s still only in High-A ball, but I can’t help myself.

Jenrry Mejia 45-1

Oh hey, I just went ahead and gave another prospect better odds than Pelfrey. Mejia is 21 years old and hasn’t thrown more than 100 IP in any full season, but he’s still the Mets #1 prospect and has absolutely filthy stuff. A man can dream of him becoming an ace by 2013 and throwing a no-hitter, right? (Edit: I would lengthen these odds considerably now since he has a complete MCL tear of his elbow WAIT WHAT GODDAMN IT ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?!?)

Jon Niese 25-1

These are pretty good odds because he’s under Mets control for another three more years after this one and I like him to achieve the feat more than Pelfrey. He actually has a higher groundball rate than the sinkerballer, but he also strikes out more batters. And I’ll go to the opportunity-for-growth well yet again.

Johan Santana 10-1

This might be way too optimistic, considering we have no idea how Johan will pitch coming off shoulder surgery, but I want to believe a pitcher only 85% of the original still has a great chance of throwing an absolute gem. Plus, he’s a boss.

R.A. Dickey 1-1

No explanation needed.

Related posts:

  1. Mark Buehrle 2 – Mets 0
  2. That Was a Nice Cherry On Top of the Mets’ Season
  3. What a Difference a Day Makes: Los Mets