This weekend something weird happened. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves had a double header scheduled after a postponement. In 2021 that means that each game was scheduled as a 7-inning contest. Zac Gallen started the first game and he didn’t give up a hit until the 6th inning. There was some talk at the time it was happening about how it wouldn’t count as a no-hitter in the record books because Major League Baseball had decided that 7-inning no-hitters didn’t actually count. The single by Freddie Freeman with one out in the 6th inning put the debate to bed for now.
Well, that is it put the debate to bed for about two hours because in game two of the day Madison Bumgarner did his teammate one better. He threw a complete game without allowing a hit to Atlanta. Where I come from we call that a no-hitter. The game went the scheduled number of innings that both teams were aware of before the contest started and was set forth by Major League Baseball and Bumgarner did not allow a hit to the Braves in that game. It’s a no-hitter. But apparently it’s not. Or maybe it will be.
That whole scenario takes us back to 1906. That’s when Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jake Weimer threw a no-hitter against the Brooklyn Superbas. That no-hitter, also, isn’t counted as a no-hitter in the record books (more on this below). Like the games on Sunday, it was a scheduled 7-inning game so that Brooklyn would have enough time to catch the train to their next destination.
“Tornado” Jake Weimer was feeling it on the hot and humid day on August 24th. But so was his counterpart, Harry McIntire, who had also thrown a shutout through the 6th inning. Weimer kept Brooklyn off the board in the top of the 7th at The Palace of the Fans. The Reds offense, however, needed to get going in order to not have the game head to extra-innings. They did just that, too, getting a walk-off hit with two outs in the bottom of the 7th to win the game 1-0.
The game was recognized in the official record books as a no-hitter. That is until September of 1991 when the definition of a no-hitter was changed to only include games that went a full 9 innings. That change wiped away an estimated 36 no-hitters according to research done by SABR. Way back in 2010 Steve Price wrote a bit about Jake Weimer and his career, which has his 2.31 ERA with the Reds as the 3rd best in the organization’s history.
It makes no sense whatsoever that a game goes to it’s scheduled completion and all of the stats count from the game, except for the idea that if a team goes hitless in it that it’s somehow not a no-hitter. Put Jake Weimer and Madison Bumgarner in the history books under “No-Hitters thrown in Major League Baseball”, whoever is in charge of this stuff at Major League Baseball.