Manager John Schneider says “a no-hitter is an outlier” and isn’t worried about Blue Jays’ offence

Photo credit:Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Georges
25 days ago
Relatively unknown Houston Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco no-hit the Blue Jays last night, recording seven strikeouts and walking just two (George Springer both times). It’s the 8th time in franchise history that the Jays have been no-hit, most recently getting blanked by a combined effort from the Detroit Tigers last year.
Is Blanco’s no-hitter one of the most random ones ever? He was making just his eighth career start, as the 30-year-old Dominican was hardly even considered a prospect at this point. That begs the question of whether this may have been more of a testament to a problem with the Jays’ offence. However, when pressed for comment, John Schneider did not seem overly concerned:
“A no hitter’s an outlier, you know? I think we’re going all right with where we hope to be in terms of what the offence is supposed to do. Just one of those nights.”
Is Schneider right? Well yes, of course he is. Any team can get no-hit these days, especially with the decreasing league-wide batting averages over the last couple of decades. The MLB batting average has been in the .240’s in six of the last seven years. You have to go all the way back to 1972 to find a league batting average that low (.244). What this means is that base hits are harder and harder to come by, making it more likely that teams could get blanked. The most we have seen in one season came in 2021 when nine no-hitters were thrown. However, since pitchers are increasingly throwing fewer innings, the combined no-hitter is also becoming more common, as five of the last ten no-nos have involved multiple pitchers.
Fans love to react to one game or performance and draw grandiose conclusions from it, but the reality is that last night’s game is merely 0.61% of the entire season. In fact, it’s not even worth talking about the offensive numbers that the Jays have put up through five games. Until we have enough of a sample size, it’s not worth looking too much into statistics at this point. Every Major League team will have a ten-game stretch this year where they’re playing very good baseball (even the A’s, probably). The ebbs and flows are part of baseball, and should always be taken with a grain of salt.
Getting no-hit against a mostly anonymous pitcher is a tough look for the team, but you never know, maybe Blanco ends up being a really good pitcher this year. The signs were definitely there in Spring Training, as he went 15.2 IP without allowing a single run. The Astros typically have a way to develop pitchers, so perhaps he’s the next guy to benefit. He wouldn’t be the first to figure things out at an older age.
Schneider was on the money with his assessment of his team after getting no-hit. The Jays’ offence may end up being a major weakness in 2024, but last night’s performance won’t be the reason why.


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