There are two no-hitters in the works as the Fan writes this. Both Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood have no-hitters into the sixth innings of their respective games. The Yankees haven't scored yet for Clemens but Sammy Sosa has hit his first homer in more than a month to put Wood up by three runs. The last time I wrote that two no-hitters were underway, the Astros no-hit the Yankees. So we'll see what happens.
The National League AllStar Pitchers should be:
- Kevin Brown. A no doubter as he is 10-1 with a 1.97 ERA. The NL is only batting .209 against him and he has only given up 76 hits in 100+ innings.
- Hideo Nomo. His record is only 7-6 but he has a 2.66 ERA and has only given up 74 hits in 109 innings! He has already thrown two shutouts and if it weren't for walks, the guy would be nearly perfect this season.
- Woody Williams. While his teammate, Morris, has been hurt by the homerun, Williams has only given up 5 homers and has a 2.66 ERA along with his 8-2 record.
- Jason Schmidt. Schmidt's record with the Giants is only 5-3 despite his 13 starts. His record and the quick hook they have in San Francisco is the best argument for Clemens being one of the last to win 300 games. Schmidt has struck out 100 in his 91 innings.
- Mark Prior. Prior and Kerry Wood have been dominant at times but Wood just can't seem to get away from that .500 record he always has. Prior on the other hand is 8-2 with a 2.77 ERA. Prior has struck out 106 in 96+ innings.
- Randy Wolf. Wolf has only pitched 90 innings in his 14 starts as Larry Bowa also has a quick hook. But in his 90 innings, Wolf has only given up 64 hits as the competition is only hitting .198 against him (the best for starters in the NL). His ERA is a little high at 3.30, but he is 8-3 and you can't beat success.
- Shawn Chacon. Chacon has an ERA of 4.21, but consider that stat is from pitching in Coors Field in Denver. He is 9-3 and is having a great season.
For my setup men and closers, I'm going to break my own rule stated in my post concerning the AL pitching Allstars. Two setup men and two closers are so clearly having overpowering and unbelievable years, all of them deserve to go. The set up men are both from the same team:
- Octavio Dotel. 6-2 with 2 saves, a 1.59 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 39 plus innings show you how dominant he has been.
- Brad Lidge. Right behind Dotel (or right in front!), Astros teammate Lidge is 4-0 with a save and a 1.49 ERA. He has only given up seven earned runs in 42 innings.
The two best closers in baseball are so far in front of everyone else, you have to take both:
- Eric Gagne. Gagne is having the most unbelievable season by a reliever. The season rivals one that Goose Gossage had years ago. Just 15 hits given up in 37 innings, a WHIP of 0.64 and 67 strikeouts in 37 innings are surreal numbers. They look more like stratomatic numbers.
- John Smoltz doesn't strike out as many (though more than one an inning). He is one save behind Gagne and has an ERA of 0.72. That number may not even make sense to you. Let me put it another way: Smoltz has given up only three runs in 37.2 innings. Unbelievable.
If the American League is behind going into the seventh inning, the game is over.
Clemens gave up his first hit in the eigth inning so the no-hit bid is over. The game is still scoreless and it looks like Clemens won't get #301. Wood's no-hit bid in Chicago just ended in the seventh inning. He is still leading the Reds, 4 to 1.