Don't be surprised if we see another no-no

Originally Published: September 6, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
Finally, we got our 2006 no-hitter. Frankly, that was the easiest prediction (see below) I made all season.

Did Anibal Sanchez fit the profile of the likely no-hit pitcher? Yes. Sort of. Remember, the No. 1 attribute of the no-hit pitcher is (naturally) a low batting average allowed. Entering the Marlins' 2-0 win over the Diamondbacks, Sanchez had held enemy hitters to a .227 batting average, which would rank fifth in the National League if Sanchez had the innings to qualify for a title.

But most pitchers who allow few hits also feature high strikeout rates, and that's not Anibal Sanchez (at least not yet). He's struck out 5.5 batters per nine innings this season, which would be good for 28th in the league. And the math is generally tyranical: If you don't strike 'em out, they're going to get their hits. Particularly if you are, like Sanchez, a fly-ball pitcher.