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Difference Between A No-Hitter and A Perfect Game

No-Hitter vs A Perfect Game

There is something special about watching a pitcher in total control of the game. Whether they’re setting a new career-high in strikeouts or they’re yet to throw out of the stretch, it is one of the most exciting moments in sports when a pitcher is locked in. To help understand the game better, we are taking a deeper look into these electrifying performances on the bump. 

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What is a No-Hitter?

A no-hitter is a completed game in which a team recorded zero hits. It will still classify as a no-hitter even if the team had runners on base (and even if they scored a run!) Because of this, no-hitters are far more likely to occur than perfect games.

What is a Perfect Game?

A perfect game is a completed game in which no-hitter successfully reaches base. At the college and professional levels, where they play nine innings, a perfect game requires 27 up and 27 down (assuming the team throwing the perfect game has scored at least one run.) One of the most incredible elements of a perfect game is that it requires a complete team effort. If one fielder bobbles a ball, overthrows the first baseman, or even drops the third strike and allows the runner to reach, the perfect game is over. So you need both the pitcher AND the other eight fielders to be in complete unison to pull off this fantastic feat.

What is the Difference Between A No-Hitter and A Perfect Game?

The difference between a no-hitter and perfect game is that a no-hitter simply requires a pitcher to keep the opposition from recording a hit. In contrast, a perfect game requires a pitcher to keep anyone from reaching first base successfully. Therefore, a perfect game will always be a no-hitter, but a no-hitter will not always be a perfect game.

How Many No-Hitters Have Been Thrown in Major League Baseball (MLB)?

As of the time this article was published, there have been 314 no-hitters thrown in MLB history. The records reach back to the 1800s, which means we have averaged roughly two no-hitters per season throughout baseball history.

How Many Perfect Games Have Been Thrown in Major League Baseball (MLB)?

As of March 2022, there have only been 23 perfect games thrown in MLB history. The Seattle Mariners ace, Felix Hernandez, threw the most recent perfect game on August 15, 2012, against the Tampa Bay Rays. The first perfect game ever recorded was thrown by Lee Richmond of the Worcester Worchesters on June 12, 1880.

Who Has Thrown the Most No-Hitters?

Nolan Ryan holds the record for most career no-hitters at the Major League level with seven. He threw his first in 1973 and his last in 1991.

Michele Granger holds the NCAA record for most career no-hitters in collegiate softball with 25. Astonishingly, five of those 25 no-hitters were also perfect games. Granger finished her pitching career at Cal in 1993 before helping Team USA win the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, all while three months pregnant!

Has Anyone Ever Thrown Two Perfect Games?

In Major League Baseball, no pitcher has ever recorded more than one perfect game in their career. That means there are currently 23 different pitchers tied for the most career-perfect games in MLB history. And with no active MLB pitchers boasting a perfect game on their resume, the two perfect game feat seems unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.


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