Before initially posting on Tuesday, I decided against including the opponents each pitcher faced and their relative offensive merits. There were a couple of reasons for this, none of them particularly good ones, but here they are: I was lazy; I was pressed for time; I’m actually not very good at what I do.
With that out of the way, with a little extra time I decided to put in some additional work and add offensive statistics for the ball clubs faced at the time of the no-hitter. As for not being very good? Only practice and time can hopefully take care of that.
A note on methodology. I chose OPS+ as my measurement du jour because it is easy to get a hold of using Baseball Reference and it is adjusted for park and league effects. That being the case, an OPS+ of 100 is exactly league average while every point above or below can be considered one percentage point. For example, Dazzy Vance tossed a no-hitter against a Phillies team that was 8% below league average. That being said, below is the list of opponents with OPS+, and game score once again.
|Player||Date||Opponent||OPS+||Game Score||Adjusted Score|
|Sam Kimber||10/04/1884||Toledo Blue Stockings||?||?|
|Adonis Terry||07/24/1886||St. Louis Browns||?||?|
|Adonis Terry||05/27/1888||Louisville Colonels||?||?|
|Tom Lovett||06/22/1891||New York Giants||106||?|
|Mal Eason||07/20/1906||St. Louis Cardinals||86||?|
|Nap Rucker||09/05/1908||Boston Doves||?||?|
|Dazzy Vance||09/13/1925||Philadelphia Phillies||92||93||85.56|
|Tex Carleton||04/30/1940||Cincinnati Reds||93||89||82.77|
|Ed Head||04/23/1946||Boston Braves||95||85||80.75|
|Rex Barney||09/09/1948||NY Giants||99||89||88.11|
|Carl Erskine||06/19/1952||Chicago Cubs||93||87||80.91|
|Carl Erskine||05/12/1956||NY Giants||83||88||73.04|
|Sal Maglie||09/25/1956||Philadelphia Phillies||92||88||80.96|
|Sandy Koufax||06/30/1962||New York Mets||82||95||77.9|
|Sandy Koufax||05/11/1963||San Francisco Giants||110||89||97.9|
|Sandy Koufax||06/04/1964||Philadelphia Phillies||99||98||97.02|
|Sandy Koufax||09/09/1965||Chicago Cubs||86||101||86.86|
|Bill Singer||07/20/1970||Philadelphia Phillies||79||97||76.63|
|Jerry Reuss||06/27/1980||San Francisco Giants||84||89||74.76|
|Fernando Valenzuela||06/29/1990||St. Louis Cardinals||87||91||79.17|
|Kevin Gross||08/17/1992||San Francisco Giants||90||91||81.9|
|Ramon Martinez||07/14/1995||Florida Marlins||95||94||89.3|
|Hideo Nomo||09/17/1996||Colorado Rockies||99||91||90.09|
|Josh Beckett||05/25/2014||Philadelphia Phillies||92||90||82.8|
As with game scores, not all opponents are created equal. Interesting to note is that average, median, and mode all equaled out to 92 for OPS+. Josh Beckett’s no-hitter on Sunday came against a Phillies team 8% below league average, which makes his opponent comparable to his fellow Dodgers. I created an additional column named Adjusted Score, which is essentially Game Score multiplied by OPS+. Is it a perfect measurement? For my purposes, it allows me to differentiate betwen the various games and attempt to determine a ranking across eras. So, Koufax may have had a no-hitter against the ’62 Mets (shocking that the Mets were only 18% below league average that year), but the adjusted score of 77.9 would rank 15th of the games that there are actual game scores.
Of course, both Koufax’s games in ’63 and ’64 rank one and two on the adjusted score list, but that 101 that led the game score? That’s now sixth on the list. Where does Beckett’s no-no rank on the adjusted list with a score of 82.8? He’s eighth, and the score falls just below the adjusted score average of 83.69 and above the median of 82.33.