Tim Wakefield became the latest pitcher to dance with the history books when he carried a no-hit bid into the eighth inning of his start against the A's on Tuesday. That followed A.J. Burnett's six no-hit innings against the Rays on Monday on a surprisingly lengthy list of deep no-hit bids in the season's first two weeks.
Ted Lilly of the Cubs went six and two-thirds innings against the Rockies last Friday without surrendering a hit, which was one day after Trevor Cahill of the A's got the first 19 outs against the Mariners. Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals kicked the whole thing off by going six and two-thirds against the Pirates on April 9th.
If you agree that six innings is when a no-hit bid becomes worth taking seriously, we've seen what seems like an awful lot of serious bids all at once. Is that just coincidence, or is it a sign that this will be a year for pitchers to savor? Runs are actually up in both leagues so that doesn't appear to be the case, so is there just something cosmic brewing among the no-hitter gods?
Everyone's mileage will vary on the spiritual front, but here's another theory that you might do with what you will. The growth of MLB.TV and cable's Extra Innings package has put a lot more games on people's screens than in years past. That means a lot more attention paid to games out of your primary market, and with a billion ways to convey that information to baseball loving friends and neighbors word may be spreading faster than it did in the olden days.
Watching or following a no-hit bid as it unfolds is both more enjoyable and more memorable than reading an AP blurb about how Burnett pitched six no-hit innings the next day. It may just be coincidence, but it may also be that we're able to participate in these events more now than we have before which makes it seem like big things are happening more often than they did before.