This past Friday, Francisco Liriano threw a no-hitter. Aside from being a rare feat, there were a few unique things about Liriano’s outing.
1. He didn’t know he was throwing a no-hitter until the 8th inning. This is typical of a guy who is so focused on a pitch to pitch basis. (Plus, he had walked six guys, so base runners were fairly common). Remember though, you’re better if you leave your stats out of your mind during a performance. It does you no good.
2. This was his first complete game of his professional career (including the minor leagues). He admitted he was running out of gas (132 pitches) that night, but still kept his pitch to pitch focus.
3. He was 1-4 with and ERA around 9.00 going into that game. As I’ve mentioned above, if you can keep numbers out of your head, you’ll be more able to perform. Instead, measure your work habit, consistency, and focus on improving. Those things matter. The stats will take care of themselves.
So what’s the secret then to throwing a no-hitter? Well, there really isn’t just one, but being consistent and true to your routine sure improves your chances. Here’s what Liriano did the day after his no-hitter.
I will say that you have little chance of throwing a no-hitter if you don’t have a few pitches going for you. Liriano said his change up was the pitch that gave him the success that night. In our Pitching Grips DVD, Dan talks quite a bit about different pitching grips, including a few change up options for you. So, if you’re limited to a fastball, it’s time to add one more off speed pitch to your arsenal.