New York Yankees right-hander Corey Kluber no-hit the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night as part of a 2-0 victory, recording the sixth no-hitter of the 2021 Major League Baseball season. Kluber’s no-no was the second in as many nights, as Detroit Tigers righty Spencer Turnbull accomplished the same feat on Tuesday evening against the Seattle Mariners.
Kluber struck out nine batters and permitted a single walk, with that coming against Charlie Culberson in the third inning. He leaned heavily on his curveball, cutter, and sinker, with those three pitches representing more than 70 percent of his offerings on the evening. Coincidentally, Kluber’s sinker velocity was up, albeit barely, when compared to his seasonal average.
The Yankees scored both of their runs during the sixth inning. Tyler Wade tripled in Kyle Higashioka, and then scored himself on a sacrifice fly off the bat of DJ LeMahieu. That was all Kluber needed in order to carry the Yankees to a win.
It’s worth noting that Kluber was facing a former team. The Rangers even gave away Kluber bobbleheads, a planned promotion from last season, on Wednesday evening. He appeared in one game with the Rangers in 2020 before a shoulder injury ended his season. Texas had acquired him the previous winter as part of a trade that also involved Delino DeShields Jr. and Emmanuel Clase.
Kluber’s ninth inning saw him induce a groundout from Culberson, a line out from David Dahl, and then another groundout from Willie Calhoun. The Dahl play came closest to falling for a hit, but it was tracked down without theatrics by the aforementioned Wade.
The Yankees entered Wednesday with the eighth longest no-hitter drought in the majors. David Cone’s perfect game on July 18, 1999 was the last time a Yankees pitcher had held the opposition without hits. Here is a complete list of no-hitters thrown in New York’s franchise history:
May 19, 2021
July 18, 1999
May 17, 1998
May 14, 1996
Sept. 4, 1993
July 4, 1983
Boston Red Sox
Oct. 8, 1956
Sept., 28, 1951
Boston Red Sox
July 12, 1951
Aug. 27, 1938
Sad Sam Jones
Sept. 4, 1923
Apr. 24, 1917
Boston Red Sox
The longest drought in baseball belongs to the Cleveland franchise, the team that Kluber has spent the most time with, which hasn’t managed a no-no since May 16, 1981.
This marks the second time this season the Rangers have been no-hit. They were the first team to be held hitless this season, as San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove shut them down on April 9. Since then, the following pitchers have joined the club: Carlos Rodon (April 14), John Means (May 5), Wade Miley (May 7), and most recently Turnbull (May 18).
The modern record for most no-hitters in a single MLB season is seven, while the all-time record is eight. The latter was set during the dead ball era. This is the first time in MLB history that three teams have been no-hit twice in a season: the Rangers, the Tigers, and Cleveland.