Sean Newcomb was one strike away from a no-hitter, did the umpire miss it?

Yahoo Sports

Sean Newcomb nearly completed a brilliant no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing just one baserunner while striking out eight through 8.2 innings on Sunday.

It didn’t matter what the Dodgers wore as Newcomb baffled nearly every hitter who stepped to the plate. Only Yasiel Puig managed to reach base before the ninth inning with a walk to lead off the sixth inning. With just one more out, Newcomb would’ve completed the 300th no-hitter in MLB history.

It actually may have even been a little closer than that.

Missed strike dooms no-hitter

After 130+ pitches and a heroic catch from Dansby Swanson — running 90-feet to snag a pop fly in the second inning — Newcomb just had to get through LA’s Chris Taylor to complete his no-hitter.

From the looks of MLB’s pitch tracker, it seems he may have thrown a pitch or two that could’ve been strike three.

A called ball on the first pitch to Chris Taylor may have been the strike Sean Newcomb needed to complete a no-hitter. (via MLB.com)
A called ball on the first pitch to Chris Taylor may have been the strike Sean Newcomb needed to complete a no-hitter. (via MLB.com)

That first pitch ball looks a lot like a strike.

Now, MLB’s pitch tracking isn’t perfect. Nor are the eyes of every umpire trying to watch a projectile fired towards them at upwards of 90 miles per hour. And it would sting a lot less if Newcomb hadn’t been throwing a high fastball for strikes most of the game — like the one that was called a ball later in the at-bat. Still, in the ninth inning of a no-hitter, pitchers usually get the benefit of the doubt.

That didn’t seem to be the case on Sunday. Taylor grabbed hold of a four-seam fastball on a 2-2 count instead and ripped it clean into right field to end the no-hit bid.

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/atl" data-ylk="slk:Atlanta Braves">Atlanta Braves</a> allowed just one baserunner as he no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. (AP Photo)
Atlanta Braves allowed just one baserunner as he no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. (AP Photo)

No souvenirs for Newcomb

Losing a bid like this with two outs and two strikes in the ninth is about as heartbreaking a moment a pitcher can have during a successful outing. The Braves were able to complete a 4-1 victory and are still in prime position to win the National League East.

If nothing else, Newcomb helped give his team some much-desired momentum as the second half of the season picks up.

Surely, he’d want a little piece of the game to remember the day, right?

Not quite. When presented with the game ball as he was walking off the field, Newcomb quickly tossed it aside like it was poisonous.


It’s hard to blame him for that, either. After 134 pitches and one of the best performances of his life, the last thing Newcomb needed was a participation trophy. The win is good enough.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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