The thing with a no-hitter is it is a far less precise achievement than a perfect game. The latter is simple despite how rare and difficult it is — 27 up, 27 down, no mistakes anywhere — but the former can be littered with imperfections. You can walk a batter, you can hit a batter, there can be an error, any number of little things can go wrong, even if you didn’t allow a hit.
Having said that, losing and throwing a no-hitter is damn near impossible to do, because you have to mess up so many times, both on the mound and at the plate, for that to happen. But folks, that didn’t just happen on Saturday, it happened in a game where the losing team scored five runs. The game between the Rocket City Trash Pandas and the Chattanooga Lookouts ended with the Trash Pandas — the double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels — throwing a combined no-no in a game that the team lost, 7-5.
And there you have it.
The Rocket City Trash Pandas have thrown the first Minor League no-hitter of the 2023 season …
… in a 7-5 loss. https://t.co/JVTsVtE9TM pic.twitter.com/t1CavixxkT
— Sam Dykstra (@SamDykstraMiLB) April 8, 2023
Well, we did not give up a hit in the first game of today’s doubleheader.
Unfortunately, we also did not win.
So, there’s that.
— Rocket City Trash Pandas (@trashpandas) April 8, 2023
Rocket City apparently had a 3-0 lead and a very normal no-hitter cooking entering the top of the seventh and final inning. Coleman Crew threw a very respectable six innings of work with six strikeouts and a pair of walks, and the team turned to Ben Joyce to close up shop and get them home. It was at this point that things went entirely off the rails.
Joyce had 0.2 innings of work with four walks, five runs (one earned), and a strikeout. His replacement, Eric Torres, got the final out of the inning, but … well, it was a bit of an adventure.
The Rocket City Trash Pandas entered the last inning with a 3-0 lead and a no-hitter intact.
— Beyond The Halo (@BeyondTheHalo) April 8, 2023
The Trash Pandas were able to get two back in the bottom half of the seventh, but it was nowhere near enough.