No-hitters are notoriously unpredictable events.
Roger Clemens never threw one. But over the course of Clemens' career, the not-so-legendary Tommy Greene and Bud Smith each did.
Sandy Koufax had four. Pedro Martinez, whose dominance over the span of several seasons earned him comparisons with Koufax, never had one. (Though Martinez once took a perfect game into extra innings, he lost that attempt and the game, in the 10th inning and was officially never credited with one).
Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux, first-ballot Hall of Famers, never achieved the feat. Oddly, Mike Fiers and Homer Bailey each did it twice.
Tuesday marked the 12th anniversary of the last Red Sox no-hitter, thrown by Jon Lester, against the Kansas City Royals. It was the second no-no by Red Sox pitchers in the span of nine months, with Clay Buchholz having thrown on the previous September against the Baltimore Orioles.
Lester's no-hitter gave the Red Sox four in this first decade of this century, taking place in a seven-year span. When Hideo Nomo turned the trick on Opening Night, 2001, it ended a 36-year no-hitter drought for the Red Sox as a franchise that dated all the way back to 1965, when Dave Morehead last tossed one.
They're hard to throw and even harder to understand. For the first 49 seasons of their existence, the New York Mets never had a no-hitter, despite boasting a tradition of great starting pitchers (Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Dwight Gooden, David Cone). Finally, Johan Santana became the first in 2012. In true Mets fashion, it essentially ended his career, thanks to his 134 pitches that manager Terry Collins, with great reluctance, permitted.
(Also in true Mets fashion: Seaver, Ryan, Gooden and Cone each pitched no-hitters....after leaving the Mets to pitch elsewhere).
To this day, the San Diego Padres, whose history dates back to 1969, still do not have a single no-hitter to their credit.
All of which got us to thinking: who is most likely to throw the next Red Sox hitter?