Back in May Francisco Liriano threw an odd no-hitter.
Then, a week later, Justin Verlander thew a no-hitter.
Today, it was Ervin Santana's turn.
Santana's no-hitter looks a lot more like Verlander's than Liriano's, yet, it was still a bit odd in that the Angels gave up a run. The first-inning run was unearned and scored on an error, stolen base, sac fly, and wild pitch.
Using batted ball FIP, we can see that Verlander was expected to give up about 1.4 runs based on the balls hit against him while Liriano was expected to give up closer to 4 and a half runs.
How about Santana. Santana pitched 9 innings (obviously), facing 29 batters, he walked 1 while striking out 10. Of his 104 pitches, 74 were strikes (71%). He induced 13 ground balls, 3 flies and 0 line drives. Plugging those numbers in gives us an expected run total of 0.29.
Santana was obviously in control.
The major league average BABIP on ground balls is about .140. Santana gave up 13 grounders so we'd expect 1.82 (.140*13) hits. There were none of course; thanks to good defensive plays like this one from Howie Kendrick.
Of the three no-hitters this season, Santana's looks like the most well-pitched.