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No-hit me, baby, one more time

No-hit me, baby, one more time

Mark Buehrle's perfect game against the Rays on Thursday put him in the Elite 18, the exalted group of Major League pitchers who have accomplished the rare and historic feat of 27 up and 27 down.

But it also admitted the veteran left-hander into another club: men who have pitched multiple Major League no-hitters.

Buehrle added Thursday's perfecto against Tampa Bay to his no-no against the Texas Rangers on April 18, 2007, and it made him the 25th big league hurler to hold his opponent hitless twice in games of nine innings or more.

Of those 24, Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is far and away the leader, with seven no-nos, the first coming on May 15, 1973, and the last on May 1, 1991, at the age of 44. The Ryan Express never pitched a perfect game, however.

Sandy Koufax is next in the annals with four no-hitters, including one perfecto in his last no-hitter, Sept. 9, 1965.

Larry Corcoran, Bob Feller and Cy Young each pitched three no-hitters, but of that trio, only Young threw a perfect game, getting it done on May 5, 1904.

Aside from Buehrle, the following pitchers have thrown two no-hitters: Jim Bunning, Steve Busby, Carl Erskine, Bob Forsch, Pud Galvin, Ken Holtzman, Randy Johnson, Addie Joss, Dutch Leonard, Jim Maloney, Christy Mathewson, Hideo Nomo, Allie Reynolds, Frank Smith, Warren Spahn, Bill Stoneman, Virgil Trucks, Johnny Vander Meer and Don Wilson.

Of that group, Vander Meer stands out because he's the only pitcher in Major League history to throw two consecutive no-hitters, having pulled that stunning double on June 11 and June 15, 1938, for Cincinnati.

But of the group of hurlers who have two no-hitters, only Buehrle, Bunning, Johnson and Joss have pitched perfectos, with each hurler throwing one apiece.

Johnson, of course, was the last Major Leaguer before Buehrle to do it, throwing his perfect game May 18, 2004.

Reached by phone Thursday, Stoneman, the former Angels general manager and current club consultant -- who happened to throw no-hitters on April 17, 1969, and Oct. 2, 1972, as a member of the Montreal Expos -- said he was excited for Buehrle to join the multiple-no-no club but not entirely surprised.

"I can understand him throwing a perfect game because his control's really good," Stoneman said.

"He works quickly, gets ahead of hitters, stays ahead of hitters, and he's a whole lot better pitcher than I ever was. He keeps you off-balance and really knows what he's doing out there. I wouldn't get away with fooling you by saying my control was good.

"For Mark to go out and pitch any game and not walk a guy, it doesn't make the news. That's the way he does it. So for him to go out and pitch a game where he doesn't give up a hit, it makes sense that he wouldn't walk a guy. I watched Dennis Martinez throw a perfect game, and it was so exciting.

"I wish I'd have been there to watch Buehrle's game. That's awesome."

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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