Now, you may be watching that Beavis and Butthead video thinking, “Damn, is Pat playing that AGAIN?!?” If that is indeed what you’re thinking, you should keep two things in mind:
- The Pirates get shut out a lot.
- I spent a good half hour typing things like “futility” and “super epic fail” into YouTube trying to find a clip representative of getting no-hit by Yusmeiro Petit.
At some point in time, someone is going to no-hit the Pirates. Let’s assume for a second that a no-hitter is a completely random event that occurs once per season in the National League (this is hypothetical). Thus, one team randomly gets no-hit every year in the NL, while the remainder of the teams in the League do not. That means that in 2009, the Pirates have a 15/16 chance of not getting no-hit. That means that the odds are quite in favor of not getting no-hit, but then the Pirates haven’t been no-hit since 1971. Using the two assumptions made at the beginning of the paragraph and adjusting for expansion, the odds of the Pirates not being no-hit since 1971 are somewhere in the neighborhood of 5%.
Of course, no-hitters aren’t completely random and they’re affected by pitchers, offense, ballparks, etc. Plus I more or less made up the rate of “1 no-hitter per season in the National League.” I haven’t checked the data to prove this, but with the rise of the new ballparks like PNC, no-hitters seem to be down a little bit, perhaps at least partially as a result of things like foul-territory disappearing and non-symmetrical fences that give outfielders fits. This benefits the Pirates since they play in one of these parks and since this era coincides with the team being completely awful.
That being said, it still seems fairly improbable that the Pirates streak of not being no-hit has lasted this long and with their offense the way it is right now and the way it might be next year, along with the general tendency of most probability-related things to regress to the mean, it means we’re going to get no-hit eventually.
I’m still happy that it didn’t happen at the hands of Yusmeiro Petit tonight, especially in such close proximity to the trade deadline and at a time when so many Pirate fans are so vocally upset about the team. Frankly, I’m just not prepared to write the sort of post that such an epic event would require. I’m much happier posting Beavis and Butthead videos at the moment.