© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
Within less than two weeks, Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez and White Sox starter Mark Buehrle came within a bobble by San Francisco third baseman Juan Uribe of making this the first season with double perfect games since 1880.
As it is, the two left-handers pitched no-hitters in the quickest succession since 1996, when Florida's Al Leiter notched one over Colorado on May 11, before the Yankees' Dwight Gooden did it against the Mariners three days later.
Can't say Sanchez's and Buehrle's feats were a surprise -- not if you believe in trends.
Even before Sanchez broke the ice on July 10, this three-month-old season had seen a remarkable assault on no-hit territory.
In mid-April, no-hitters were threatened on four consecutive days by one rookie (Oakland's Trevor Cahill) and three veterans (Ted Lilly, A.J. Burnett and Tim Wakefield).
No fewer than 21 bids have been taken past the sixth inning. There is no historical documentation of where that trend rates -- but for a reference point, all last season, there were 21 such serious no-hit bids (besides the realized no-hitters by Jon Lester, Jered Weaver and Carlos Zambrano).
The 2009 chronology of no-hit attempts (who broke it up, and how):
April 9: Chris Carpenter, Cardinals, 6 2/3 innings vs. Pirates (Ramon Vazquez, single).
April 12: Trevor Cahill, A's, 6 1/3 innings vs. Mariners (Adrian Beltre, single).
April 13: Ted Lilly, Cubs, 6 2/3 innings vs. Rockies (Garret Atkins, single).
April 14: A.J. Burnett, Yankees, six innings at Tampa Bay (Carl Crawford, single).
April 15: Tim Wakefield, Red Sox, 7 1/3 innings at Oakland (Kurt Suzuki, single).
April 19: Randy Johnson, Giants, six innings vs. D-backs (Augie Ojeda, double).
April 23: Dave Bush, Brewers, 7 1/3 innings at Philadelphia (Matt Stairs, pinch-hit homer).
April 30: Matt Garza, Rays, six innings perfect vs. Red Sox (Jacoby Ellsbury, infield single).
May 3: Scott Baker, Twins, six innings vs. Royals (Willie Bloomquist, single).
May 7: Mark Buehrle, White Sox, 6 1/3 innings vs. Tigers (Placido Polanco, double).
May 17: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, seven innings at Florida (Cody Ross, double).
May 25: Carpenter, six innings perfect at Milwaukee (Craig Counsell, single).
June 2: Randy Wells, Cubs, 6 2/3 innings at Atlanta (Chipper Jones, single).
June 3: Josh Beckett, Red Sox, 6 2/3 innings at Tigers (Curtis Granderson, single).
June 8: Sean West, Marlins, six innings vs. Giants (Edgar Renteria, single).
June 14: Cliff Lee, Indians, seven innings vs. Cardinals (Yadier Molina, double).
June 21: Barry Zito, Giants, six innings vs. Rangers (Andruw Jones, homer).
June 26: Ricky Romero, Blue Jays, six innings vs. Phillies (Chase Utley, single).
July 1: Jair Jurrjens, Braves, 6 2/3 innings vs. Phillies (Paul Bako, single).
July 9: Tim Lincecum, Giants, six innings vs. Padres (Tony Gwynn Jr., single).
July 19: Brett Anderson, Athletics, 6 2/3 innings vs. Angels (Bobby Abreu, single).