Corey Kluber returned from the injured list on Monday night, and it did not go as the Yankees had hoped. The veteran allowed five runs in four innings, with all of the damage coming in the final frame, Before then, Kluber had looked a little better, walking one and allowing no hits in the first three innings. While it was always unrealistic and he was never going to go beyond five-ish innings anyway, for a second, it was a nice reminder of what he did earlier this year.
As most fans probably remember, back on May 19th, Kluber threw a no-hitter against the Rangers. It was the Yankees’ first no-no since David Cone’s perfect game back in 1999. Kluber getting hurt in his very next start and being out until late August threw some cold water on it, but it was still fun in the moment.
Kluber’s return and season in general got me thinking about no-hitters. For some reason in my warped brain, it got me wondering about what the opposite of a no-hitter is. That would have to be something called an “all-hitter.”
If a no-hitter occurs when a pitcher doesn’t allow any hits in a completed game, an all-hitter would have to be a game where a starting pitcher does literally nothing but allow hits and gets pulled before recording an out. However, it’s possible that a pitcher gets pulled in one of these situations due to an injury suffered early in a game rather than just ineffectiveness. That means there has to be some minimum for batters faced/hits to get rid of possible injuries, so let’s set it at four. With that in mind, here’s a look at the “all-hitters” the Yankees have been involved with over the years.
The best Yankee pitcher to ever throw an all-hitter is also the one who lasted the longest in his start. On August 4, 1928, Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt gave up five consecutive hits to start a game against the Tigers before being pulled. Detroit went single, single, single, triple, single off Hoyt, scoring four runs and knocking him out of the game. The ‘28 Yankees weren’t as famous as their Murderers’ Row predecessors, but they did have some guys you’ve heard of and were still pretty good. Despite that setback, the Bombers actually came back to win, 9-8.
Two other Yankees gave up four consecutive hits to start a game before being removed. Harry Byrd “accomplished” the feat on June 18, 1954, giving up four straight singles to the White Sox. Six years later, future World Series MVP Ralph Terry also gave up four straight singles and then got the hook on August 7, 1960. His was also briefly a combined all-hitter as Jim Coates, who relieved Terry, allowed a hit to the first Kansas City A’s batter he faced before finally getting the Yankees’ first out of the game.
On the other side of things, the Yankees’ offense has been involved in all-hitters on 15 different occasions.
Twice, the Yankees have had their first six batters record hits before the opposing starter was removed. They first did it to Cleveland’s Jake Miller on August 4, 1929. Remarkably in that one, they had both a bunt single and multiple ground-ball hits, so Miller failing to record any outs in that situation is quite impressive.
On September 25, 1990, Roberto Kelly started a game against the Orioles with a leadoff home run against Anthony Telford. Five batters and five singles later, Telford was removed, down 4-0. Reliever Mickey Weston continued the all-hitter by giving up a single and a home run to the first two batters he faced, as part of an eight-run first inning.
The most recent time it’s happened to a pitcher facing the Yankees was May 8, 1993, when the first five Yankees recorded hits against the Tigers’ Tom Bolton before he was finally removed. Fan favorites Bernie Williams and Don Mattingly contributed to the conga line before Jim Leyritz capped it off with a double.
I should note that I considered lowering the threshold to just three batters so I could get the Yankees dooming someone named Sloppy Thurston to an all-hitter in a game in 1925.
The Yankees weren’t involved in either of the records for longest all-hitter ever, as both Bill Bonham and Mike LaCross allowed seven straight hits to start a game before getting the hook.
Anyone who is capable of reaching the Major Leagues as a pitcher is typically capable of getting one out in a game. Yet the people in this post somehow failed to do that in at least one game, and that is part of why baseball is fun.