10 years ago, the Dodgers beat the Angels without recording a hit
It's perhaps said too much, but one of the most incredible things about baseball is that, despite playing hundreds of games each season, every matchup offers the possibility of seeing something you have never before considered possible.
If someone told you that a team recorded no hits in a baseball game, you would probably -- and reasonably -- assume that team lost said game. Well, on June 28, 2008, the Dodgers beat that Angels despite not recording a single hit in the game.
For eight innings, Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo held the Dodgers hitless while their Angels recorded five hits off Dodgers pitchers. Yet, it was the Dodgers -- not the Angels -- who were able to get a runner across home plate. So, how did that happen?
Through four innings, Weaver had allowed only two Dodgers to reach base, walking Andre Ethier in the first inning and Russell Martin in the fourth inning. Matt Kemp led off the fifth inning and became the third Dodger to reach base on an error when Weaver was unable to pick up a weakly-hit ball toward the mound. Just two pitches later, he stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error from Jeff Mathis. On the very next pitch, Blake DeWitt hit a fly ball to deep right field to allow Kemp to score.
Over the course of only four pitches -- none of which resulted in hits -- Kemp reached first base on an error and came all the way around to score. So, the Dodgers finished the fifth inning with a 1-0 lead and zero hits to their name. In a game in which Weaver and Arredondo combined to throw 124 no-hit pitches, it was a sequence of bad luck over four pitches that tagged Weaver with the loss.
Of course, this was only possible because the Dodgers were able to shut out the Angels over the course of nine innings. Starter Chad Billingsley struck out seven over seven innings and allowed no Angel baserunners to advance past second base. For the entire game, only four Angels got into scoring position.
After the game, players and managers from both teams were in wonder of the outcome. "This is the craziest," said Angels outfielder Torii Hunter. "I've never [been] a part of a game that had no hits and they still won." Chone Figgins echoed his teammate, "You come to a game, you never know what you're going to see," he said.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre might have captured it best. "It was bizarre," he said. "It was magical."
To add to the oddity of the occasion, the efforts of Weaver and Arredondo would not go down in history as an official combined no-hitter. Because the Dodgers were the home team and held the lead, Angels pitchers were only able to record eight innings of pitching against them, leaving them one shy of the required nine innings for an official no-hitter.
Weaver was correct, then, when he said that he didn't consider his performance a no-hitter. "I'm sure you guys are going to eat this up a lot more than I am," he said. "I don't consider it a no-hitter for me."
Instead, what it did go down as was a loss on his record while Billingsley, whose team was no-hit, was credited with the win.
To summarize: Ten years ago, Angels pitching gave up zero hits in a game and neither won nor recorded an official no-hitter. Baseball is weird.