It’s extremely difficult to narrow down to just 10 pitching performances worthy of the title. So many young pitchers dazzled, while some established or post-surgery arms dominated all season. After painstakingly watching hours of highlights from the season, I finally came up with my top 10 pitching performances for 2022.
April 25, 2022 – Walker Buehler
The first complete game of the season came early this season. In a 4-0 win against the Diamondbacks, Buehler completed his third complete game, and first complete game shutout. In 108 pitches, he held the Diamondbacks to three hits, no walks, and 10 strikeouts. Buehler also became the first pitcher this season to record more than 24 outs in a start.
April 29, 2022 – Mets Combined No-No
Right out of the gate, Tylor Megill looked promising. Megill was pulled in the fifth inning with 88 pitches. From there, the bullpen took over, and Drew Smith, Joely Rodríguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Díaz would finish the job. It took 159 pitches to beat the Phillies 3-0, and the Mets had a combined 13 strikeouts and six walks.
May 10, 2022 – Reid Detmers
The first no-hitter of the season belongs to 22-year-old Reid Detmers. The Angels rookie only had 10 career starts under his belt prior to the May 10 game. The Angels’ offense certainly helped out by scoring eight runs in three innings, but that doesn’t steal the spotlight from Detmers. In 108 pitches, Detmers only allowed one walk and struck out just two batters. The last play was a ground out to shortstop by Yandy Díaz. This marked the first no-hitter since 2019, and just 12th in franchise history.
What a moment!
A no-hitter for Reid Detmers!
(MLB x @budweiserusa) pic.twitter.com/UZ9ohyejRd
— MLB (@MLB) May 11, 2022
May 15, 2022 – Ever Lose A No-No?
The Reds did! This game was wild. Hunter Greene threw 7.1 no-hit innings. With 118 pitches, Greene was still throwing a 98 mph fastball. After walking consecutive batters in the eighth, Greene was pulled and Art Warren took the mound. In what could’ve ended the inning, Warren threw a double-play ball. Alas, second baseman Alejo Lopez bobbled it and couldn’t turn two. The runner on third scored, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Reds couldn’t score in the ninth and still lost without throwing a hit.
Hunter Greene and the Reds lose against the Pirates despite not giving up a hit.
It is the 6th time in MLB history a team has thrown a no-hitter and lost. The first since Jered Weaver and the Angels in 2008. pic.twitter.com/gk4erhOp8O
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) May 15, 2022
June 23, 2022 – It’s Ohtani’s World
Shohei Ohtani is a pitcher who could have a top 10 list of his own. On June 23, he proved to any naysayers that it’s his world and we’re just living in it. This isn’t about his eight RBIs that night against Kansas City, even though that’s just as impressive. I’m referencing his career-high 13 strikeouts against the Royals.
June 25, 2022 – Astros Combined No-No
Like the Mets above, the Astros had two combined no-hitters this year. Unlike the Mets, Houston only needed three pitchers to finish the job. Cristian Javier went seven hit-less innings before turning the ball over to Héctor Neris and then to Ryan Pressly to finish off the strong Yankees’ lineup. This marked the 14th no-hitter in franchise history.
June 26, 2022 – Dylan Cease
Coming fresh off an 11 K start, Dylan Cease tossed a season-high 13 strikeouts. The best pitch of this game was perhaps striking out Andy Rutschman with a 100 mph four-seam fastball. This trajectory set Cease up for several honors, including AL Pitcher of the Month twice, and finishing second in the AL Cy Young race.
September 18, 2022 – Sandy Throws Another Complete Game
Because I would like to highlight a few others in this article, it would be unfair to list Sandy Alcantara five times. Even if he deserves it. The 2022 Cy Young winner for the NL had five complete games this season. The one I’m mentioning happened at Nationals Park could be described as a masterpiece. Alcantara struck out seven and finished with just 103 pitches for the Marlins’ 3-1 win over the Nationals.
October 19, 2022 – How the ALCS was Won
Despite being a well-established (see old) pitcher, Justin Verlander came back this season and completely dominated post-Tommy John surgery. This game was extra special as he got the win in the first ALCS game with 11 strikeouts and just one walk throughout six intense innings. Taking down the Yankees is always tough, but Verlander managed to make it look easy, and the Astros took game one.
Houston (-190 ML) rides a strong performance from Justin Verlander and takes Game 1 of the ALCS 🔥
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) October 20, 2022
November 2, 2022 – World Series No-No
Marking the second no-hitter against the Phillies this year, and the second combined no-hitter for the Astros this year, this particular game was special. This would be the first combined no-no in World Series history. Cristian Javier once again started for the Astros in the game four matchup. Javier tossed six innings of no-hit ball, striking out nine, walking two, and tossing 97 pitches before Bryan Abreu took over. Abreu threw a perfect inning, and allowed Rafael Montero to do so as well. Ryan Pressly once again closed the game without allowing a single hit, and leaving an unpleasant atmosphere in Philly.
ITS A NO HITTER IN THE WORLD SERIES!! #LevelUp pic.twitter.com/QeuWWp1FP7
— Apollo Media (@ApolloHOU) November 3, 2022
Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by Leslie Plaza Johnson, Rich Graessle & Frank Jansky / Icon Sportswire
I think Zac Gallen’s 44.1 inning scoreless streak would have been worthy of a slot on the list.