Michael Wacha just misses a no-hitter, which is probably a good thing

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals' 2012 first-rounder couldn't quite put a no-hitter into the books, but given the Cardinals' other young no-hitterers that might not be a bad thing.

An 8 2/3 inning no-hitter is always going to be a little disappointing, but if you're a St. Louis Cardinals fan looking for a pick-me-up after Michael Wacha came one grounder to Pete Kozma short of a no-hitter in his ninth major league start I've got two options for you:

1. Michael Wacha is having a great rookie season

One-hitter aside, Wacha is still having an outstanding rookie season. His nine strikeouts and two walks Tuesday night almost perfectly track his 3.42 K:BB ratio to date, which is probably the best way to illustrate how he's pitched so far—through 65 innings, he's had perfectly respectable no-hitter peripherals.

His 15 starts in Memphis were nearly as composed. Not only did it take Wacha all of 106 innings to escape the minors entirely, he's transitioned to the majors at an all-star level. This was still an exclamation point at end of the perfect debut—it just wasn't a no-hitter.

2. The Curse of Ted Breitenstein and Paul Dean and Jose Jimenez and Bud Smith, Maybe

Which is fantastic news, if you're the superstition-inventing type. Young Cardinals pitchers who do throw no-hitters have tended to not do much more than that. Ted Breitenstein, a local boy made good, threw a no-hitter in his first major league start back in 1891. (Potentially a good time to link to The Ultimate Cardinals Record Book, which was apparently released as an ebook while I wasn't looking.) Unfortunately, 1891 happened to be the final season for the St. Louis-dominated American Association, and said local boy spent the next several years getting drubbed every other day on behalf of the sorriest team in the National League.

Later on, Paul Dean managed to hurt his arm even younger than Dizzy Dean, and even later on than that Bud Smith managed to hurt his arm even younger than Paul Dean. (And Jose Jimenez as himself.) I'd love to see Michael Wacha throw a no-hitter, but I'd also love to see his elbow last him more than a year.

Of course, Anthony Reyes threw a famous one-hitter, so maybe everybody's cursed.

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