Houston No-Hitters, Thirteen Times

Last updated 2/23/2020

Congratulations to Justin Verlander for his no-hitter against the Blue Jays on September 1, 2019!

Throwing a no-hitter is generally considered one of the ultimate accomplishments for a major league pitcher. The Astros are fortunate to have had thirteen no-hitters thrown in franchise history, tied for the highest of any team since 1962. And better yet, all but three have been tossed in front of hometown crowds in Houston.

Each no-hitter is special in it's own way. Don Nottebart's was the first in team history. Ken Johnson became the first pitcher in major-league history to lose a no-hitter. Don Wilson struck out 15 in his first no-hitter, and his second was a "revenge" no-hitter that came one day after the Astros were no-hit by Cincinnati. Ken Forsch's gem was the earliest ever in a major league season, while Nolan Ryan's made him the career leader in no-hitters, breaking a tie with Sandy Koufax.

Mike Scott's no-hitter in 1986 clinched the NL West against the Giants, and Darryl Kile came closer to a perfect game than any Houston pitcher in history. The bullpen no-hitter in 2003 used more pitchers than any other no-hitter in MLB history. Mike Fiers' 2015 no-no against the Dodgers was the first no-hitter pitched in 15 seasons at Minute Maid Park, Aaron Sanchez' 2019 feat, assisted by three relievers, occured in his Astros debut and Justin Verlander's 2019 gem was the first in team annals performed outside the United States. That leaves Larry Dierker's no-hitter in 1976. What was special about that one? Well, apart from the fact that it was Larry Dierker, it is probably the most special to me simply because I was there, screaming my 13-year-old lungs out in center field.

Below is a brief summary of each no-hitter. However, the GAME SUMMARY for each gem will take you to a full-page treatment of the game, complete with photos, newspaper articles, box score, complete play-by-play, and the audio broadcast for the last out.

The No-Hitters:
DatePitcherCatcherResultLocation
May 17, 1963Don NottebartJohn BatemanAstros 4, Phillies 1Houston
April 23, 1964Ken JohnsonJerry GroteReds 1, Astros 0Houston
June 18, 1967Don WilsonDave AdleshAstros 2, Braves 0Houston
May 1, 1969Don WilsonDon BryantAstros 4, Reds 0Cincinnati
July 9, 1976Larry DierkerEd HerrmannAstros 6, Expos 0Houston
April 7, 1979Ken ForschAlan AshbyAstros 6, Braves 0Houston
September 26, 1981Nolan RyanAlan AshbyAstros 5, Dodgers 0Houston
September 25, 1986Mike ScottAlan AshbyAstros 2, Giants 0Houston
September 8, 1993Darryl KileScott ServaisAstros 7, Mets 1Houston
June 11, 2003 Roy Oswalt (1.0)
Pete Munro (2.2)
Kirk Saarlos (1.1)
Brad Lidge (2.0)
Octavio Dotel (1.0)
Billy Wagner (1.0)
Brad AusmusAstros 8, Yankees 0New York
August 21, 2015Mike FiersJason CastroAstros 3, Dodgers 0Houston
August 3, 2019 Aaron Sanchez (6.0)
Will Harris (1.0)
Joe Biagini (1.0)
Chris Devenski (1.0)
Martin MaldonadoAstros 9, Mariners 0Houston
September 1, 2019Justin VerlanderRobinson ChirinosAstros 2, Blue Jays 0Toronto


Fast "No-Hitter" Facts:

  1. Don Wilson is the only Astro to pitch two no-hitters for the club.
  2. Wilson's second no-hitter in 1969 was the only one not pitched at home in Houston until the bullpen gem in 2003.
  3. Darryl Kile came closest to a perfect game, allowing only a 4th-inning walk. Justin Verlander later tied the effort in 2019, allowing just a first-inning pass.
  4. The Reds, Dodgers, and Braves have been no-hit twice by Houston hurlers.
  5. Ken Johnson's no-hitter in 1964 was the first no-hit loss in major-league history.
  6. Mike Scott's no-hitter in 1986 clinched the NL West title.
  7. The bullpen no-hitter in 2003 used six pitchers, the most ever for a no-hitter in MLB history up to that point.
  8. Mike Fiers' no-hitter in 2015 was the first no-no in MMP, which was in its 16th season.
  9. Octavio Dotel became the first pitcher in MLB history to strike out the side on four strikeouts in a single inning during a no-hitter. He got three of the K's the normal way, but Alfonso Soriano advanced to first after swinging at a wild pitch for strike three.
  10. Three of the no-hitters were caught by Alan Ashby. No other Houston catcher has caught more than one.
  11. The catcher of Darryl Kile's 1993 gem, Scott Servais, was the manager of the Seattle Mariners in the 2019 four-pitcher no-no.
  12. The no-hitters by Mike Scott (1986) and Justin Verlander (2019) are the only ones to date which were performed during a Cy Young Award winning season.


May 17, 1963 - Don Nottebart

First in team history
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Don Nottebart became the first pitcher in franchise history to toss a no-hitter, beating the Phillies 4-1 in front of 8,223 cheering fans at Colt Stadium. The Phillies squeaked their lone run across the plate in the 5th, when Dom Demeter reached second on a bad throw by J.C. Hartman, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

April 23, 1964 - Ken Johnson

In a losing cause
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Ken Johnson made major league history in a bittersweet fashion, becoming the first pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter and lose. Joe Nuxhall was pitching brilliantly for the Reds, and kept the game tied at 0-0 through eight inning. With one out in the 9th, Pete Rose tried to bunt for a base hit and reached second when Johnson made a bad throw to first. After Rose advanced to third on a ground out, second baseman Nellie Fox bobbled an easy grounder allowing Rose to score. Nuxhall pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Reds an historic 1-0 victory.

June 18, 1967 - Don Wilson

15 strikeouts
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Rookie flamethrower Don Wilson made a lasting impression on the Braves, striking out 15 batters in a dominating no-hitter. It was the first Houston no-hitter tossed in the Astrodome. Wilson finished strong, striking out five of the last six batters he faced, including a game-ending strikeout of slugger Hank Aaron.

May 1, 1969 - Don Wilson

Revenge no-hitter
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Don Wilson ended the worst start in franchise history, a 4-20 start in April, with a "revenge" no-hitter against the Reds in Cincinnati. Just one day earlier, Jim Maloney had tossed a no-hitter against the Astros and extended their losing streak to 8. The team then went on a 71-45 run to move within two games of first place on September 10th before fading over the final three weeks.

July 9, 1976 - Larry Dierker

Nothing but fastballs
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Larry Dierker, perhaps the player most closely identified with the franchise, pitched a 6-0 no-hitter against the Expos in his final season with the team. After four near-misses with no-hitters in his career, Dierker came at the Expos with nothing but fastballs in the last half of the game.

April 7, 1979 - Ken Forsch

First start of season
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Ken Forsch, in his first start of the season, threw a dominating no-hitter in a 6-0 victory over the Braves. With the effort, Ken joined his brother Bob as the first brother duo to toss no-hitters. The April 9th date of the game was the earliest for a no-hitter in major league history until bested by Hideo Nomo in 2001. Despite striking out just thre batters, Forsch was dominating, retiring 20 consecutive batters between the only two walks he allowed in the 2nd and 8th innings.

September 26, 1981 - Nolan Ryan

Record-breaker
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Strikeout king Nolan Ryan pitched his way into the major-league record books, passing Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax by tossing his fifth career no-hitter in front of a national TV audience. The 5-0 gem against Los Angeles was especially meaningful because Houston was in a tight race with the Reds for the NL West title.

September 25, 1986 - Mike Scott

Division clincher
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Mike Scott pitched the signature game in franchise history, clinching the NL West Division with a 2-0, no-hit victory over the San Francisco Giants. Despite the afternoon start time, over 32,000 fans attended in anticipation of a clinching victory, and they certainly got more than they expected. Scott's performance concluded an impressive three-game stretch by Houston starters, following a two-hitter by Jim Deshaies and a one-hitter by Nolan Ryan.

September 8, 1993 - Darryl Kile

Almost perfect
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Darryl Kile came closer to perfection than any hurler in Houston history walking only one batter in a dominating, 7-1 no-hit victory over the Mets in the Astrodome. It was a fitting exclamation point for his first All-Star season, and represented what he could accomplish when he could throw his amazing curve ball for strikes.

June 11, 2003 - Roy Oswalt and five relievers

6 men, 9 innings
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Billy Wagner finished off an astonishing, six-pitcher no-hitter that resulted in 13 strikeouts in an 8-0 victory over the New York Yankees. Starter Roy Oswalt had left after the 1st inning with a groin injury. Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, and Octavio Dotel paved the way until Wagner finished off the Yankees in the 9th. It was just the second regular-season game ever between the two teams and ended a 10-year no-hitter drought for the Astros

August 21, 2015 - Mike Fiers

First no-no at MMP
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Mike Fiers fired a 134-pitch no-hitter that resulted in 10 strikeouts and a 3-0 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. It was only Fiers' third start for Houston after having been acquired along with Carlos Gomez at the trade deadline for prospects, and the first no-hitter thrown at Minute Maid Park, which was in its 16th season.

August 3, 2019 - Aaron Sanchez and three relievers

First Houston start
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Aaron Sanchez, a deadline trade addition from the Toronto Blue Jays along with reliever Joe Biagini, made his Houston debut memorable by tossing six innings of no-hit ball at his new home against the Seattle Mariners. Buoyed by a three-run first, Sanchez tossed 92 pitches (55 strikes), struck out six and walked two. Will Harris, Biagini and Chris Devenski each threw a scoreless inning to close out the 9-0 no-hitter.

September 1, 2019 - Justin Verlander

14-K gem
(c) Houston Astros
GAME STORY

Justin Verlander walked Craig Biggio's son Cavan in the first inning of a Sunday contest at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. It would become the only baserunner the Blue Jays would have all day. The Houston ace struck out 14 on 120 pitches to no-hit Toronto, 2-0, in a tense game that was scoreless until the ninth. Rookie Abraham Toro, a native of Canada, smashed a two-run homer off former Astro Ken Giles for the only tallies of the game.