On Sept. 17, 1996, Hideo Nomo threw a no-hitter in a 9-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. This feat is all the more impressive because it was the first no-no ever thrown in the hitter-friendly setting at Coors Field. Furthermore, it came down the stretch of the regular season and during a highly competitive pennant race. This made Nomo the seventh Dodger to throw a no-hitter, and his performance marked the 20th no-hitter in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
The stakes were high going into this series as the Dodgers and Padres were in a tight race for the NL West Division title. Nomo faced off against the Rockies starter Bill Swift, who gave up five runs over the course of six innings. Between Raul Mondesi and Tim Wallach, the two went 5-for-9 with one home run and five runs to give Nomo plenty of run support.
After Nomo’s no-hitter, the Dodgers took a one and a half game lead over San Diego in the standings. The Dodgers played their final series of the season against the Padres and needed to win just one of their final three games in order to clinch the division. Unfortunately, the Dodgers were swept by the Padres and entered the playoffs as the wild card. They faced the Atlanta Braves in the first round and were swept immediately.
In his 1996 season, the Japanese sensation went 16-11 with a 3.19 ERA. Nomo played with the Dodgers from 1995-1997 and again from 2002-2004. As the first player to make the shift from professional baseball in Japan to the MLB, he took the Dodgers by storm, quickly becoming a fan favorite for all and an iconic pitcher for his plentiful fans in Japan.
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