Posts Tagged ‘no-hitters’

How Many, “Hey, Somebody Pitched A No-Hitter” Titles Can I Possibly Come Up With?

As many as I have to, apparently.

Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Brandon Moore became the latest to join the No-Hit Club on Sunday against the Aberdeen Ironbirds, striking out six and walking three in seven innings of work to improve his record to 6-2 on the season.  His teammates backed him up with single runs in the first and fourth innings before putting it away with a three-run seventh.

It was the first no-hitter in team history.

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The No-Hitters Keep Coming

August has been a good month for minor league no-hitters – there have been approximately 412 so far (that might be a slight exaggeration), with three more added to the list on Saturday.

In the Arizona League, three Athletics pitchers combined to hold the Angels hitless – payback, perhaps, for August 14, when the Angels did the same to the A’s.  There was only one problem: the Angels won both games.

Hector Garcia started and went five innings, striking out five and walking two.  One of those walks came in the fifth, to the leadoff batter, who advanced to second on a passed ball, to third on a groundout, and to home on another groundout.

After Christopher Mederos pitched two perfect innings, Daniel Tenholder got the call.  He pitched a perfect eighth, but in the ninth, two consecutive errors and an intentional walk loaded the bases with nobody out.  The end was anticlimactic: a walk-off walk to Randal Grichuk.  So I guess, technically, it was an eight inning no-hitter.

The outcome of the Northwest League game between Salem-Keizer and Everett was a bit more traditional.  Three Volcanoes pitchers combined for the no-hitter, but these guys managed to win the game, 8-0.  Craig Westcott went the first five, striking out six and walking two to run his overall record to 6-0 between two levels (he also has 51 strikeouts in 33.1 innings), before turning things over to Brandon Graves and Wilber Bucardo for the last twelve outs.

The finest performance of the day was turned in by Erie’s Thad Weber.  Weber went the full nine innings against Akron, striking out ten without walking a batter.  Only a third inning error and an eighth inning hit batsman stood in the way of a perfect game.  His teammates made it easy for him, scoring seven runs in the fourth en route to a 16-0 drubbing of the visiting Aeros.

Another No-Hitter From Last Night

Usually, I check minor league box scores at night to see if anything interesting is going on – no-hitters, multi-homerun games, and anything else that catches my eye.  Whatever I miss (the California League usually runs late, for example, so I often don’t see the final scores before heading to bed), I try to look at when I get home from work the next day.

I was so focused on the no-hitters by Jhoulys Chacin et al and Simon Castro last night that my box score viewing stopped short at the Class A level, which is a shame because the Rookie leagues almost always have something interesting going on.  Fortunately, I recently subscribed to MinorLeagueSplits.com, which tracks the best performances each day across all levels.

They alerted me to the phenomenal outing by Daniel De La Cruz of the Dominican Summer League Phillies, who dominated the Mariners with a nine-inning, no walk, twelve strikeout no-hitter.  His game score, according to Minor League Splits, was 99. Just three batters reached, the first on an error leading off the fifth and the other two when they were hit by pitches in the seventh and ninth.

De La Cruz, who turned 19 nine days ago, improved his record to 3-4 with the no-hitter and lowered his ERA to 1.03.

Simon Castro Is The Real Deal

Simon Castro was San Diego’s 14th ranked prospect prior to the season according to Baseball America, a physically talented 21-year-old pitcher who needed to work on a few things in order to be successful.

Entering tonight’s game against the Dayton Dragons, Castro was 7-6 for the season with a 3.93 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 116 2/3 innings.  He had allowed 107 hits and walked 32 for a WHIP of 1.19, which is significant because his control was mentioned more than once as an area of concern in the 2009 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

In his last ten games, Castro has been a beast, allowing forty hits and nine walks (1.04 WHIP) while striking out 64 in 47.2 innings.  That’s over twelve strikeouts per nine innings, which is kinda sorta good.  Methinks Mr. Castro is establishing himself as a Top Ten prospect for the Padres next year.

He came close to no-hitters twice in those ten games, pitching five innings of one-hit ball in back-to-back starts on July 23 and 28 (he walked nobody in both starts and struck out eight and nine batters, respectively).  Tonight, he finally finished the job, cutting through the Dayton lineup like they were Little Leaguers: seven innings, no runs, no hits, no walks, nine strikeouts; only one batter reached, a hit batsman with two outs in the second inning.

With those numbers added in, Castro is averaging more than ten strikeouts per nine innings.  His WHIP is down to 1.12.  I think he’s proven himself in Class A.  Get that young man a ticket to San Antonio.

Minor League Bats Are Feeling The Effects Of The Dog Days Of Summer

On Friday, minor league baseball saw three no-hitters and a one-hitter among the 100+ games on the daily schedule.  The pitching dominance continued into Saturday – “only” one no-hitter, but at least three one-hitters and several games in which starters pitched extremely well before the bullpen imploded just enough to knock it down a notch or two on the Awesome Game Scale.

Milciades Santana, DSL Blue Jays: 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 8 SO
Luis Noel, DSL Orioles: 8 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 9 SO
Jean Tome, Pulaski: 8 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 SO

The crowning achievement came in the Florida State League where four Daytona pitchers combined to no-hit the Dunedin Blue Jays. Remarkably, only two Blue Jays struck out in the entire game.

Craig Muschko: 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 SO
Chris Siegfried: 1 IP, 0R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 SO
Oswaldo Martinez: 0.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 SO
David Cales: 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 SO

A Walkoff Win, Followed By A No-Hitter – This Is Not Charleston’s Week

Hunter Strickland and Diego Moreno of the West Virginia Power teamed up to pitch a pretty good game tonight, no-hitting the Charleston RiverDogs, 4-0, at Appalachian Power Park.

Strickland went the first six, striking out five and allowing just two baserunners (an error and a hit batsman) before turning it over to Moreno, who pitched the final three innings for his fourth save.

I tuned in to the radio broadcast for the ninth and was pleasantly surprised to hear West Virginia’s announcer steadfastly refusing to utter the actual words “no-hitter”.  That silly bit of superstition bothers some people, but I’ve always appreciated it as one of the fun little things that makes baseball great.

This was the second of a four-game series between the Power and the RiverDogs, and so far, the home team is giving the fans their money’s worth.  On Sunday, West Virginia overcame deficits of 2-1, 5-2, and 6-4 before eventually winning on a walkoff homerun with two out in the ninth.

Tom Drees Sees Your No-Hitter, And He Raises You

While writing last night’s post about Brandon Hynick’s perfect game, I stumbled across a list of every no-hitter in Pacific Coast League history.  This morning, I double-checked where the list had come from, and my hazy, wee-hours-of-the-morning recollection proved right on: it was linked under one of the stats tabs on the PCL’s home page.

The wheels started turning: if the PCL had such a list, wasn’t it possible that other leagues did as well?  Turns out, a good many of them did (offhand, I think the Appalachian and Texas leagues were the only ones I couldn’t find), resulting in a list of over 1,200 no-hitters on my computer.  It’s far from a complete list, but there is a lot of good stuff there (example: Luis Tiant pitched minor league no-hitters in 1963 and 1981).

Just for the heck of it, I decided to mention a few guys who pitched not one, not two, but three no-hitters in the minor leagues.  This doesn’t include those who combined with other pitchers on a no-no – my criteria for this post was that they finished what they started, even if the game was only scheduled for seven innings.

Under those guidelines, there were four pitchers with three minor league no-hitters on their resumes:

Dick Estelle
July 31, 1962 (Eugene, Northwest League) – beat Salem, 6-0 (7 innings)
June 22, 1964 (Tacoma, Pacific Coast League) – beat Denver, 2-0
May 11, 1965 (Tacoma, Pacific Coast League) – beat Hawaii, 6-0

Ed Barnowski
June 4, 1964 (Stockton, California League) – beat Salinas, 3-2 (10 innings)
August 20, 1964 (Stockton, California League) – beat Reno, 3-0 (7 innings)
July 27, 1965 (Elmira, Eastern League) – beat Reading, 2-0

Richard Jensen
July 25, 1973 (Tampa, Florida State League) – beat Miami (7 innings)
August 25, 1973 (Tampa, Florida State League) – beat Lakeland (7 innings)
August 9, 1974 (Tampa, Florida State League) – beat Key West (7 innings)

Tom Drees
May 23, 1989 (Vancouver, Pacific Coast League) – beat Calgary, 1-0
May 28, 1989 (Vancouver, Pacific Coast League) – beat Edmonton, 1-0 (7 innings)
August 16, 1989 (Vancouver, Pacific Coast League) – beat Las Vegas, 5-0 (7 innings)

Strange as it seems, none of the four enjoyed much major league success (Jensen never even escaped the bus leagues). Drees’s case struck me as especially odd, as he pitched back-to-back no-hitters in May and came back with another one in August, only to be told by the team to report to the Florida Instructional League. I get that he was still recovering from arm surgery, but yikes – the guy pitched three no-hitters. Would it have killed them to reward him with a spot in the majors in September?