Recent No-Hitter Not As Demoralizing For The Reds As The Previous One
Cincinnati Had Tying Run At The Plate Late In The Game
In spite of a having a mere 0.11 percent chance of throwing a no-hitter, Mike Fiers has now accomplished the feat twice. His latest came last week, when he held the Cincinnati Reds hitless in a 2-0 win for his Athletics in Oakland Coliseum.
It was the 300th no-hit game in the history of Major League Baseball, and the two from Fiers puts him elite company of others like Randy Johnson, Justin Verlander, Steve Busby and Bill Stoneman. Hall of Fame fireballer Nolan Ryan of course holds the record with seven, while fellow Cooperstown hurlers Sandy Koufax and Bob Feller had three each.
The most unusual thing about the two no-hitters of Fiers regards his opponents, a fact that puts him in the record book. Four years before holding the Reds hitless as a member of the Athletics, Fiers did the same thing for a different team.
On August 21,2015 Fiers, then a starter for the Houston Astros, pitched a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He received just a tad more support from his Houston teammates, winning the game three to zero.
Since Houston went on to win the American League West Division and the Dodgers wound up winning the National League West, the game was obviously an interleague matchup. Of the eight no-hitters thrown in interleague games, Fiers has now thrown a fourth of them.
That percentage is reduced to a third, when you consider only the no hitters tossed by multiple pitchers. Two of the six non-Fiers interleague no-hitters required bullpen assistance, leaving David Cone of the New York Yankees, Henderson Alvarez of the Miami Marlins, Edwin Jackson of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers as the quartet to join Fiers in interleague no-hitters.
His latest victims, the Cincinnati Reds, should not feel very much abashed, especially three of the team's regulars. After all, this no-hitter was at least a close game, and they even had the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning.
Contrast this recent no-hitter to the last one the Reds suffered, back on April 21,2016. The current trio of Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Tucker Barnhart (pinch hitter) were all involved in that hitless effort, which came at the hands of a division rival.
Jake Arietta of the Chicago Cubs threw the no-hitter, while his teammates pounded out sixteen runs. That total was the most ever in a no hit game and, what is even worse, it came in front of Cincinnati's home crowd. It also did not help that former Red David Ross was the catcher of the no-no, and he even added a home run to help the offense.
So even though the Reds could not find a hole against Fiers, it was still a much better game than the last time they were held hitless. The member of the Cincinnati squad who is fuming more than any other is outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was also a member of the Dodgers team that suffered the first no-hitter of Fiers back in 2015.