Every pitcher dreams of throwing a no-hitter or a perfect game, whether it’s in high school, college, the minors, or the toughest of all; tossing one in the big leagues. Mike Fiers did so for the SECOND time in his career Tuesday night, completing a 131-pitch no-hitter in a 2-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
In two seasons straight now, A’s pitchers have delivered the first no-hitter of the year. Sean Manaea did it against the Red Sox last April, and now last night, Mike Fiers completed the 300th no-hitter in Major League history (including the postseason). He walked two hitters on the night while striking out six, and allowed just one other baserunner on a Matt Chapman error in the fourth.
As earlier mentioned, the masterpiece was Fiers’ second no-no in his nine-year career. His first came back in August 2015 as a member of the Houston Astros, where he no-hit the Dodgers on three walks, 10 strikeouts and 134 pitches. Fiers now becomes the 34th pitcher in baseball history to complete multiple no-hitters.
The Oakland right-hander was aided by back-to-back outstanding plays by the A’s defense in the sixth inning, one of which nearly tied up the ballgame. First, with one away, Reds 3B Kyle Farmer sent a pop-up into shallow right field. Jurickson Profar, who’s seen his fair share of defensive struggles made a terrific sliding catch to steal what would have been Cincinnati’s first hit. The lineup then flipped over to Joey Votto, who sent a high fly ball out to deep center field. Ramon Laureano, who’s become known more for his incredible arm throughout his short time in the majors, leaped and made an outstanding grab on a ball that would have been a homer. All Mike Fiers could do was smile and put his hands behind his head in disbelief.
The performance gives Fiers his third win of the year, and while he’s faced severe struggles on the road so far, he’s fared well at home, pitching to a 3.62 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over five starts at the Coliseum. Now with a second no-hitter under his belt, Fiers will look to avoid the bad start that pitchers usually suffer after a performance like this as he’s lined up to face a scuffling Cleveland offense this weekend. Regardless of the context of this season, this will certainly be a performance of Fiers’s career that he won’t forget.