Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mike Fiers had to wait it out but eventually went on to record a no-hitter Tuesday night in Oakland. It was Fiers’ second no-no of his career and the 13th in Oakland A’s history.
It was a night to remember for former Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Mike Fiers. After about an hour and a half delay, because a bank of lights refused to shine, Fiers finally took the field. It was better late than never for the veteran right-hander because little did he know at the time, but he was destined to make history. Throughout Fiers career, he’s only recorded two complete games both now are no-hitters.
It was the 13th no-hitter in the Oakland Athletics history; he also becomes just the 35th pitcher ever to toss multiple no-hitters in his career. He threw his other back in 2015 as a member of the Houston Astros against the L.A Dodgers. The most recent one goes down officially as the 300th no-hitter in Major League Baseball history, and the first in 2019.
When the Detroit Tigers decided to sign Fiers before the start of last season, I was skeptical. The Tigers were in the midst of a rebuild, or should I say the beginning as I felt they were much closer to the start than the finish. The team already had middle or back of the rotation starters scattered throughout their roster so why add another one?
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A few reasons to be skeptical; He was coming off of a 28 start season with the Astros owning an 8-10 record with a terrible 5.22 Era. He gave up 157 hits in merely 153.1 innings of work. He also hit a career-high 13 batters even tossing 11 wild pitches, the second highest amount in a single season during his career. The previous season he threw 17 wild pitches, anything but effectively wild. More like dangerously wild; remember Fiers while a member of the Brewers is the one who hit Giancarlo Stanton in the chops, surely convincing Stanton to start wearing the protective helmet extension.
It all worked out for the Detroit Tigers as Fiers pitched exceptionally well for the team allowing them to deal him before the trade deadline to the A’s. He pitched well enough to garner a contract extension with the A’s along with becoming their opening day starter in 2019. The results before Wednesday nights no-hitter have been sparse. Through 46 innings of work this year he owns a 5.48 Era, even after completing the shutout in his last start.
"“It’s wild. It’s tough to plan that out,” Fiers said. “You want to get deep in the game. It was getting later and they didn’t have any hits so at that point you just want to finish what you started and do something cool for this team to feed off of and build on to get this thing going in the right direction.”“The first one with Profar, that’s a tough play. it was kind of in the middle of nowhere,” Fiers said. “The ball is behind first base and shallow right field. Made a great diving play. Then obviously Laureano . . . he feels like he should make that every time and we have the confidence he’s going to make it every time.“You’re kind of like, `Hey, kind of pitching with house money here. Just go after them.”"
Fiers entered the night with a disastrous 6.81 Era; it took the right-hander 83 stikes totaling 133 pitches to complete the no-no over the Reds. His manager Bob Melvin told him in the seventh inning after he had already thrown north of 100 pitches that if a runner gets on base even if it’s not a hit he’s coming to get him. Mike remained dialed in and was able to finish the job.
The Tigers decided to try to emulate what they did last winter by signing veteran starting pitchers Matt Moore who was briefly pitching very well for the team before his season-ending knee injury. He only allowed 3 hits in 10 innings of work while not allowing a run before it all ended. The team also signed Tyson Ross who is 1-4 with a 5.34 Era. He will likely ride out the year in Detroit especially if he continues to pitch this poorly. I don’t see much of a trade market for a right-handed MLB fifth starter.