The Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals got a nine-inning no-hitter from Will Smith and Kelvin Herrera on Tuesday night, matching the one thrown by Triple-A Omaha’s Luis Mendoza a day earlier.
Smith, who was picked up from the Angels in the Alberto Callaspo deal a year ago, threw seven hitless innings before his pitch count forced him from last night’s game. The 22-year-old struck out five and walked two. The walks came back-to-back to start the sixth inning, but an Alberto Rosario grounder to third turned into a triple play, bring a quick ending to the frame.
He was replaced in the eighth by the 21-year-old Herrera, who was part of the World team in the Futures Game last week. Herrera finished up with two perfect innings and now has a 1.91 ERA and a 39/3 K/BB ratio in 33 innings out of the pen for the Naturals.
Smith, who got the win, is 8-7 with a 3.93 ERA.
The day before, Mendoza pitched his second career Triple-A no-hitter, this one coming against Memphis. The 27-year-old sinkerballer inproved to 7-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 10 starts and 15 relief appearances for Memphis. He hasn’t been so successful in his trials in the majors, giving up 92 runs — 79 earned — in 84 1/3 innings. Most of those came with the Rangers in 2008.
Update: So much for this. The PCL on Wednesday overturned Mendoza’s no-hitter awarding Tyler Greene a double on a ninth-inning ball that was originally ruled an error.
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?