It may be spring training, but no-hitters are always fun. Marlins pitchers Brad Hand, Steve Cishek, A.J. Ramos, and Arquimedes Camineros combined for nine innings of no-hit baseball against the Yankees. The game was played at Rod Carew Stadium in Panama as part of the “Legend Series”.
Brad Hand started the game and went five innings, striking out six. Steve Cishek followed up with a scoreless frame with one walk. Ramos pitched the seventh and eighth innings, walking one, and Caminero wrapped up the ballgame with a strikeout in his only inning of work.
The Yankees were only fielding half of what will be their starting lineup, but Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Carlos Beltran, and Alfonso Soriano combined to go 0-for-11 out of the top four spots in the lineup. Manager Joe Girardi wasn’t happy. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
“You never want to be no-hit,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t care what game it is, what level. You never want to see that.”
Still, better to get no-hit in the Grapefruit League than during the regular season. The Marlins, surprisingly, have the lowest team ERA in spring training. Hand has had a great showing, allowing just one run in 12 innings of work thus far, posting a 15-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.
It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.
The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.
In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.
Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.