Just Say No
HISTORY IN FORT WAYNE
Many folks left Parkview Field Thursday night shaking their heads. Not in disappointment, but more in bewilderment, as they’d never seen a game quite like the one that had just witnessed. For a few reasons, the strange walk-off walk to Brian Adams among those, they certainly were normal to feel that way. But the chief reason to feel like Thursday night brought a game like no one had seen before in Fort Wayne’s 21-year history as a franchise was because, well, it hadn’t happened.
Until last night, there had never been a nine-inning no-hitter thrown, by one pitcher or by a team, by either the Wizards or the TinCaps. Fort Wayne defeated Great Lakes, 1-0, and did not allow a hit all night. Max Fried started the game, turning in his best Midwest League performance, after having not pitched in thirteen days. He went 5 2/3 innings, struck out eight batters, and walked four. Matthew Shepherd pitched 1 1/3 innings, while Leonel Campos and Roman Madrid each pitched an inning, too.
It was a special night for Fried, a native of California, who had his dad in attendance. Even though the family lives on the west coast, Fried told me after the game that his father happened to be in Chicago, and was able to make the trip over to Fort Wayne to see his son start.
Here’s the post-game recap, including my interview with Fried:
The first Fort Wayne no-hitter came in 2009, tossed by Simon Castro in a seven-inning win over Dayton. Last night’s game was the third in the Midwest League this year, and the 155th no-hitter in the history of the Midwest League, dating back to 1950. The league has already seen three no-hitters in just more than one month of play, while last year there were only two all season. With the incredible number of games that have been postponed this year (four more yesterday), it’s no surprise there have already been three no-hitters.
How about this stat on Roman Madrid, who picked up his fourth win of the season last night?
He’s the only pitcher in the Midwest League to lead the league in wins (4) and saves (5). Last year with Eugene, Madrid finished the year as the team’s leader in wins (7) and saves (13). He’s on pace to easily surpass those numbers this season. And, by the way, he still has not allowed an earned run this season.
“It’s bittersweet,” Madrid told MiLB.com after the game. “I wish someone who threw more innings than I did got the win. I came in and got a couple of big plays by my defense. We came back in, got some guys on and got a run in. We all picked each other up as a team.”
Perhaps even more remarkable, is the success the TinCaps have had when either Joe Ross or Fried takes the hill. When Ross pitches, the TinCaps are 6-0. When Fried starts, Fort Wayne is 5-0. When anyone else starts, they’re 7-13.
Tonight Justin Hancock gets the call (they’re 3-2 when he pitches) against one of the league’s top arms in Great Lakes’ Carlos Frias, whose 0.91 ERA is now the best in the Midwest League. The Loons are riding a seven-game losing streak, while the TinCaps, after being swept in Peoria, will look to take out their anger with a home sweep over Great Lakes.
Tonight’s action starts at 7:05. You can watch the game with me and Kent Hormann on XFINITY 81 or listen with Mike Maahs on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.
Here’s post-game audio from the TinCaps locker room after yesterday’s win:
TURN THE TOWN PINK
The TinCaps’ very own Walker Weickel, Maxx Tissenbaum, Brian Adams and Matthew Shepherd were out early this morning around downtown Fort Wayne, helping to turn the town pink. It’s a joint effort between the TinCaps and the Vera Bradley Foundation:
Today is wear pink day, and May 23rd (7:05 home game against South Bend) is Turn the Park Pink day. See those special jerseys the guys are wearing? There’s more where that came from…
It’ll be a big weekend in Syracuse, New York, as the class of 2013 celebrates its commencement at Syracuse University. Included in that class is TinCaps Broadcasting and Media Relations Assistant John Nolan. You’ve heard John on the radio, you’ve read his work here on the blog with such entries as “Walk-Up Wednesday” and “Throwback Thursday”, and you’ll continue to hear and see lots more of his great work throughout the season.
Congrats to John. Today’s song is dedicated to you.
Matchbox Twenty…take it away!