No-hitters seem to be the norm this season across Major League Baseball. Some think Philadelphia Phillies starting pitchers Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, or even Vince Velasquez could come close or even achieve the impressive feat.
Wednesday evening, the organization’s Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs affiliate nearly made history itself during its 6-0 shutout win — falling two outs shy of throwing the first no-hitter in its 14-year history while hosting the Worcester Red Sox (of the Boston Red Sox).
The Phillies’ Triple-A affiliate almost threw a combined no-hitter on Wednesday.
Left-hander Cristopher Sanchez — acquired via trade from the Tampa Bay Rays following the 2019 season — started things off by tossing 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one walk while striking out eight batters. Former New York Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell kept the momentum going by tossing 1 2/3 perfect innings, striking out a pair of batters. Fan-favorite J.D. Hammer then tossed a scoreless eighth inning, walking only one batter while striking out two, before left-hander Jeff Singer was called upon for the final three outs. He struck out his first batter faced, but allowed a single on a sharp line drive to center field on his second pitch thrown to the next batter. He, too, went on to record two strikeouts.
Hammer and Singer have impressive 1.00 and 1.08 ERAs at Triple-A this season. Overall, Phillies pitchers allowed just the one hit and two walks, while punching out 14 batters in the six-run win.
The IronPigs scored all six of their runs in the fourth inning. Travis Jankowski walked with the bases loaded to start things off. Then, recently signed infielder Ruben Tejada (formerly of the New York Mets) hit a RBI single, followed by another bases loaded walk from former first-round pick Cornelius Randolph. Outfielder Ryan Cordell put the IronPigs up 4-0 with a sacrifice fly RBI, before infielder C.J. Chatham hit a two-run triple on a line drive to right field to score two more runs.
The Phillies’ second-to-most recent no-hitter was a combined effort from Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles, and Jonathan Papelbon on September 1, 2014, in a 7-0 shutout win against the Atlanta Braves. It was neat to see the IronPigs come so close to mirroring that effort among Sanchez, Mitchell, Hammer, and Singer.