Houston Astros starter Mike Fiers hasn’t been with the team all that long, but he’s already inked his name in the record books. On Friday night in front of an electric Minute Maid Park crowd, he threw a no-hitter to lead the Astros to a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was the first no-hitter thrown at Minute Maid Park.
It took a career high 134 pitches and 10 strikeouts, but he becomes the fifth pitcher this season to achieve the feat. He joins Hisashi Iwakuma, Cole Hamels, Max Scherzer, and Chris Heston as the no-hit crew this season. His control was a little shaky early, but he was able to get himself under control and stay on course to keep the Dodgers off their game all night. In the end, he would strike out Justin Turner on his 134th pitch to end the game and make history.
He was picked up by Houston at the trade deadline last month, and has been impressive in his three starts with the team. Former Astros ace Nolan Ryan was on hand and applauded from a suite as Fiers’ teammates charged the mound to celebrate. He struck out 10 and walked three, before retiring the final 21 batters of the game. After the game, team manager AJ Hinch spoke candidly about Fiers’ performance and what it means to the team and the fans.
The 7th and 8th were as impressive as you could get. It’s hard to punch out five guys in a row, let alone in the middle of a three-run game. He wasn’t really taxed after the second inning, until around the sixth. I watched his fatigue level and none of that gave indication that he was tiring. He got his outs any way he could. He used every bit of the strike zone against a good club. We’re thrilled with the outcome. Anytime an accomplishment comes in like this, it’s a huge energy boost to the team and the fans. There’s a lot of proud guys in there for Mike and that’s good energy for the rest of this series and next week.
You want him to finish it. There’s so many people that wanted him to finish, I wanted the game to end 3-0 with a no hitter and that’s what we got. There’s a lot of players that step up to the moment, and tonight was Mike’s night.
Offensively, two home runs would be all Houston needed to polish off the win. Jake Marisnick belted a two-run shot in the second inning, off Brett Anderson. He would then give up a solo homer to Evan Gattis in the sixth. He would be responsible for all three runs on seven hits that were scattered across six innings of work. He would be charged with the loss, dropping his record to 7-8 on the season.
For Fiers, he threw the 11th no-hitter in team history. It was a bigger moment because he had never recorded an out in the ninth inning before. It was the first no-hitter thrown by Houston since a six-pitcher effort combined to blank the Yankees in 2003 on their own field. He’s the first solo pitcher to accomplish it since the late Darryl Kile beat the Mets in 1993 in the old Astrodome.
First-place Houston started the day with a 2½ game lead over the Angels in the AL West. When the game ended, the Angels were trailing the Blue Jays at home. A loss there would open up a 3½ game lead for the Astros. It comes at a crucial time, as Houston is staring at their first possible playoff appearance since getting swept by the White Sox in the 2005 World Series. After being the worst team in the league the previous three years, this is giving Astros fans a much-needed spark as the end of the season draws to a close.