Fiers makes history against Dodgers
by Greg Thurston


(c) Houston Astros

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Apparently Jeff Luhnow knew what he was doing when he insisted on the inclusion of 30-year old right-hander Mike Fiers in the trade deadline deal headlined by Carlos Gomez. Making only his third start in an Astros uniform, Fiers authored a 10-strikeout no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday night.

Jake Marisnick and Evan Gattis homered and Fiers took care of the rest in a 3-0 Astros victory. After walking one batter in each of the first three innings, Mike retired the final 21 Dodgers who came to the plate. Fiers struck out six of the last eight batters, including Justin Turner to end the game.

Throwing 88 of 134 pitches for strikes, Fiers etched his name alongside Nolan Ryan, Larry Dierker, and Mike Scott in Astros history. Commanding every pitch in his arsenal, Fiers was in complete control and didn't need any defensive heroics to help turn the trick.

Fiers has been outstanding in his three starts with Houston, after his first appearance had Astros fans asking "why did we trade for this guy". On August 3rd, Fiers was pressed into duty in a relief role after starting pitcher Lance McCullers, Jr. was unable to get through the first inning in Arlington. The Rangers put together six hits and a walk, scoring six times in Mike's first inning of work. Fiers settled in and threw four more innings, allowing only one more hit and one run while saving wear and tear on a tired group of Astros relievers.

Obviously, Fiers is most comfortable working as a starting pitcher. And, after Friday's performance, he should be able to settle into that role for the foreseeable future. The only worry is that Friday's elevated pitch count could have a negative effect in upcoming starts. With McCullers being recalled from the minors to start Sunday, Fiers figures to get an extra day of rest before returning to the mound. Enjoy the extra day, Mike, and savor the accomplishment. You've earned it.


Photos


The scoreboard tells the story

Mike Fiers & catcher Jason Castro

Baby powder shower

Celebration

No-hit king Nolan Ryan congratulates Fiers

Houston Chronicle sports page


Mike Fiers tosses first no-hitter in MMP history against Dodgers
by Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle

Mike Fiers stepped on the mound in the first inning Friday night and planted a tender kiss on the large tattoo on his right forearm of his late mother. Then on the brink of history eight innings later, the Astros' veteran righthander stepped off the mound and gazed into the raucous crowd.

Fiers absorbed the energy as the entire crowd stood on its feet. Then he finished the 11th no-hitter in Astros history, adding another unbelievable chapter to what already has been a surprisingly magical season for the American League West leaders.

Fiers fired a 90-mph fastball past the Dodgers' Justin Turner for a strike, hunched down and then jumped up and tossed his glove in the air and waited for catcher Jason Castro's embrace as Astros teammates raced to the mound.

"A bunch of people screaming, a bunch of people wanting me to get it done, just the city of Houston behind you, just everybody behind you," Fiers said. "The more people that were cheering, it felt that much better to really get it done."

Fiers, 30, threw the first no-history in Minute Maid Park history with his career-high 134 pitches to beat the Dodgers 3-0 before a crowd of 33,833 that included Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who holds the major league record with seven no-hitters.

The 6-2, 198-pounder from Pompano Beach, Fla., limited the Dodgers to three walks with 10 strikeouts for his first career no-hitter to open a three-game series.

It was the Astros' first no-hitter since Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner combined for one on June 11, 2003, against the Yankees at old Yankee Stadium. It was the franchise's first individual no-hitter since the late Darryl Kyle threw one against the Mets on Sept. 8, 1993. It was the 17th time the Dodgers have been held without a hit.

Almost immediately after he completed the no-hitter, Fiers thought about the lady who raised him after his parents divorced when he was three.

His mother Linda Korman took Fiers to most of his baseball activities as a child. She succumbed to lupus in 2013, but he is sure she watched his no-hitter.

"She's probably going insane," he said. "She's just so happy for me, just going out of her mind. I used to hear her all the time, screaming and yelling for excitement so much. She probably wanted it more than I did."

Fiers, who was acquired along with Carlos Gomez from the Brewers on July 30, walked Turner in the first inning. He walked Andre Ethier to lead off the second inning and then walked Joc Pederson to lead off the third. He then retired the final 21 in order.

Until Friday night, Fiers had thrown more than 105 pitches only once this season. He threw 113 in seven innings on July 3 for the Brewers in a 12-1 victory against the Reds.

Manager A.J. Hinch approached Fiers after the sixth inning and then before the eighth and ninth inning.

"Obviously everybody wants to throw a no-hitter and do everything you can to do that as a pitcher," he said. "I told him I wasn't going to come out of the game. He was literally going to have to throw me in the clubhouse, lock me somewhere. This doesn't happen often."

Fiers got all the support he needed in the second inning when Jake Marisnick hit a two-run home run to left-center field.

Evan Gattis added a solo home run in the sixth inning to cap the scoring. Fiers struck out Carl Crawford on an 0-2 curveball to lead off the eighth.

"In the meetings, we were told to lay off the pitch that's letter-high, but it was hard to do today," said Crawford, a Davis High graduate. "He was hitting that spot, mixing it up with his off-speed pitches and we just couldn't seem to lay off of it."

Fiers then struck out Enrique Hernandez on a 1-2 curveball, his 114th pitch He fell behind Pederson 3-0, but he got him on a 3-2, 89-mph fastball that plate umpire John Tumpane called a strike to end the inning.

Marisnick chased down Jimmy Rollins' line drive at the warning track in right for the first out of the ninth.

"I just said, 'I'm going to catch this no matter what,' Marisnick said. "I was going to run this fence over if I had to."

Fiers fell behind 2-0 to Chase Utley, but he got him to fly out to right on a 2-0 fastball. Then with the crowd on its feet, Fiers capped his gem by striking out Turner.

"It was like a dream," he said. "You throw the last pitch, you feel the emotion of everything you've been through in your life. I've been through a lot. To get this point and do that and have your teammates come out like that, it's crazy. Knowing my mom is watching, I know my mom is watching."


Box score

Game of Friday, 8/21/2015 -- Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros (N)

LOS ANGELES (NL)     AB  R  H RBI     HOUSTON              AB  R  H RBI
J Rollins, SS         4  0  0  0      J Altuve, 2B          4  0  1  0
C Utley, DH           4  0  0  0      C Gomez, CF           4  0  1  0
J Turner, 3B          3  0  0  0      C Correa, SS          4  0  0  0
A Gonzalez, 1B        3  0  0  0      J Lowrie, 3B          3  0  0  0
A Ethier, RF          2  0  0  0      E Gattis, DH          3  1  1  1
Y Grandal, C          3  0  0  0      C Rasmus, LF          3  0  0  0
C Crawford, LF        3  0  0  0      C Carter, 1B          3  1  1  0
K Hernandez, 2B       3  0  0  0      M Gonzalez, 1B        0  0  0  0
J Pederson, CF        2  0  0  0      J Marisnick, RF       3  1  2  2
                     -- -- -- --      J Castro, C           3  0  1  0
Totals               27  0  0  0                           -- -- -- --
                                      Totals               30  3  7  3

Dodgers             0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0   -   0   0  0
Houston             0 2 0  0 0 1  0 0 X   -   3   7  0

LOS ANGELES (NL)          IP   BF   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR   PIT-STR
B Anderson (L 7-8)       6.0   24   7   3   3   0   5   2    84- 57
C Hatcher                1.0    3   0   0   0   0   2   0    18- 10
Y Garcia                 1.0    3   0   0   0   0   1   0    14- 11
                         ---   --  --  --  --  --  --  --   -------
Totals                   8.0   30   7   3   3   0   8   2   116- 78

HOUSTON                   IP   BF   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR   PIT-STR
M Fiers (W 1-0)          9.0   30   0   0   0   3  10   0   134- 88
                         ---   --  --  --  --  --  --  --   -------
Totals                   9.0   30   0   0   0   3  10   0   134- 88

HR - E Gattis, J Marisnick. 
2B - J Marisnick, J Castro. 
SB - J Marisnick. 

SCORING
BOT 6 - Correa grounded out, pitcher B.Anderson to A.Gonzalez. Lowrie grounded out, J.Rollins to A.Gonzalez. Gattis homered to left on a 2-1 count. Col.Rasmus grounded out, J.Rollins to A.Gonzalez.
BOT 2 - Gattis flied out to left fielder C.Crawford. Col.Rasmus struck out. Carter singled to left. Marisnick homered to left on a 1-0 count, Carter scored. J.Castro doubled to left. Altuve grounded out, K.Hernandez to A.Gonzalez.

Attendance: 33,833; 62% of capacity (54,816). Duration: 2:31. 
Umpires: HP - Tumpane, 1B - Welke, 2B - Hoye, 3B - Hirschbeck.

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