It seems as if no-hitters — at least those of the single-pitcher variety — are a dying art these days, what with rigid pitch counts, an intense focus on shielding starters from going through the opposing lineup a third time, and some teams using Openers at times in lieu of traditional starters. With those developments in mind, it felt like a real throwback performance on Tuesday night, as Athletics starter Mike Fiers threw a 131-pitch no-hitter against the Reds, striking out six, walking two, and pitching around a Matt Chapman error in order to record the first no-hit performance of the 2019 season.
Fiers received a tremendous gift from center fielder Ramon Laureano, who may be the best defensive outfielder in baseball these days. The second-year player preserved not only the no-hitter — but also Fiers’ shutout — by scaling the wall to rob what otherwise would have been a Joey Votto home run:
Fiers’ no-hitter on Tuesday night was the second of his major-league career (his first was on August 21, 2015, while pitching for the Astros and facing the Dodgers — interestingly, he threw 134 pitches in that one). It was the 300th no-hitter in major-league history, and the first since James Paxton’s against the Blue Jays on May 8, 2018.