“I was having a feeling from the fifth inning because he was making so many quality pitches”, said catcher Jesus Sucre, who caught a no-hitter for the first time in his two-year career. That’s something the Mariners might need to take advantage of if Iwakuma is about to become too expensive to hold on to in free agency. A lot of Iwakuma’s value comes from his absolute refusal to walk people, so a three-walk afternoon isn’t quite textbook for him. “Some of the anxiety builds on you”.
Iwakuma is the first American League pitcher to throw a no-hitter since teammate Felix Hernandez tossed a flawless game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August. 15, 2012.
Baltimore loaded the bases with two outs before Schoop’s hit, but Mariners starter Taijuan Walker quickly rebounded and later retired 11 straight.
“It’s not just a normal loss”.
“Unbelievable and I told him he was unbelievable”, McClendon said. “But tip your cap”.
While he had not thrown a complete game in four seasons with the Mariners, Iwakuma did have 48 complete games in 11 seasons in Japan. However, center fielder Austin Jackson got a good jump to record the final out. Not surprisingly, Hernandez was one of the first to greet Iwakuma as he was mobbed on the pitcher’s mound after the final out, wearing a fuzzy bear hat that was handed out to fans earlier in the season in a promotion to honor Iwakuma.
“I was aware of it obviously, but I felt it real deep in my heart in the ninth inning”, Iwakuma said through an interpreter. “Routine ground balls, popups, I mean, he was just phenomenal”.
The other starting pitchers to throw no-hitters in 2015 are Max Scherzer, Cole Hamels and Chris Heston.
Iwakuma excelled against an overeager Orioles team. He used a biting splitter and precise location to keep the Orioles guessing.
Iwakuma escaped the fourth-inning jam after he walked two batters with a two-out strikeout of Jimmy Paredes.
After Lough’s out, Manny Machado grounded to short and Gerardo Parra flied to center to finish the no-hitter.
“I was excited to see (fans) cheering with a standing ovation and getting ecstatic each time he pitched in the last half of the game”, Koju Hirohashi said in a statement issued by the team. “He was so good that I’m answering these questions about a foul ball. I thought you never know but he may have a shot here”, Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Iwakuma didn’t get a ton of offensive help but it wasn’t needed.
Franklin Gutierrez got the scoring started in the bottom of the 3rd inning for Seattle.
Kyle Seager added another run for Seattle with a second-inning sacrifice fly to score Miller, who doubled leading off the inning and moved to third on Jackson’s single.
Gausman threw seven innings and struck out a career-high eight and was completely overshadowed. It came a day after he left a game with the Orioles with neck spasms.
“He didn’t miss”, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. The St Louis Cardinals won their 73rd game of the season with a 4-2 win over the second-placed Pittsburgh Pirates, a result which leaves the Cubs 1.5 games back on Pittsburgh.