Mike Fiers dealt an unexpected no-hitter Friday night to give the Houston Astros a 3-0 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Acquired by the Astros as an additional piece in the Carlos Gomez trade, Mike Fiers filled up a valuable position in Houston’s new rotation. Fiers was great in his first two starts for Houston, but what he did in Minute Maid Park was unexpected.
Fiers started roughly, allowing three walks in the first three innings. He lit up the Dodgers since then, retiring the last 21 batters and finishing with 10 strikeouts. After Fiers threw his career-high 134th pitch — a 90 mph fastball — to strike out Justin Turner and wrap up the game, he jumped for joy as the entire stadium erupted into a frenzy of celebration.
According to stats provided by ESPN, the milestone performance marked Fiers’ first career complete game as well as the fifth no-hitter in the big leagues this season. It was also Houston’s first no-hitter since June 2003, in which they needed six players (Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel, and Billy Wagner) to achieve the feat against the New York Yankees at the Yankee Stadium.
Mike Fiers said that he only felt exhaustion after he threw his last pitch.
“After I got that last out everything kind of hit me. Once you’re in that moment you don’t feel anything really. You’re going off adrenaline at that point.”
This high point in Fiers’ career is made even more remarkable by the challenges that beset him in the last few years. 2013 was a rough year for Mike Fiers, both professionally and personally. For one, his 54-year-old mother passed away after a long battle with the lupus disease. Still, Fiers soldiered on as he made 11 appearances with the Brewers and finished with a 7.25 ERA and 7.17 FIP. But just when his career was right on track again, he suffered a season-ending injury when he shattered his right forearm with a line drive while pitching for Triple-A Nashville. To make matters worse, he inadvertently hit Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the face when he lost control of a pitch. He was visibly affected by the incident too, as shown by the tweet below.
Since then, Mike Fiers displayed flashes of brilliance but was, for the most part, inconsistent. As Chris Towers of CBS Sports pointed out, Mike was regarded by many as a conundrum.
On Friday night, that conundrum cracked and everything changed for Fiers. If Mike Fiers can keep up the momentum and maintain the mental fortitude he displayed throughout his career, the Astros might just be in a good position to capture their first AL West crown and first division title since 2001.
[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]