While the parent Mets still wait for their first-ever no-hitter, one of the franchise’s minor league arms accomplished the feat Sunday while pitching for short-season Brooklyn.
Pitching on the road, 23-year-old righthander Brandon Moore held Aberdeen hitless for seven innings in the first game of a New York-Penn League doubleheader. While the game may have been abbreviated in length, the no-hitter still was the first in the history of the Cyclones, a Mets affiliate since their inception in 2001.
Though he relies on command and mixing his pitches, Moore was uncharacteristically wild during Sunday’s start, walking three batters and plunking another one. Those four free handouts were the most he had permitted in any of his 11 starts this season. Moore struck out six IronBirds batters during his no-hitter, even though three times this season he had fanned nine batters in a game.
“I really don’t think he was spotting his fastball like he normally does,” said Brooklyn manager Pedro Lopez, who also worked with Moore last year while with Rookie-level Kingsport of the Appalachian League. “He was working a lot of 2-0, 3-0 counts, but in the end he was able to make pitches to get those flyball and groundball outs.”
“He got one or two strikeouts on his fastball. Everything else was on either a changeup low and away to lefthanded batters or on backdoor sliders to lefthanded batters.”
A 14th-round pick last year out of Indiana Wesleyan, Moore has been one of the Penn League’s most durable and effective starters this season. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound righty has gone 6-2, 2.15 for first-place Brooklyn, ranking fourth in the league in both ERA and innings. In those 71 innings, he has struck out 63, walked 15 and allowed just 47 hits and four home runs.
Moore typically pitches at 89-90 mph, bottoming out at 88 and reaching 92 on occasion while mixing in three average offspeed offerings that play up because of his command. He gets eight or nine miles per hour of separation on his changeup and alternates throwing a dependable curveball and slider, all depending on the opposing batter’s expectation.
“He did a good job last night. Even though he was wild in the zone, he also made pitches,” Lopez said. “The tough thing about Brandon is that batters get a different look every time they come to the plate. He can throw any of four pitches for strikes in any count. It’s kind of hard to face a guy like that because when you get two strikes, it’s hard to guess what’s coming next.”
Lopez recalls only one instance in which Moore’s no-hitter seemed in jeopardy. Aberdeen’s lefty-hitting DH Tom Baxter, the second batter of the third inning, lifted a well-struck flyball deep to left field, but it hung up long enough for Brooklyn’s Scott Grimes to make the catch.
Even had the ball fallen in, Moore has done enough this season to separate himself from other later-round picks in the organization.
|MINOR LEAGUE COMPLETE-GAME NO-HITTERS IN 2009|
|Evan Anundsen, rhp||Brevard County||Florida State||MIL||4/28||9|
|†Jeanmar Gomez, rhp||Akron||Eastern||CLE||5/21||9|
|Levi Maxwell, rhp||Winston-Salem||Carolina||CWS||6/19||7|
|†Brandon Hynick, rhp||Colorado Springs||Pacific Coast||COL||6/30||7|
|Sean O’Sullivan, rhp||Salt Lake||Pacific Coast||LAA||7/28||9|
|Cory Rasmus, rhp||Danville||Appalachian||ATL||8/11||7|
|Luis Mendoza, rhp||Oklahoma City||Pacific Coast||TEX||8/14||9|
|Dennis Tepera, rhp||GCL Blue Jays||Gulf Coast||TOR||8/14||7|
|Simon Castro, rhp||Fort Wayne||Midwest||SD||8/18||7|
|Thad Weber, rhp||Erie||Eastern||DET||8/22||9|
|Brandon Moore, rhp||Brooklyn||New York-Penn||NYM||8/23||7|
|† Perfect game|
Multiple-Pitcher No-Hitters In ’09
• April 11: Hickory (South Atlantic, TEX, 7 IP) Martin Perez, Tyler Tufts, Fabio Castillo
• July 25: GCL Braves (Gulf Coast, ATL, 9 IP) Charles Brewer, Edigson Mora, Andrew Wilson
• July 27: West Virginia (South Atlantic, PIT, 9 IP) Hunter Strickland, Diego Moreno
• Aug. 14: AZL Angels (Arizona, LAA, 9 IP) Jose Perez, John Blanco, C.J. Bressoud
• Aug. 18: Colorado Springs (Pacific Coast, COL, 9 IP) Jhoulys Chacin, Joel Peralta, Juan Rincon, Randy Flores
• Aug. 22: Salem-Keizer (Northwest, SF, 9 IP) Craig Westcott, Brandon Graves, Wilber Bucardo
• Aug. 22: AZL Athletics (Arizona, OAK, 9 IP) Hector Garcia, Chris Mederos, Dan Tenholder
We’ve attempted here to represent every no-hitter thrown in the minor leagues this season, but if you see one omitted please leave a comment below.
Seven Up, Seven Down
It’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time to present the top seven and bottom seven full-season minor league clubs through games of Monday, Aug. 24.
|TOP 7 MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS|
|4||Brevard County||71||43||.623||Florida State||HiA||Brewers||26|
|7||Fort Myers||76||51||.598||Florida State||HiA||Phillies||13|
|BOTTOM 7 MINOR LEAGUE TEAMS|
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