May 9, 2016
Two players that would become major factors for the Indians later this year had a hand in this 2-0 win for the Columbus Clippers over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Robbie Grossman was the offensive star with two hits including a solo home run, but of course he ended up not doing anything for the Indians in 2016 despite their need for any outfielder with a pulse that year.
Tyler Naquin was just sent down by the Indians when they need a starter and opted to go with Rajai Davis, Lonnie Chisenhall and Jose Ramirez as their outfield at the time. Naquin was sent down two days before this and had a hit and an RB leading off.
The big start of this shutout was of course the pitcher – LHP Ryan Merritt tossed a complete game shutout allowing a walk and four hits while striking out six. Merritt had been the Indians Bob Feller award recipient in 2014, given out annually by the Indians to their top minor league pitcher.
Merritt of course would later go on to pitch the Indians not only to home field advantage that season in the final game of the regular season, but of course to the World Series as well.
For those curious, Merritt is currently a free agent after spending part of the time with the Tampa Bay organization in 2019 battling injuries and further reduced velocity.