May 25, 2018
There were several good options for this day in Indians Minor League History for May 25. But none of the other options can top a no-hitter, even if it was of the seven inning variety.
Shane Bieber carved through the Gwinnett Stripers lined for the Columbus Clippers, which wasn’t a surprise as he was on a tear, which pushed his way to being called up a few short weeks later.
Before this start, Bieber fired off eight shutout innings for the Clippers on May 20. He then proceeded to retire the first seven Stripers on May 25. On the eighth batter, Eric Stamets committed a fielding error that ruined what could have been a seven inning perfect game for Bieber.
Even though the no-hitter was ruined, Bieber picked off the hitter who reached base on the error, so even through seven innings, he only faced the minimum (21).
The error didn’t faze Bieber one bit. He retired the next 13 hitters in a row before the rain came in and took his chance away from doing it the full distance. It’s possible he could have finished the job. He only had thrown 80 pitches through seven innings. Two starts later he threw 99 pitches in an outing, and the way he was cruising he could have done it. Bieber fanned seven and of course, didn’t issue a free pass, customary for him.
Gwinnett didn’t have a ton of pushovers in their lineup that day, including former Angels OF Peter Bourjous, future MLBers Austin Riley and Rio Ruiz.
Yu Chang had three RBI to back Bieber , though Bieber had to match Anibal Sanchez pitch for pitch through four innings in a shutout. Todd Hankins ended up pushing a run across thanks to an error, Chang singled in a run, Brandon Barnes drove in a run with a sac fly and Mike Papi drove in the fourth run of fifth inning.
Chang singled in two runs and Papi singled in another to push it to 7-0.
Bieber struck out two in the seventh inning to finish off the no-no, even in a rain shortened game, it was still impressive and could have been a perfect game if the normally sure handed Stamets could have fielded one more ball cleanly.
Photo: Cathryn Wood/Columbus Clippers