Shelby Miller of the Atlanta Braves was one out away from throwing the first no-hitter of the season against the Miami Marlins on Sunday. Pinch hitter Justin Bour wasn't having any of it, however, breaking up the bid with a single up the middle.
While Miller would give up a second hit in the inning, he still earned the win. Jonah Keri of Grantland thought the performance was reminiscent of a legendary Braves pitcher:
Jonah Keri @jonahkeri
F the no-hitter. 9 IP, 4 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 R, 94 pitches. That, friends, is a #Maddux.2015-5-17 19:27:06
Miller commented on the performance after the game:
Shelby C Miller @ShelbyMiller19
Thank you guys for all the support. Great win and let’s keep rollin. #choplanta2015-5-17 20:17:38
But history will have to wait. He would have been the first Atlanta pitcher to throw a no-hitter in 21 years, per Knox Bardeen of Fox Sports:
Knox Bardeen @knoxbardeen
The last #Braves pitcher to throw a no-hitter was Kent Mercker, shutting down the Dodgers on April 8, 1994. http://t.co/yqpRGGqBDp2015-5-17 19:01:47
Miller nearly threw a no-hitter earlier in his career, though as ESPN Stats & Info noted, he lost that bid far earlier in the game:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Not the 1st time Shelby Miller has nearly thrown a no-hitter. May 10, 2013 he allowed a leadoff single, than retired 27 straight hitters2015-5-17 19:27:36
This is nothing new for the Marlins, of course, as Jordan Zimmermann no-hit the team on the final day of the 2014 season. Only Bour spared the Marlins from the infamy of being no-hit twice in the span of 39 games.
Miller, 24, is now 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. He is quickly establishing himself as one of the best young pitchers in baseball and making the Braves look ingenious for acquiring him and Tyrell Jenkins in exchange for Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason.
And his early success this season seems sustainable, as Scott Pianowski of Yahoo Sports noted:
scott pianowski @scott_pianowski
Yeah, yeah, Shelby Miller has a low hit rate. But he's getting more grounders and more soft contact this year - making much of his own luck.2015-5-17 19:30:44
Add it all up, and it wouldn't be surprising if Miller is in the running for another no-hitter down the line. He looks like a future ace and a stud in Atlanta's rotation for many years to come.