July 29, 2017

Lynchburg Hillcats 2, Winston-Salem Dash 0

Cleveland’s pitching staff has started historically strong in the abbreviated 2020 season. Its stockpile of pitching built up and ability to turn over the rotation has made it tough for other prospects to crack it at times, where in other organizations they might have had a better shot.

That’s not to knock Cleveland for not giving them a chance, because the bar is high, and not to knock some pitchers who may have warranted a shot. The organization has just had really good pitching to choose from.

On this day in 2017, RHP Shao Ching-Chiang no-hit the Winston-Salem Dash with the Lynchburg Hillcats. He threw 106 pitches and walked just one batter, and the first batter of the game reached on an error.

Ironically enough, two members of the White Sox now, Zack Collins and Eloy Jimenez (who hasn’t yet played in the first series between Cleveland and Chicago in 2020) were in that lineup.

The walk came with one out in the second inning. Chiang retired the next nine, hit the second batter with a pitch in the fifth inning with one out, then retired the final 14 batters.

Not known for his strikeout ability, Chiang fanned seven in the win.

Plenty of pitchers have thrown minor league no-hitters and never made it to the majors. Chiang made it to Triple-A Columbus in 2018 and again last year, but had ERA’s over 5.00. He struck out 128 hitters in 131 innings, but Chiang was always known best for his command, heavy sinker and ability to get grounders. He’s now in Detroit and just missed being on the Tiger’s 30 man roster, but remains in their player pool of 60.

In an organization with less pitching, Chiang might have had a shot before now, even though his numbers at Triple-A haven’t been great. Prior to 2013, if he was ready then, he would have had a chance in Cleveland, too.


…also in 2017

Bowie Baysox 21, Akron RubberDucks 1

On the wrong side of the box score, the Akron RubberDucks lost to the Bowie Baysox, 21-1.

Austin Hays homered in the first inning for Bowie for an inauspicious 1-0 lead.

The Baysox then ripped off eight runs in the second inning on an error, a double from Tribe legend Ryan Flaherty, a bases loaded walk, an RBI groundout, a two run double by former Tribe prospect Anthony Santander, and a double by Ryan Mountcastle.

Left hander Matt Whitehouse allowed four earned runs, but nine total crossed the plate with him on the mound or leaving runners out there. Three more scored off of Jordan Milbrath, Mitch Brown gave up five, and CC Lee gave up four.

So on both sides of the pitching spectrum, Shao Ching-Chiang may deserve a shot, and it still in baseball while Whitehouse, Milbrath, Brown and Lee are not currently in the organization just three years later.


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