August 22, 2019 Mahoning Valley Scrappers

When looking back in Indians history, one thing nearly as strange as not winning a World Series since 1948 is, given the incredible amount of pitching talent the big league team has had over the last 25+ years, that they haven’t had a no-hitter since Len Barker’s perfect game in 1981. In the minors, this hasn’t been an issue as on August 22, 2019, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers recorded the 18th by an Indians minor league affiliate since 2007.

Playing on the road against the Williamsport Crosscutters, the Scrappers got some hits for themselves before worrying about hitting the field at all. Following an hour and a half rain delay, MV burst out of the gate with five consecutive hits, the last of which was a Yainer Diaz RBI double. After a strike out, Jonathan Lopez brought home two more for five total runs in the first. Of course, Hunter Gaddis would have been fine if they had just had the first three hits.

Hunter Gaddis7
Gaddis makes a start for the 2019 AZL Indians in Goodyear, AZ. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Gaddis had an amazing start to his career after being drafted in 2019 as he struck out 26 to just three walks in 17.1 innings in Arizona. This appearance marked his fourth for the Scrappers and his first three weren’t fantastic. His last three, including this one, however, were. Gaddis ended the season with 9 innings, 17 K’s, 0 BB, 0 R and 1 H allowed.

On August 22nd, he struck out his first batter faced on three pitches, then used four more pitches to finish the inning. In the second, he struck out two more without a runner allowed. In the third, he struck out three, throwing four total balls in the inning. Because he could not possibly strike out four in the fourth (if you want the truth, Gaddis had already thrown an entire college season with Georgia State and the Indians never allowed him to throw more than three in a game), the Scrappers went to the bullpen and another strike out machine, Matt Waldron (photo at top).

Keeping things moving swiftly, no Scrapper reached base either from the second through the fourth and Waldron struck out one in his perfect fourth. In the fifth, both of those things changed. Korey Holland walked, moved up on a ground out and scored on a Bryan Lavastida double. Then, with two outs in the bottom half, Henderson De Oleo blew the perfect game with an error at first. Waldron struck out the next batter to keep the no hitter intact.

Bryan Lavastida2
Lavastida hits a fly ball during a 2018 AZL Indians Red game at Goodyear Ballpark. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

The sixth would include the final scoring of the game and some oddities. John Rodriguez tripled to start the inning, but stayed at third until there were two outs. Joab Gonzalez then tapped one right in front of the plate and the catcher overthrew the first baseman, allowing Rodriguez to score and Gonzalez to reach second. Holland then used an infield single to advance Gonzalez before a Brayan Rocchio infield single brought him home. Incredibly, after the triple it took three infield singles to bring home two runs.

In the bottom of six, Waldron blew what was nearly a perfect game his own way with a lead off walk, but he struck out the next two hitters and finished off the and his relief appearance inning hitless. Luis Sanchez replaced him in the seventh and added one more K in a perfect inning. In the eighth, it was the Crosscutters turn as Jake Kinney struck out the side and the Scrappers didn’t record a strike out in the bottom half of an inning for the first time in the game.

Luis Sanchez8
Sanchez pitches  in relief for the Indians during 2019 extended spring training in Goodyear, AZ. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Sanchez finished out the game with a perfect ninth, giving the Scrappers three pitchers three innings each, one walk allowed with no hits, runs and 11 strike outs. Offensively, Holland lead the way with three hits and four times on base with Rocchio, Lavastida and Diaz all hitting safely twice. Every hitter except De Oleo and Lopez scored in the offensive explosion (De Oleo was the only hitter without a hit) and six different hitters knocked in a run including two a piece from Lavastida and Lopez.



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