Just three weeks ago, Griffin Canning and Ryan Clark bookended a no-hitter by Double-A Mobile.On Monday, Canning and Clark did it again.
Just three weeks ago, Griffin Canning and Ryan Clark bookended a no-hitter by Double-A Mobile.
On Monday, Canning and Clark did it again.
Gameday box score
Right-hander Canning fanned eight and walked two over 4 1/3 innings en route to the BayBears' 9-0 historic win over the Barons. Left-hander Greg Mahle followed the eighth-ranked Angels prospect by striking out three in 1 2/3 perfect frames, southpaw Adrian Almeida withstood three walks over 1 2/3 innings and Ryan Clark shut the door with two walks and a strikeout for the third no-hitter in team history.
"I only went 4 1/3 ... the guys behind me, Mahle, Almeida, Clark, they did the bulk of the work. They did an awesome job," Canning said.
Mahle's brother Tyler Mahle of the Reds threw a no-hitter in 2016 and a perfect game on April 22, 2017 for Pensacola against, coincidentally, Mobile.
The BayBears are the second Southern League team to have two no-hittters in one season. The first was Columbus in 1971.
Canning, a second-round pick in 2017, struck out two hitters in the first and second innings and fanned three in the third around a fielding error by third baseman Zach Houchins. The UCLA product struck out top White Sox prospect Eloy Jiménez in the fourth and departed with one out in the fifth, having thrown 81 pitches.
"I'll go back and take a look at the video, because I shouldn't be throwing 81 pitches and only going 4 1/3," said Canning, who walked two Monday after issuing six passes in the combined no-hitter.
"I think the biggest thing was fastball command," Canning said when asked about the difference between the two historic feats. "I had lost it, but I found it again tonight, thanks to working on it in bullpen sessions."
BayBears pitching coach Pat Rice agreed.
"[In the last outing] his command wasn't wild enough to walk six and tonight it was similar," Rice said. "He hit the strike zone, rather than just missing it. He commanded the fastball really well and the velocity was a tick higher [than April 28]. Maybe 97ish."
Rice, who pitched in the bigs for the Mariners in 1991, said the weather played a part in Canning's velocity uptick.
"I think just that it ended up being a cooler night and that played into a more comfortable warmup. Also it's just the natural give-and-take from start to start," he said. "[But] his fastball was special tonight. He was mixing in [offspeed pitches] to get to his fastball. He was pitching a little backward, but I think his fastball was just special, had a little extra."
Rice said the next step for Canning is pitch efficiency.
"He threw a lot of strikes, but they had a lot of foul balls and that was a lot of what made the pitch count higher than what it usually is," he said. "I thought they had a lot of good at-bats against him.
"He has really good command, he throws a lot of strikes, but I think he just needs to know when he can take a little more plate and not waste as many."
Canning was originally projected to be a first-rounder in last June's Draft, but concerns about his medical reports pushed him down the boards. Not that the Southern California native is upset about being picked by his hometown club.
"I can't control anything that happened in the Draft, I'm just grateful that the Angels drafted me."
Offensively, Los Angeles' No. 13 prospect Taylor Ward belted a three-run homer and eighth-ranked Matt Thaiss went 4-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored.
Vince Lara-Cinisomo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @vincelara.