Untouchable Neidert dominates again for Nuts

Mariners No. 3 prospect tosses six hitless innings, strikes out nine

Nick Neidert ranks among the California League leaders in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts and wins. (Tim Cattera/MiLB.com)

By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com | May 28, 2017 9:18 PM

It wasn't until Nick Neidert got back to the dugout after completing his start on Sunday afternoon that he realized what was going on. 

The Mariners' third-ranked prospect pitched six hitless innings, striking out nine, and Class A Advanced Modesto extended the bid to the 10th before dropping a 1-0 decision to San Jose at Municipal Stadium.

"When I got back to the dugout, everybody told me that I pitched a really good game," Nediert said. "Then, when I looked at the scoreboard, I noticed they didn't have any hits. I try not to think about that stuff because then it becomes a little bit of a mental game and I try to be too cute or perfect with my pitches. So I keep the same mentality as I did as the game went on so I'm the same pitcher in the first inning that I am as the game goes on."

Neidert was sharp early, fanning three while retiring the first eight batters he faced.

Gameday box score

"My fastball command was really good, so my changeup and slider were able to play off that," he said.

After plunking T.J. Bennett with two outs in the third, Neidert's batterymate, Arturo Nieto, picked him up by catching Bennett trying to steal second.

"That was huge. Nieto's been working with all of our pitchers and does a heck of a job scouting hitters and being a brick wall behind the plate. It's really fun to throw to him," the 2015 second-round pick said.

Video: Modesto's Neidert goes six hitless

Neidert continued to cruise with an 11-pitch fourth, then worked around his only walk of the game and just his 10th free pass all year in the fifth. 

"Limiting walks has always been something I've been good at throughout my career," he said. "I've always thought to just go right after people and make them earn their way on base rather than give up any free bases. When I get into a three-ball count, I keep the same mentality as if I was in any other count. I just worry about executing my pitch. And if I do that, the outcome will usually be pretty good."

The 20-year-old right-hander saved his best for last by striking out the side on 13 pitches in the sixth. 

"I was just trying to get a quick, efficient inning so I could have the opportunity to go out for the seventh, but that wasn't the case," Neidert said.After recording 69 strikeouts over 91 innings for Class A Clinton last year, Neidert ranks third in the California League with 65 punchouts in 56 2/3 innings. He's second with a 0.97 WHIP and seventh with a 2.86 ERA. 

"I just focus on trying to execute every single pitch," the Georgia native said. "I have been fortunate enough that it's earned me a couple of extra K's than it has in the past. And strikeouts are fun, but at the same time, I'm just as happy to let them get themselves out by attacking the zone and getting weak contact."

Spencer Herrmann picked up where Neidert left off with a clean seventh and, with the help of a diving catch by right fielder Eric Filia, worked around a hit batter in the eighth. 

Video: Modesto's Filia's grab preserves no-no

"I love being a cheerleader, even when it's my day off," Neidert said. "The defense behind us is very good. Whether it be a routine play or a really hard one, we trust them to do their job, and in return they trust us to do ours."

MiLB include

Bryan Bonnell (1-1) took over in the ninth and got three quick outs to send the game to extra innings. After the Nuts failed to push a run across in the top of the 10th, an infield single by Giants No. 3 prospect Bryan Reynolds broke up the no-hitter.

Video: San Jose's Reynolds ends no-hitter

Reynolds came around to score the game's only run on another infield hit by Gio Brusa.

San Jose starter Conner Menez allowed two hits and five walks over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six, before Dylan Rheault (1-0) finished off the shutout. 

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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