The only thing that could stop Anthony Misiewicz on Sunday afternoon was his pitch count.The Mariners left-hander threw eight hitless innings and matched his career high with 10 strikeouts as Triple-A Tacoma blanked Iowa, 5-0, at Cheney Stadium. He issued one walk and faced one batter over the minimum.
The only thing that could stop Anthony Misiewicz on Sunday afternoon was his pitch count.
The Mariners left-hander threw eight hitless innings and matched his career high with 10 strikeouts as Triple-A Tacoma blanked Iowa, 5-0, at Cheney Stadium. He issued one walk and faced one batter over the minimum.
"When you see him early in the game being able to locate his fastball the way he was, you have a feeling he'll go deep i the game," Tacoma pitching coach Lance Painter said.
Misiewicz (6-6) retired the first 10 Cubs before Johnny Field walked on seven pitches to lead off the fourth. He turned out to be the only baserunner against the southpaw.
"He did a real nice job of being able to use all his pitches," Painter said, "never really got into a situation where he repeated his sequences and just kept the hitters off-balance."
The 24-year-old set down the next 14 batters, striking out Cubs No. 28 prospect Trent Giambrone and ninth-ranked Zack Short to end the eighth. He matched the career high he set on June 4, 2017 for Class A Advanced Modesto.
Misiewicz did not have an inning that required single-digit pitches. He threw 23 in the fourth to raise his total to 61. After Dixon Machado flied to center to end the sixth, the 6-foot-1 southpaw was at 92 pitches. Rainiers manager Daren Brown kept him in the game after an 11-pitch seventh -- his most efficient inning -- brought him to 103 pitches, six short of the career high set on April 23 for Double-A Arkansas.
Painter and his staff knew that Misiewicz had thrown that many pitches in April, but after the seventh, the pitching coach realized that unless the eighth was a quick inning, his no-hit bid would run out of gas.
Gameday box score
After Giambrone and Short went down on strikes, the Michigan State product was at 116 pitches and Brown brought on lefty Taylor Guilbeau for the ninth.
"We just weren't comfortable going further than what we did with him," Painter said. "Everyone wants to be able to have the chance to go for a no-hitter, but you also have to be smart and realize with the pitch count and where it was, we just felt like it was the right time to get him out of the game."
Painter said Misiewicz was disappointed that he wouldn't be able to finish the gem but was pleased that his starter understood it was all about his pitch count.
With three outs separating Tacoma from its first no-hitter since John Halama threw the first nine-inning perfect game in Pacific Coast League history on July 7, 2001, Donnie Dewees smacked Guilbeau's first pitch off the base of the left field wall for a double.
"I know the crowd wasn't real happy," Painter said, "but the crowd has to understand that we're here to keep guys healthy and give them an opportunity to go play in the big leagues."
Misiewicz, a 2015 18th-round Draft pick, lowered his ERA to 6.24 in 15 games -- including 13 starts -- since joining the Rainiers on May 18. He began the season with Arkansas, where he went 1-2 with a 2.52 ERA in seven starts.
Ian Miller tripled and scored in the first to give Misiewicz an early lead, then hit a solo homer -- his 11th -- in the fifth. Jose Lobaton and Chris Mariscal also went yard for Tacoma.
Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports</a