Nabil Crismatt pitched an immaculate second inning and was pretty close to perfect the rest of the night.
The Seattle right-hander tossed a two-hitter, striking out a career-high 14, as Double-A Arkansas blanked Northwest Arkansas, 3-0, on Wednesday at Dickey-Stephens Park.
Video: Crismatt spins immaculate inning
"That was one of those days where you go out there and have all your stuff and you can do whatever you want," Crismatt said. "It's awesome when you feel like that."
The 24-year-old didn't warm up consistently, but felt really good after retiring the Naturals in order in the first. Crismatt then struck out Royals No. 16 prospect Emmanuel Rivera, 17th-ranked Meibrys Viloria and Taylor Featherston on nine pitches for an immaculate second. All three batters went down swinging.
"The second inning was really, really, really impressive," he said. "I felt really good."
On the 0-2 pitch to Featherston, Travelers catcher Joseph Odom called for a high fastball. The Barranquilla, Columbia, native shook him off.
"I was like, I have my curveball tonight when I want it for a strike and I said I'm not going to miss this," Crismatt said. "I'm going to strike out this guy with my curveball right here. I'm not going to mess around."
Right-handed Miami prospect Tanner Andrews also worked an immaculate second inning in Class A Clinton's 8-6 win over Lake County on Wednesday.
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Crismatt fanned two in the third and two more in the fourth, but his no-hit bid ended when Rivera singled to lead off the fifth. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound hurler also struck out the side in the sixth on 11 pitches.
"Every time I threw my curveball today, it was money," he said.
After Rivera's knock, Crismatt retired 10 in a row leading up to a one-out single by Featherston in the eighth. After the quick sixth, he had a feeling he could go the distance. Then the righty sailed through the eighth on 80 pitches, and Arkansas manager Cesar Nicolas jokingly asked him whether he wanted to finish the game.
"I said for sure I want to go out there," Crismatt chuckled. "It was really fun."
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He punched out Angelo Castellano and D.J. Burt to open the ninth and eclipse his career high of 13 strikeouts, last set on May 9 against Tulsa.
"I knew I was high in strikeouts, but I never counted," Crismatt said. "I feel like the strikeouts come when you're aggressive and really attacking."
With two outs, Nick Heath took the count to 3-2, and Crismatt wanted to finish the game with his best pitch, the eighth of the at-bat.
"I was like I'm controlling everything right now, I'm not going to give him a cookie down the middle on 3-2," he said. "I said I have my curveball for a strike tonight, I'm going to throw it right here. Let's see if he can hit it."
Heath grounded out to short on the 95th pitch to end the game and wrap up the "Maddux" -- a complete-game shutout requiring fewer than 100 pitches.
"All the guys here gave me a really big hug," Crismatt said of the team's reaction, "... and I appreciate the effort they make every time I go out there."
Video: Travelers' Crismatt records 14th K
The eight-year Minor League veteran began the season with Triple-A Tacoma and went 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA over 14 innings before he was assigned to Arkansas on April 19. In 14 games -- 13 starts -- for the Travelers, Crismatt has gone 4-5 with a 1.94 ERA, 89 strikeouts and 11 walks over 83 2/3 innings.
"I've been really comfortable with all my pitches," he said. "Every day I keep practicing with my pitching coach [Pete Woodworth], learning something new every day. Most of the time I can control every pitch when I'm out there."
Last season, he went 11-10 with a 5.00 ERA over 144 innings between Triple-A Las Vegas and Double-A Binghamton in the Mets organization. Crismatt signed as a free agent with the Mariners in late January.
"Since the first day I got here, they treated me like this was my home," he said. "I'm feeling really happy to be here. And that's what I'm trying to do every time I go out there."