You try not to pay too much attention to the no-hit bid until about the 5th inning when the starting pitcher is half way through the game and even when you do talk about it, you do your best not to mention the words 'no' and 'hits' too close to each other. Being in the Minor Leagues nearly all starting pitchers have pitch counts, so thats what makes a complete game no-hitter so special down here. Unfortunately for Tim Shibuya, he got his pitch count up to 86 pitches by the end of the 7th and he was pulled from the game. Tim was in complete control of the game, with only two runners getting on base via catchers interference during his 7 innings. He worked ahead of the count all night, and threw a high percentage of strikes, mixing his fastball and offspeed well and keeping hitters off balance all game. At the end of the 7th inning our Manager Ray Smith and pitching coach Jim Shellenback looked into the stands and with sign language asked us how many pitches Tim had thrown. I signalled back with my hands that he had thrown 86, Ray and Jim looked at each other, then back at us in the stands, and saw fellow pitcher David Hurlbut and me signalling to the coaches to let Tim go out for the 8th. They laughed and I guess they wished they could of sent him out again, but with his pitch count already being at a season high, it would of been tough to risk injury by giving him a workload he wasn't used to. Garrett Jewell came on the throw the 8th, and then my house mate Steve Gruver finished off the game by striking out the last two hitters. Not all credit goes to the pitchers of course. Jairo Rodriguez who was called up from the GCL not too long ago was behind the plate for tonights game, and its important for the pitcher and catcher to be on the same page and work together and I think it's fair to say, the battery worked well tonight.
I couldn't be happier for Tim. When we arrived to Elizabethton we were paired together in a hotel room and thats when I first met him. He works harder then anyone else here and the results are credit to his great work ethic. Don't be surprised if you see Tim in the same situation in not too distant future.
|Picked up his 4th win of the season|