While no-hitters in baseball have become more frequent over the past several years, there is still something special about a pitcher shutting down an opposing lineup.
Tuesday night, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas was one strike away from becoming just the 10th Cardinals pitcher in franchise history to throw a no-hitter.
And with one swing of the bat, with just one strike to go, Mikolas’ shot at history was shattered.
Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Cal Mitchell laced a 2-2 pitch over center fielder Harrison Bader’s outstretched glove, breaking up the no-hit bid in the top of the ninth inning.
Miles Mikolas loses a no hitter with two strikes in the 9th inning pic.twitter.com/GuPSZSAt8v
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 15, 2022
It was a disappointing ending to a brilliant outing for Mikolas, who got the win, striking out six and walking one in 8.2 innings of work.
“It kinda stinks to not finish that out. I mean, I don’t have one yet, and I have friends that have one,” Mikolas said in his post-game interview. “It would have been nice to join that conversation. But I can’t say enough about our defense. We were everywhere we had to be and making fantastic plays all game. I kinda feel like I let them down after all that great defense I got today.”
Mikolas was pulled directly after allowing his first hit of the night, with Packy Naughton getting the final out for St. Louis in a 9-1 win.
“Curveball had been pretty good all day, and maybe tried to overthrow it just a little bit,” Mikolas said about the final at-bat. “Left it a little bit up. Guy put a good swing on it. They put some really good swings on some good pitches today. Couple deep fly balls to the track and that one just kind of kept going.”
Mikolas’ teammates were bummed, hoping for the first no-hitter for the Cardinals organization since the 2001 season.
“Everybody in that dugout wanted it real bad for him,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “There’s a lot of perseverance in that story. To see him doing what he’s doing this year, it speaks volumes to his character.”
St. Louis and Pittsburgh conclude their four-game series Wednesday night.