Three ninth-inning defensive gems secured the Angels' first Spring Training no-hitter since 1996
Tempe Diablo Stadium was the sight of something special on Friday night, when the Angels hosted the Mariners' split squad for an AL West Spring Training matchup.
Now, a regular Spring Training game (especially one against a split-squad team) may not ordinarily register on your scale of meaningful on-field events, but this game was different. Not just because the Angels threw their first team no-hitter in Spring Training since 1996, or the first Cactus League no-hitter since '96 (but the second in MLB this spring), but how they pulled it off.
With three outs to go, C.J. Cron, Shane Robinson and Sherman Johnson made the dream a reality thanks to some tremendous, regular-season levels of effort.
Cron speared a hard grounder off the bat of James Ramsey with a dive to his right for the first out, Robinson scampered in from right field to corral a hard liner off the bat of Ian Miller, and then, with just one out to go, Johnson snatched up a bouncing ball from Rayder Ascanio and fired a laser to Cron to wrap it all up:
As a result, eight Angels pitchers (Norris, Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon, Justin Anderson and Abel De Los Santos) are now a part of Angels team history.
When asked by MLB.com's Maria Guardado what the no-hitter meant to him, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had this to say:
Had Scioscia been part of a Spring Training no-no in the past?
Sure, the game "didn't count," but those plays definitely did happen. And they were great.