Notes: Still no no-no; Shaw's redemption

May 15th, 2021

The Indians are yearning for a no-hitter of their own. Just this season alone, the club has been no-hit twice, which happened within a three-week period. Every other team in baseball has experienced the glory of one of its pitchers recording 27 outs without a hit in the past few decades, except for the Indians. 

Right-hander Zach Plesac was six outs away from bringing Cleveland its first no-no in almost 40 years on Thursday night in Seattle, until J.P. Crawford led off the eighth inning with a line drive single up the middle over a leaping Amed Rosario. 

"After the game, [Jake Bauers] came up to my locker and he kind of said, 'Yo, Nayls, how crazy would it have been if that would have happened? It would have been kind of like baseball coming full circle, we got no-hit twice and, now we throw a no-hitter,'" right fielder Josh Naylor said. “It would have been so cool, but it didn't happen. But it's meant to happen soon.”

Naylor was unaware of Plesac’s no-hitter for most of the night, until he looked up in the fifth inning at the scoreboard in T-Mobile Park and saw the zero in the Mariners’ hit column. For Naylor, it’s not a common practice to glance over at the giant screen above the outfield bleachers.

"I'm just trying to [focus on the game], if a ball is near me just try to get the out,” Naylor said. “I looked over in the fifth and I said to myself, 'Oh my god, this guy's throwing a no hitter right now. I gotta dive for everything.'"

And dive he did

Defensive gems tend to be commonplace in no-hitters, even if said no-hit bid ends up being broken up in the final innings of a game. Naylor in the outfield was no exception. He recorded the Indians’ first out of the game by running into foul territory to make a grab in rookie Jarred Kelenic’s first career at-bat. By the time the play was over, Kelenic was retired and Naylor had tumbled into the stands.

"I just play my heart out. I'm sure they know here that I'll go all out for everyone in this organization,” Naylor said. “So, I don't know if it set the tone or not ... I'm just trying to play as hard as I can.”

Cleveland certainly has the pitching staff to end its no-hitter drought. The offense locked in for four runs to back up Plesac’s outing, and the defense was on its toes to make game-changing plays when needed. They’ll just need to wait for another day where all three factors can come together and hold the opposing team hitless. 

Redemption outing
Bryan Shaw made his return to T-Mobile Park more than nine months after allowing four earned runs in less than one inning when he was a member of Seattle’s bullpen. Two weeks after his Aug. 3 outing, the Mariners parted ways with the right-hander by designating him for assignment. Fast forward to mid-May 2021, Shaw redeemed himself on the same mound against his former team. 

“It was definitely a lot of fun to be able to come back,” Shaw said. “And obviously do well anytime against your former teams, good or bad."

Shaw entered the ninth inning with the bases loaded and two outs after Emmanuel Clase walked three consecutive batters after retiring the first two to start the frame.

Shaw wound up striking out Luis Torrens on four pitches, sealing Cleveland’s 4-2 win. 

“[Austin Hedges] helped me out with the slider, he picked it pretty well ... to keep them where they're at on the bases," Shaw said. "We love coming [in] with guys on base, different situations. That's what we like in the 'pen, sometimes clean innings are boring."