OAKLAND -- Mike Fiers heard from countless friends, family members, and former teammates after tossing the 300th no-hitter in Major League Baseball on Tuesday night. But in order to get a response from the person whose opinion he values the most, he had to wait until late Wednesday morning.
Fiers and his father, Bruce, share a special relationship. They talk baseball constantly, and Bruce religiously makes sure to watch each of his son’s starts. There’s just one problem -- Bruce works a construction job in Coconut Creek, Fla., that requires him to wake up at 5:30 every morning. Unable to stay up late for most of his son’s starts, Bruce makes sure to wake up early enough to catch a replay before taking off for work. He was in for quite a treat while watching Tuesday night’s A’s-Reds game.
“He’s so crazy about baseball,” Fiers said. “My sister was out with the baby, she knew what was going on, but he doesn’t like anybody telling him what was going on. He likes to wake up early in the morning before work and watch my start. He called me today and said he’s been dealing with stuff at work he’s not pleased with, but he’s had a smile on his face all day. That was cool to hear.”
Fiers also had a smile on his face inside the A’s clubhouse on Wednesday afternoon. With a phone that is still buzzing nonstop with texts and messages through social media congratulating him, Fiers took some time away from all of that to reflect on what had transpired the night before. As you would expect, he’s gone back and watched his second career no-hitter, more than once.
“I’ve seen a lot of it,” Fiers said. “You always want to see how it unfolds and the pitches you were making, see how you’re doing and getting guys out. But that’s with any start. You go back and pick the good and also see the bad to go off of that for your next start.”
The elation of the historic night left Fiers with adrenaline that was hard to get rid of. The right-hander was home in Alameda just after midnight but didn't get to bed until about 5 a.m.
“I had a lot of energy, couldn’t really sleep,” Fiers said. “I was getting back to everybody and reposting stuff on Instagram, just thanking everybody for following my career and what I do.”
He’s not the only one who has gone back and watched it.
A’s manager Bob Melvin also watched the game back on video. As he’s learned over his career, watching a replay gives a whole new perspective.
“One of the worst angles you can watch a baseball game from is the dugout,” Melvin said. “It looked great from the dugout. It looked even better when I saw some of the highlights today.”
Perhaps making Fiers’ no-hitter even more impressive was the numbers he carried into the night. According to Baseball-Reference, only four pitchers have had a higher ERA after throwing a no-hitter than Fiers, whose mark dropped to 5.48 on Tuesday night.
The season hasn’t gone the way Fiers or the A’s envisioned when he was named the No. 1 starter out of Spring Training, but throwing a no-hitter could serve as a turning point.
“I pride myself on being durable and healthy, a guy they can rely on every fifth day,” Fiers said. “I see myself as one of the top pitchers in the league, especially when I’m right. I can go deep in a game and keep guys off balance, always put our team in a great chance to win.”
Fiers kept the cleats and jersey he wore on the historic night, but he’s planning to send his hat and the ball from the last out to the Hall of Fame.
Canha close to rehab assignment
Mark Canha (right wrist) took part in batting practice before Wednesday’s game against the Reds and expects to do so again on Thursday. If all goes well, he could go on a rehab assignment over the weekend before rejoining the A’s on the nine-game road trip that begins Monday in Seattle.