Miller leads I-Cubs' combined no-hitter

May 9th, 2021
Shelby Miller started 2021 with three relief outings for the Cubs at the big league level.Mark Black/AP

Not in 621 days had a Minor League Baseball team celebrated a milestone such as this. On Sunday, the Iowa Cubs brought the drought to an end.

Led by starting pitcher , four Triple-A Iowa pitchers -- including , and Ryan Meisinger -- combined for a no-hitter as their squad did enough at the plate to sink visiting Indianapolis, 2-0, at Principal Park.

Making his first appearance at Triple-A in the Cubs system, Miller got Iowa started on the right note with three stellar innings. The veteran retired the side in order in the first and third and faced only one over the minimum thanks to a one-out walk he issued in the second. Threading five strikeouts through his abbreviated outing, Miller threw 28 of 47 pitches for strikes.

In the fourth, he handed things off to Nance, who mirrored his line almost identically. Nance made the no-hit bid feel real with three more nearly spotless innings, likewise walking one and striking out five.

Nance didn’t just push the no-hitter into the game’s latter third. He also gave himself and his staff the only run of support they’d need. After Andrew Romine walked with one out in the fifth and went first to third on Sergio Alcantara’s single to right, Nance lofted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Romine with the Cubs’ first run.

Nance passed the baton to Wieck, who equaled his predecessors’ five strikeouts over just two innings, pouring in 22 strikes out of 31 pitches.

After Iowa added its second run on an RBI single by Abiatal Avelino in the eighth, the club was set up to make history.

It didn’t come without a bit of drama. Meisinger walked Indianapolis leadoff batter Chris Sharpe in the ninth, and Sharpe advanced to second on a groundout to first by Travis Swaggerty. That’s as far as he’d get. Meisinger slammed the door by getting lineouts to left and right field from Cole Tucker and Kevin Kramer to finish the feat.

The no-no was the first in the Minor Leagues since Jose Soriano, Parker Joe Robinson, Hector Yan and Chad Sykes combined to pitch one for then-Class A Burlington against Beloit on Aug. 27, 2019. It was Iowa’s first since Chris Rusin pitched a May 7, 2014 no-no at New Orleans and first at home since Reggie Patterson accomplished the milestone in 1984.