There were two no-hitters thrown in the Dominican Summer League on Thursday. They just so happened to be in the same game.
Cubs Red defeated Pirates affiliate PIT Black, 2-0, in a seven-inning contest that featured zero hits for either side. Six pitchers combined on the feat: Juan Bello, Wilber Rodriguez and Yohan Crispin for the Cubs; Jonathan Salazar, Dioris Valdez and Hader Blanco for the Bucs.
Cubs Red’s only two runs of the game each came in the bottom of the first inning and were on a pair of errors. Leadoff hitters Darlyn De Leon walked to open the frame and moved to second on another free pass by Joan Delgado two batters later. When De Leon and Delgado pulled off a double steal, a throwing error by catcher Richard Ramirez brought De Leon in from third. Two batters later, Delgado also scored on a throwing error by PIT Black shortstop Kelvin Diaz.
Despite the zero hits allowed the rest of the way, Pirates pitchers remained as wild as their fielders, issuing seven walks over six innings on their side of the no-hitter. They did fan nine batters along the way too.
By comparison, Cubs hurlers were much more in control, issuing only four free passes in their seven frames. The starter Bello -- an 18-year-old right-hander who signed with Chicago back in January -- completed four of those innings, striking out two and walking only one.
The DSL is filled with young, inexperienced international players who are just getting their pro careers going, often leading to errors and bouts of pitching wildness. Leaguewide fielding percentage entering Thursday was .952, while pitchers averaged 5.2 BB/9 -- the highest walk rate at any affiliated circuit.
Thursday’s oddity represented the sixth and seventh no-hitters of the 2022 Dominican Summer League season. There have been 36 no-hitters of at least seven-innings length across all affiliated Minor Leagues in 2022.