by Alex Poletti
In an official statement from the Commissioner’s Office early Wednesday morning, Major League Baseball nullified Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers’ no-hitter, the second of his career, because it came against the Cincinnati Reds.
“After careful review, we have ruled that this game does not count,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says. “The rules are clear: a no-hitter must come against another MLB team. What we saw last night was not an MLB team.”
The Reds have the second most losses in the National League, while hitting a measeley .212 in their first 36 games, tied for worst in all of baseball.
In what would have been the 300th no-hitter in MLB history, Fiers fanned six and walked two. Although he was disappointed, the journeyman understood the decision.
“I get it, the caliber of team just wasn’t there,” Fiers says. “The first time I threw a no-no, it was against the Dodgers, who were a real team. This wasn’t the same.”
Despite overturning the no-hitter, Oakland will remain in the win column, while the Reds will still be given the loss.
“At this point we’ll take any break we can get,” Reds manager David Bell says. “Did we win a game? No. But this is closer than we’ve been in a while.”
According to sources in the Commissioner’s Office, the reasoning for this decision was twofold: pitchers should only be rewarded for playing against actual teams, and the Reds deserve a break.
“I mean, come on, haven’t these guys gotten picked on enough?” Manfred says. “They’re already living in Cincinnati. We don’t need to add insult to injury.”
This is the third time this decade that the Reds have been no-hit, the first time by the late Hall of Famer Roy Halladay in the 2010 NLDS, and the second time by Jake Arrieta in 2016. Fiers’ performance differs from the other two, as both previous pitchers won Cy Youngs in their respective years. Fiers, on the other hand, lowered his ERA to 5.48 after his 134-pitch showing, seemingly taking him out of Cy Young consideration.
“Although I’m disappointed the game didn’t count, it could have been a lot worse,” Fiers admits. “If I had thrown a no-hitter against San Francisco, they would have charged me with elder abuse.”