Angels rookie Reid Detmers’ slow-speed throws didn’t hit

It was a simple question with an elusive answer: how does a boy throws a no-hitter with only two strikeoutsan overwhelming 92 mph fastball and a non-electric four-shot mix that generated just 10 swinging shots in 108 shots, as Angels southpaw Reid Detmers did against Tampa Bay on Tuesday night?

“Yes, you have to play defense, right?” Angels manager Joe Maddon said after Detmers, a 22-year-old rookie, pitched the 12th no-hitter in franchise history in his 11th big league start. “You must be in the right places.”

True, but the Angels’ defense wasn’t really put to the test in the 12-0 win. Brandon Marsh ran in from left field to catch a Harold Ramirez flare in the fourth inning, third baseman Anthony Ramirez leapt to catch Vidal Brujan’s line drive in sixth and first baseman Jared Walsh backhand hit the ground by Kevin Kiermaier close to the sack to start a double game in the sixth, but on a scale of difficulty, the comedies tended more to routine than spectacle.

A better explanation of how Detmers teamed up with Ken Holtzman (1969), Clyde Wright (1970), Jerry Reuss (1980) and Francisco Liriano (2011) as the only pitchers to throw no-hitters with two or fewer strikeouts from the start of the division game in 1969 came from the opposing bench.

“Personally, I didn’t think it was anything special,” Ray Taylor Walls interior said. “I just think he did a good job of locating his fields. He kept us off balance, made us guess.

“Many times in the batter count, when we were sitting hard, he threw something soft and was able to command it in the area. When we got him, he would be back in the count. So I don’t know … just poor approaches from us and a good job from him. “

Detmers, the 10th overall pick of Louisville’s 2020 draft, does not overwhelm opponents with its repertoire, which features a four-stitched fastball that averages 92.3 mph and peaked at 93.9 mph on Tuesday night. , a circular curve of 72.6 mph, a shift of 83.6 mph and a slider of 82.6 mph.

But he turned a gem on a memorable and magical night at Angel Stadium because he launched. He changed speed, moved the ball around the zone and wasn’t afraid to get into right-handed hitters with all of his pitches.

He took the lead on the counts, throwing strikes from the first pitch to 14 out of 28 batters. He threw on contact and the Rays didn’t get much of it, hitting just four balls with exit speeds of 100 mph or more.

And he made some changes. Detmers’ best off-speed shot is his curve, which he threw 27 times, but he also threw his gear 24 times. The most he had ever thrown his change in one game was nine times.

“We had a plan to come into play and we made a couple of pins,” said Chad Wallach, the veteran who caught the first no-hitter of his career on his second start with the Angels.

“His change was incredible tonight. It probably wasn’t the course we expected. It makes the ball spin a lot. We’ve seen the first couple innings how good they are [the changeup] it was, and we just ran with it.

Detmers played a perfect game for five innings and went to the three-ball count to just three batters before walking the walls to start the sixth. Of the five times he has had 1-and-1s, Detmers has dropped a strike to get to 1-2 four times.

“When you get better counts, hitters become fewer hitters,” Maddon said. “If you are constantly on bad counts, you are always behind the batters. It’s not a big secret. The turning point is normally the 1-1 field. When you can go from 1-1 to 1-2 you have a good chance of having a decent night on a regular basis.

“Everyone is trying to do it. But sometimes you are looking to lose bats instead of trusting your stuff and sticking with your particular game plan. I would like to see him continue on that path of assertiveness, aggression and more challenging the batters. “

Nobody, not even Detmers, saw this no-hitter coming. Detmers hadn’t pitched more than six innings in a league game, and was occasionally effective but mostly erratic in his first five starts this season, going 1-1 with an ERA of 5.32.

He needed 88 shots to complete five innings against Cleveland on April 28 and 78 shots to pitch 4 2/3 innings in Boston on May 4.

Considering his track record, did Detmers think it was possible?

“I don’t even know, honestly,” he said. “It just occurred to me to enter the pitch that I would change a couple of things. In a way, I stuck to that, and it worked.

“I thought my shit was pretty good. I wouldn’t say it was anything different. I was hitting my points a little harder, using a couple of different throws, but things fell into place at the right time and I made the you shoot when I needed it.