Oakland Athletics starter Mason Miller and Seattle Mariners starter Bryce Miller made a special effort Tuesday night in Oakland in a game that would end in a 2-1 Mariners victory.
The pitchers, both rookies with Bryce making his MLB debut, gave up a single in the sixth inning. Mason Miller of the A’s had a no-hitter in seven innings, but was retired after 100 pitches in favor of reliever Richard Lovelady. Lovelady would record an out before giving up a tying home run against AJ Pollock.
Later in the inning, Mariners breakaway star Jarred Kelenic doubled the go-ahead run and the Mariners wouldn’t look back. However, let’s focus on the dueling rookies with the same last name as they were the story in this one.
Bryce, the Mariners’ Miller here, was perfect for five innings. He struckout the first batter he faced in the sixth before Tony Kemp singled. He would eventually have to give up one run, but it was a great debut.
Miller was only the third player since 1900 to debut with at least 10 strikeouts against zero walks, joining Stephen Strasburg (14K on June 8, 2010) and Johnny Cueto (10K on April 3, 2008). He came away without a decision, as he left the game trailing 1-0 to the Mariners, but gave his team a chance to come back by limiting his opponent so effectively.
Mason, the top pitching prospect of the A’s who made his third career start Tuesday-evening, had a little more trouble finding the strike zone than his counterpart. Still, we can get the old phrase “effectively wild” out of the way because the Mariners just couldn’t reconcile it. Miller walked four batters and struckout six, while giving up no hits in his seven innings. Considering he’s such a young and electric arm, the A’s opted to pull him after seven innings without a hit and 100 pitches.
Miller’s first MLB start came on April 19 and he threw 81 pitches. The last timeout, April 25, he threw 86. In his two minor league starts, he threw 56 and then 65 pitches, respectively. Last season he did not exceed 43 pitches in a game. He is 24 years old and a future star, so it makes sense that the club did not want to extend him further after he completed the seventh inning. Going seven innings without a hit against a 2022 playoff team is a nice feather in the hat anyway.
The final A’s no-hitter came from Mike Fiers, who pulled it off on May 7, 2019. They came within five outs here on a concerted effort, but it wasn’t to be.
But most of all, the rookie duel between Mason Miller and Bryce Miller was the main dish in this one and it was delightful.