Mike Fiers

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Michael Bruce Fiers

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Mike Fiers was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 22nd round of the 2009 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Charlie Sullivan and made his pro debut that summer.

Fiers reached the majors as a September call-up in 2011, making his debut for the Brewers on September 14th. Facing the Colorado Rockies that game, he allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over a scoreless inning of relief work. he only pitched twice for the Brewers, giving up no runs in his two innings of work.

Michael picked up his first career victory on May 29, 2012, on the day of his call-up from the AAA Louisville Bats. He started the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium and did very well, giving up only one run over 7 innings; Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the 1st, and John Axford picked up the save to lock up a 2-1 win.

Fiers started the 2014 season in the minors, before being called up a first time in June, when he made four appearances out of the Brewers' bullpen, going 0-1, 2.57. He came back to the majors in August, this time as a starter and pitched extremely well as the rest of the pitching staff seemingly unraveled and the Brewers fell from first to third place in the NL Central. He was 6-1 over his first 7 starts as the staff's only consistent winner over the period. On September 11th, he was at the center of a scary incident in a game against the Miami Marlins, when one of his fastballs struck star OF Giancarlo Stanton in the face in the 5th inning. Stanton lay motionless at home plate for several minutes, bleeding profusely, and had to leave the game with multiple facial fractures and broken teeth, his season over. However, he had swung that the pitch for strike two, and a pinch-hitter, Reed Johnson had to complete the at-bat. Fiers struck him out on a pitch that also hit him, prompting a bench-clearing brawl that led to Marlins manager Mike Redmond and 3B Casey McGehee both being ejected for arguing home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn's decision to call both pitches strikes. Fiers left the game after those incidents; having completed five innings, he received credit for Milwaukee's 4-2 win. Visibly shaken, he immediately issued an apology to Stanton over the incident and explained to reporters:

"It was very tough. I've never in my life experienced something like that. It was very hard for me to take in everything at the moment and come back and throw another pitch. I just want to send my thoughts and prayers and everything to Giancarlo Stanton. You never think of throwing at somebody like that. Never in my life has that happened. I just feel very, very sad that I hit him. I'm sorry to their teammates, their fans, his family. It is just tough."

He was issued a fine by Major League Baseball for his role in the fracas, while the Marlins' Anthony DeSclafani was suspended for three games for throwing a retaliatory pitch at Carlos Gomez. He finished the season with a record of 6-5, 2.13 in 14 games.

Given how well he had pitched in the second half of 2014, the Brewers were expecting big things from Mike in 2015, but like the rest of the team , he struggled in the early going, a situation that led to the firing of manager Ron Roenicke and his replacement by Craig Counsell. He did pitch an immaculate inning, striking out the side on nine pitches, on May 7th. He was 5-9 but with a decent 3.89 ERA after 21 starts when on July 30th, he was traded to the Houston Astros along with OF Carlos Gomez in exchange for four prospects: Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, Adrian Houser, and Josh Hader. The Astros also acquired slot No. 76 in the 2015-16 international pool. His first game for the Astros did not go as expected, as on August 3rd, he came to pitch in the 3rd inning after starter Lance McCullers had been chased in the 1st and the Astros were already down, 6-3. He ended up pitching 5 innings, but gave up 6 runs on 7 hits, including the last two hits that allowed Adrian Beltre to complete his record-tying third career cycle as the Astros lost, 12-9. He had originally been scheduled to start the next day, but plans changed because of McCullers' short outing and the need not to overtax the bullpen. On August 21st, he pitched a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Ddogers in a 3-0 win. He needed 134 pitches to complete the game, struck out 10 batters, including Justin Turner to end the game and walked three, but retired the last 21 batters he faced in order. Not only was it his first career complete game, but he had never pitched in the 9th inning of a game he had started before this. It was the fifth no-hitter of the season, and the first in the history of Minute Maid Park.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Brian McTaggart: "Dream becomes reality for Fiers during no-no: Astros righty dedicates feat to family, friends", mlb.com, August 22, 2015. [1]

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