Two starting pitchers with a hand in a no-hitter last season will take the mound Wednesday night in the rubber match of the three-game series between the Milwaukee Brewers and host Baltimore Orioles.
National League Cy Young Award recipient Corbin Burnes (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will pitch for the Brewers, who rebounded from a 2-0 setback in the series opener on Monday with a 5-4 win the following night.
Burnes, a 27-year-old right-hander, struck out 14 over eight innings before Maryland native Josh Hader completed the combined no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Cleveland on Sept. 11.
Burnes wasn’t as effective to start this season. He received a no-decision Thursday after allowing three runs on four hits in five innings in a 5-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
“Never really actually found the command of the cutter,” Burnes said of his performance. “Kind of one of those things. I found it a little bit in the third, but then I just kind of lost it.”
Burnes, who has yet to face the Orioles in his career, would be wise to keep a keen eye on Cedric Mullins.
Mullins has accounted for all six of his team’s runs in the series. He had a two-run single in the second inning Monday before hitting his first career grand slam on Tuesday.
The Orioles, however, are 4-for-47 with runners in scoring position this season. The team, in fact, had five strikeouts in that situation in the eighth and ninth innings alone on Tuesday.
Hader had two of those strikeouts in the ninth inning and earned his second save.
“Living the childhood dream,” Hader told Bally Sports Wisconsin after the game. “It’s an amazing feeling just to be back and be able to get the save here.”
Baltimore left-hander John Means (0-0, 2.25 ERA), who has yet to face the Brewers, will provide the opposition for Burnes on Wednesday. The 28-year-old etched his name into the record books after striking out 12 without a walk in his no-hitter against Seattle on May 5.
Means also received a no-decision in his first outing on Friday. He allowed one run on six hits while tossing 84 pitches over four innings against Tampa Bay.
“I knew, especially with those long, long innings, that I was probably going to be limited to four or five, and then the next one was long and I was like, OK, let’s get through the fourth,'” Means said. “It was a grinder for the first one.”
Andrew McCutchen drove in three runs on two hits Tuesday. He has hit safely in four of five games this season for the Brewers.
“I think (Tuesday) was a situation you have him there for sure late in the game in the middle of the lineup,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “They are going to bring lefties in to try to get Christian (Yelich) out. But that’s protection, that’s kinda the definition of it. Getting him matchups there in good spots. He did what he’s here to do, and get a big hit for us, and I think he’s gonna do a lot more of it.”
–Field Level Media