Rocket City trio combines on franchise's first no-no
You never forget your first, and for Chase Silseth, Luke Murphy, Eric Torres and Double-A Rocket City, this feeling will certainly last a lifetime.
You never forget your first, and for
The trio of Angels prospects combined to twirl the first no-hitter in the club's young history as the Trash Pandas blanked Biloxi, 8-0, at Toyota Field on Saturday night.
"It's always awesome to be a part of something like that, but kudos to Luke and Eric for finishing it off," Silseth said. "But really it was never in doubt. Just with our whole team, there was never a doubt. It's special to be a part of this night and this whole team in general."
𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐇𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐑𝐈𝐂 𝐍𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓.— Rocket City Trash Pandas (@trashpandas) September 4, 2022
A combined no-hitter from @Chase_Silseth, @LukeMurphy27_, and @torreseric_, with @z_humphreys10 behind the plate. pic.twitter.com/KHuvTwxXUJ
Even before accomplishing this feat, familiarity and camaraderie may have already been established between these three hurlers as they were all selected in the 2021 Draft by the Angels. Silseth, the organization's seventh-ranked prospect, was taken in the 11th round. Murphy, the No. 27 prospect, was a fourth-round pick and Torres, ranked No. 28, was selected in the 14th round by Los Angeles.
"I think that accomplishing something like this is obviously meaningful, but I think the most impactful thing for everyone involved was that they were able to do it together," Trash Pandas skipper Andy Schatzley said. "If you ask them about the morale or group dynamic of the locker room, it's not the history component that's going to be the focus of this, but that they accomplished something that's incredibly difficult together. And that continues to validate the process that you have in place and the relationships that you have in place and really keeps you more committed to them."
Coming off of arguably the best start of his career, Silseth immediately displayed that he was picking up right where he left off. The right-hander struck out the first five batters he faced en route to taking a perfect game into the seventh inning.
"From that first inning, when I first stepped on that mound, I knew I had something going," Silseth said. "But I just went pitch-by-pitch, inning-by-inning, it's something that I'm learning now. In the past, I always let emotion or a bad pitch or at-bat stick with me, but now I'm just going out there knowing I have the stuff and I'm capable of accomplishing something like this."
After whiffing the first two batters of the seventh, the first baserunner for the Shuckers reached after a catcher's interference call on an 0-1 pitch. The blemish appeared to rattle the 22-year-old briefly as the next offering was a wild pitch that allowed Garrett Whitley to move into scoring position, before the following batter reached base on a seven-pitch walk. But that would be the extent of the damage as Silseth locked back in to coax Wes Clarke into a forceout at third to end the frame.
"I think it was because I was in the windup all game -- and you get in a groove from the windup -- and then you're pitching out of the stretch and that just felt foreign," Silseth said.
Still, no harm, no foul as the Arizona product exited after yielding just one walk and whiffing 10 over seven frames. This comes five days after Silseth allowed two runs on a pair of hits and one walk while fanning a career-high 11 over six frames.
"I definitely found a groove last week with fastball location and optimal slider locations, and I think I just brought it into this week," Silseth said. "I think when you're on a roll, you just want to keep it going."
Murphy kept it going in the eighth. The right-hander worked around a pair of walks and struck out Corey Ray with two on and two out to escape the frame unscathed.
It was more of the same in the ninth, as Torres issued a walk to open the inning before punching out consecutive batters. Another two-out walk to Clarke would put another Biloxi player in scoring position for the third straight inning, but the 22-year-old whiffed Zavier Warren to end the game and complete the milestone.
"Normally after I exit, I go inside to do a mini-workout with the strength coach to start my recovery, but this time I asked if I could stay in the dugout to watch the guys finish this off," Silseth said. "The strength coach said, 'Heck yeah,' and we got a front row seat to witness history."
Rob Terranova is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobTnova24.