Portland (15-28) – 0
New Hampshire (17-25) – 6
WP: Brett Cecil (2-0)
LP: Anthony Ranaudo (0-1)
MANCHESTER – As the innings stretched on at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium the zeros in the visitor’s column followed as Brett Cecil, Danny Farquhar and Ronald Uviedo combined for the third-no hitter in Fisher Cats history, blanking the Portland Sea Dogs 6-0 on Monday night.
The Fisher Cats staff was in rare form, and although the crowd of 5,481 may have been initially focused on Sox top pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo, Cecil quickly shifted it all in his direction.
“How he attacked the [Sea Dogs hitters] made it easier for the relievers when they came into the game,” said catcher Brian Jeroloman. “He had them off-balance and it was a fun game to catch.”
Cecil was pulled from the game after 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball with the only runners reaching base via three free passes, none of which made it past first base.
Despite only throwing 86 pitches and coming off of back-to-back Ks, Sal Fasano opted to bring on Danny Farquhar who promptly struck out Juan Carlos Linares to end the sixth inning.
Farquhar threw 2 1/3 innings of hitless ball, striking out 3 and allowing only one walk. It was his second three-man no-hitter, the first coming in high school along with Alex Avila and Jose Mata.
“It was probably about the third inning we looked at the board,” said Faquhar, who was working on a new arm slot in the game. “We knew that Cecil’s pitch count wouldn’t get him to nine innings.
“We were just messing around, going, “We’re going to have to come in and finish this no-hitter.” I guess things worked out and we got to the bullpen and got the no-hitter.”
Ronald Uviedo came on in the bottom of the ninth to shut the door on the Sea Dogs. After allowing a lead-off walk he set down the next three batters, forcing Bryce Brentz to ground out to Ryan Goins to end the game.
Mike McDade led the Fisher Cats offense, going 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Going went 1 for 3 with a walk, RBI, 2 runs and 2 stolen bases.
Kyle Drabek threw the last Fisher Cats no-hitter back on July 4th, 2010 against the New Britain Rock Cats.
“In 2008 I had Cecil in Syracuse and he threw a no-hitter threw seven,” said Jeroloman, who was also behind the dish for Drabek’s no-hitter. “He got pulled because of a pitch count and ended up with a no decision in that game. I was hoping that wasn’t going to happen tonight.”
Thoughts on Ranaudo
All eyes were glued on Boston Red Sox top pitching prospect Anthony Ranaudo when he hit the hill in Manchester on Monday night. Partly because of the hype and partly because of his 6’7” frame, 6 feet of which seem to be legs. Initial reaction is that this kid has the stuff and it is evident in his fluid, almost-effortless delivery, highlighted on a fourth-inning ending strikeout of Brad McElroy.
However, it was not a good night overall for Ranaudo who walked five batters, allowed three hits and four runs. His fastball hit 92-93 mph on the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium board, which is rumored to be about 3-5 mph on the slow side, so that puts him in the mid-90s range. He tended to overthrow it at times, missing high.
He managed a 1-2-3 second inning where he managed to throw only nine pitches, but he finished the night having tossed 88 total pitches, 48 for strikes. He walked at least one batter in the other innings he worked and it was clear that he was a bit rattled at times, especially when working out of the stretch.
It will take time and is only his second start of the season. Once he builds up some confidence and momentum, the rest should fall into place and he should be a gem to watch him develop in the next couple of years.