Absolutely unbelievable. 27 up, 27 down. The first individual no-hitter in Akron Aeros history, let alone a perfect game, just took place as 21-year-old Venezuela native Jeanmar Gomez pitched a perfect nine innings against the Trenton Thunder earlier today. It was the rubber match of a three-game series which was a rematch of the previous two Eastern League Finals won by Trenton, and Gomez improved to 4-0 with a 0.31 ERA in four starts with the Aeros.
Since being promoted from Class A Kinston on April 29th to replace Steven Wright in the starting rotation, Gomez has been really, really ridiculously good. In 29.0 innings pitched in his four starts, he has now allowed only nine hits, one run and one walk, while striking out 27 batters. In an odd relationship, Gomez was actually born just weeks before teammate and compatriot Hector Rondon, who made his return to the starting rotation last night while taking the loss. Mr. Gomez will now shoot up the organizational radar after a not as stellar but still impressive start to his professional career:
2005 with Cleveland DSL: 13 games, 10 starts, 5-3 record with a 1.33 ERA
2006 with Indians GCL: 11 games, 9 starts, 4-3 record with a 2.48 ERA
2007 with Lake County: 27 games, 27 starts, 11-7 record with a 4.80 ERA
2008 with Kinston: 27 games, 27 starts, 5-9 record with a 4.55 ERA
2009 with Kinston: 4 games, 4 starts, 2-2 record with a 2.63 ERA
Over the past four weeks, he has been one of the best pitchers in all of professional baseball. In his past six starts between Kinston and Akron spanning 42 innings he has a 0.21 ERA allowing only two runs (one earned), 15 hits and four walks while striking out 36. Tonight, en route to the perfect game which was just the third no-hitter in Aeros history after two combined no-no’s during the 2003 season, he struck out eight, got ten Thunder hitters to fly out and had nine ground out. It was an overall phenomenal start, and it needed some great defense too as LF Matt McBride made a stunning diving catch for the first out in the bottom of the ninth.
Today’s perfecto was just the third no-hitter in Minor League Baseball this season, and the first perfect game since July 15, 2007. It was also the first complete game shutout for an Aero since hot-shot prospect Adam Miller did so in an 11-strikeout performance in August 2006. Meanwhile, the last Indians player to throw a no-hitter was Len Barker back in 1981.
Hey Columbus, you need a new starter? Check out this guy. He should be great arm in the organization for many years to come. Congratulations Jeanmar on this historical achievement and this magical outing!
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.