Loosen tosses no-hitter for Class A Advanced Daytona
Strikes out nine, walks none in 7-0 victory over Dunedin
Until Monday, the Cubs' Class A Advanced Daytona squad hadn't seen a nine-inning no-hitter since a very special pitcher was in the infancy of a very promising career.
Kerry Wood took the mound on Aug. 24, 1996, before handing off to Darold Brown and Brandon Hammack as the three combined to allow zero hits and put their names in the history books.
Matt Loosen accomplished the feat all by himself on Monday, starting an 11 a.m. ET game against Dunedin and pitching nine innings of no-hit ball with temperatures inching toward the 90s.
Loosen struck out nine and walked two in the Cubs' 7-0 win over the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
If he can use it to help propel his career in a similar trajectory as Wood, who won National League Rookie of the Year honors two years later, the Cubs will be fortunate.
"I try not to get too high, even after something like this," Loosen told MiLB.com. "I'll look at the videotape, but I don't expect to change a lot of things. Obviously, my confidence is up a little, but there's no reason to get overconfident."
Loosen began his season with Double-A Tennessee but was demoted to Daytona after walking 26 batters in 35 innings while posting a 7.46 ERA.
"I had some command issues up there in Tennessee," he said. "I had some trouble locating my fastball, and my breaking pitches were pretty erratic, too. Since I've come back here, I've worked with [pitching coach Storm Davis], and the command definitely is better right now."
Loosen, 24, has 41 strikeouts to just 11 walks in 36 innings while posting a 2.25 ERA in six starts since his return.
He was selected out Jacksonville University in the 23rd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
He may have a ways to go with his career, but a no-hitter is certainly a good place to start.
"I didn't see this coming. I mean, it's impossible to predict something like this," Loosen said. "You try to stay positive, have a good mindset going in, stuff like that. But you don't ever expect to throw a no-hitter. I knew what I needed to do to get outs, and it just worked out really well today."