This Sunday, April 26, we’re streaming Anthony Misiewicz’s 2019 no-hit bid on Facebook, and look forward to (virtually) hanging out with you. We’ll have a live Q&A with Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto, trivia questions, and a few Rainiers giveaways, so stop by our Facebook page at 1:35 p.m. PT on Sunday for the closest thing to a day at Cheney Stadium we can think of in these times.
We also whipped up a short documentary of the game, as told by Misiewicz, Curto, manager Daren Brown and others. Still have questions for Misiewicz about the game, his career, or what he’s doing to stay busy in shelter? He’ll be taking over our Twitter on Sunday (12:30 – 1:30 p.m. PT) before the stream, so tweet your questions at @RainiersLand using the hashtag #AskTheRainiers.
On August 4, 2019, Anthony Misiewicz pitched 8 hit-less innings against the Iowa Cubs before being pulled from the game because of his high pitch count. The Rainiers won the game, 5-0, but the potential combined no-hitter was lost on a leadoff double in the 9th inning. It’s Misiewicz’s career-best game to-date, but his 116 pitches forced manager Daren Brown to remove him from the game with the no-hitter intact, leaving us wondering, ‘what would’ve happened if Misiewicz had gone out for the 9th inning?’ It’s a bittersweet story with a unique conflict because Daren Brown needed to do what was right for Misiewicz’s health, but the pitcher lost his chance at a historic accomplishment. All near-no-hitters have a story behind them, but this has a particularly unique circumstance: Misiewicz didn’t fail; he never allowed a hit. But he also didn’t complete the game, and the no-hitter was lost. Here’s the story of that game, as told by those who played it, coached it, witnessed it, and of course, tweeted it.
The Oral History of Anthony Misiewicz’s No-Hit Bid on Aug. 4, 2019
Another Sunday at the Office – 9 a.m.
Broadcaster Mike Curto (MC): The day itself, it’s just kind of another day in a long season.
Pitcher Anthony Misiewicz (AM): I just did my normal routine. I woke up, had my eggs, had my pancakes and I came to the field. I always wear the same shirt- button-up collar with stripes- with my shorts and my Docs.
Creative Director Casey Catherwood (CC): The entire pregame playlist was all blues music. Sunday’s the only day of the week you can pull that off.
Public Address Announcer Randy McNair (RM): The fans on Sunday are coming to the ballpark looking for a Rainiers win, I know that. And they’re also looking to have a good time at the same time.
CC: Sundays at the park are a little bit different. They’re not as cranked up as Friday and Saturday where we’re trying to create this big vibe that’s louder and got more energy. It’s a different energy, but it’s still just as sensational.
AM: ‘Rosé All Day’ I remember that. It always plays and I remember that because it just makes me crack up.
CC: There’s sort of like a holiness to a Sunday of baseball, right? It’s very All-American and particularly on this day we’re talking about, August 4, 2019, there was something really special about this day.
MC: In his previous start, [Misiewicz] had his best start at Triple-A so far. He had allowed just one earned run in 6 innings five days ahead of time, so he was coming off of his best game that he had pitched and on this day he faced Iowa, a team that we rarely play, just one series a year and we don’t know a whole lot about them.
Just Getting Warmed Up – 11 a.m.
AM: Honestly, I’m very easy going and I love interacting with all the guys, coaches and everything. But on game day, it’s funny, I’m always super interactive until I get ready for my shower. And once I get my shower I kind of just throw my headphones on and if anyone gets in my way I kind of just have an attitude toward them. I don’t know why. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.
Director of Media Relations and Content Development AJ Garcia (AG): Misiewicz, like a lot of pitchers, is a different guy when it’s his day to take the ball. He’s more intense, he’s got the headphones on, and no one is getting in his way. I definitely noticed a little bounce in his step. It was different.
Tacoma Rainiers Manager Daren Brown (DB): You know, he’s intense. He’s intense from the time he heads out to do his work. He’s on task. He knows it’s his day. He’s got the ball. From the time he gets there he’s focused on what he’s going to do.
AM: I had a decent July, but got kind of banged around a bit. I just think the focus was there for that game. I knew the Iowa Cubs were like one of the best teams too. And my family was in town from Vancouver. They came and got to watch me perform. It was the adrenaline that I needed for that day.
DB: When he comes in, he’s ready to go. When he comes in from the bullpen he’s slapping hands, getting ready, saying ‘let’s go!’ That’s how he’s wired.
AM: You can feel it in your warm-ups when you’re throwing. Sometimes you have the best bullpen before the game and you just can’t perform out in the game… I actually had a really good bullpen and it worked out that the good bullpen transferred to the game, and the positive energy was just helping me more and more that day.
Play Ball! – 1:38 p.m.
RM: You got Jordani playing on the organ and you’ve got baseball, and then on this day you’ve got 80-degree weather, blue skies, Mt. Rainier is off over the first base side. And, of course, the fans, like they always do, packed the stadium to enjoy a baseball game. So it was a beautiful day at Cheney that’s for sure.
— Tacoma Rainiers (@RainiersLand) August 4, 2019
CC: We opened the game by saying, “It’s time for a serving of South Sound splendor served with a side of sunshine, and it’s just the medicine we need.” That is Sunday baseball at Cheney Stadium.
AM: Honestly, I’m usually scared before the first pitch. Once I see my face on the big screen I’m like, ‘oh, man’ and once I get the first out it’s alright. After that first inning, I don’t even know how many swing and misses they had, but then I was like, “oh, this is going to turn out to be a good day.” You get the mentality that they don’t want to be there any more than you do.
AM: Locating my fastball in, really getting in, definitely in this league, in the PCL, and any other league to be honest. Gotta get to the inner half, make the hitter uncomfortable, and then go to your best secondary pitch. For me it’s my curveball, and my cutter is kind of working up in that area. I think just dominating with the fastball early and being able to get the quick outs with off-speed.
DB: A lot of it was just locating the fastball, using his cutter, getting his breaking ball over the plate and, you know, his game before was good but his last five or six outings [of the season] were really good and this was one of them.
RM: It was a baseball game. As far as the game itself, he was pitching well, but you’re not really thinking much into it that early because there’s so much more baseball to play after those first couple innings, but he was definitely pitching well.
Mike Curto: “The day did not really become memorable until Anthony Misiewicz started to put those zeroes up on the scoreboard.”
Rainiers score, 1-0 – 1:51 p.m.: In the home half of the 1st, Ian Miller tripled to start the inning. Two batters later, he scored when Eric Filia grounded out to first baseman Trent Giambrone.
Rainiers score, 2-0 – 2:03 p.m.: With one out in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Jose Lobaton hit a *solo home run to right field off on a 3-1 pitch from Iowa starting pitcher Tyson Miller.
*This was Lobaton’s 13th and final home run with the Rainiers, and he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers five days later.
The Lone Baserunner – 2:29 p.m.
MC: On this day he didn’t just get the first hitter out. He got the first 10 hitters out, and then in the fourth inning he walked a batter.
AM: The funny thing is I told myself “don’t walk him”. The number one rule you don’t do is walk him. So I tried to groove one in there and it didn’t work out. After that I have to get back to what I was doing. I always say it when we’re in the dugout or we’re watching our charts, that 82 percent of walks come around to score.
Don’t Even Think About It – 2:44 p.m.
MC: I was watching the pitch count too and I wrote down in my scorebook that after 4 innings he had thrown 61 pitches so that’s when I started to at least track it.
AM: It’s definitely after the 4th or 5th inning for me… I get a little boost right there.
DB: I think for me, it’s probably when you get around the 5th that I start looking at it. I’m not that superstitious, but I’m also not going to even talk about it, just in case that might be right.
AG: In the 5th inning you are now aware. If he gets through the 6th, you’re like ‘ok, it’s on.’
MC: I don’t say he’s throwing a no-hitter. I work around it in the many ways that you can say that he’s throwing a no-hitter without saying the two words “no-hitter.” I’m one of those superstitious goofballs.
CC: Don’t talk to that guy. Heaven forbid an intern coughs or says the wrong thing or mentions it. You know that that’s the type of thing that would happen. Everybody is a little more on pins and needles.
AM: If it’s anybody on your team, and absolutely in your organization… obviously, you don’t say anything, or even think about it. Just keep rooting for him, keep it light, and just make sure he’s still in the moment and keep everyone engaged.
RM: It gets my attention in the 5th inning for sure. And then, in the 6th inning, it’s like the game is pulling you in and things become quieter in the booth.
AM: I kind of had a clue because I think I heard Dakota Mekkes in their bullpen saying something about no-hitting or a “no-hitter, bud” and everybody was screaming and I was like, “oh, maybe yeah.”
DB: There’s not a pitcher alive that knows what’s going on and doesn’t turn around and look at the zero in the hits column in the 6th and 7th inning and think about what [he’s] doing.
AM: Generally I try not to look at the scoreboard when I’m pitching because it just throws me off but if I’m throwing a little bit harder, I’ll do velo (velocity) checks every now and then.
DB: I don’t know how many pitches he had after 5, but it was something that I looked at because there was a chance. Things would have to move rather smoothly, but at the same time, there was a chance.
Rainiers Score, 3-0 – 2:54 p.m.: Ian Miller adds to a strong offensive performance (2-for-2, HR, 3B, 2 R, RBI) in the bottom of the 5th with his *11th home run of the season on a 1-0 pitch from Tyson Miller.
*Like Lobaton, this would be Miller’s final home run in a Tacoma uniform. The fan favorite was dealt to the Minnesota Twins six days later and would go on to make his Major League debut on September 4 after nearly 700 career Minor League games.
Mike Curto on the broadcast at the start of the 6th inning: This is, in all likelihood, going to be his last inning regardless of what happens unless he has a very quick frame.
RM: There’s really not much said except for the occasional clap after an out, the announced batter and from there, it’s kind of quiet because at that point we know something special might be unfolding in front of our eyes.
MC: When they get through 6 innings, is usually when during commercial break on the radio I start digging out the list of Tacoma no-hitters and try to find the last PCL no-hitter, just to have that information ready.
AM: I always go up to the sheet and look to see [how many pitches I have] and gauge how I feel, but to be honest, after 116 you really don’t feel it. After about 50 I was kinda like, “alright, it’s about the same as throwing 60 pitches.” You never really know how much your arm can take and you never want to get hurt.
The Seventh Inning – 3:16 p.m.
MC: Misiewicz is pitching into the 7th inning for his second time this season. He’s over 100 pitches now for the first time.
DB: I remember saying to [Pitching Coach Lance Painter] in the dugout, “I don’t see this happening.” He knows as a former pitcher talking to a pitching coach that I want to give him every opportunity to do it.
RM: By the 7th inning, I think we’re all kind of leaning forward each pitch, watching the game intently.
DB: There has to be a number there that you’re comfortable with. 110-115 I’m comfortable with for a guy that’s been a starter and he’s got something special going.
DB: I just knew after 6 he needs to have a 6- or 7-pitch inning which is hard to do and he needs to have another one in the 8th.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) August 4, 2019
CC: I hopped off the dugout after singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and immediately ran into our office and started the works to dial up graphics for if he were to get a no-hitter. Of course, we don’t have anything like that just built, so you have to go build that on the fly. We start building those. His name, no hitter, congratulations, we’re looking at the history of it all and I’m facilitating all of that to get back to our control room.
Rainiers Score, 5-0 – 3:28 p.m.: The Rainiers mashed their third home run of the game, this time off the bat of Chris Mariscal. On Tyson Miller’s final pitch of the day, Mariscal blasted a two-run shot over the left centerfield fence to push Misiewicz’s cushion to 5 runs and chase Miller from the game.
That’s It – 3:44 p.m.
MC: He had an 11-pitch 7th inning and a 13-pitch 8th inning with the no-hitter on the line in the late innings and the pitch count increasing.
AG: The 8th inning wraps up. You’re waiting at the steps for Misiewicz. What do you say to him?
DB: Nice job, that’s gonna be it. I hate it, but that’s it.
MC: At 116 pitches through 8 innings, it’s tough to send him out there for another inning if you’re one of the coaches. He was striking guys out, that was the thing. He had 10 strikeouts in the game and he had two in the 8th inning. Strikeouts are great, but they run up the pitch count a bit.
AM: I pleaded with him and said, “C’mon Brownie, give me 130. I definitely got one more,” and he said, “Nah, that’s it.” And Painter said the same thing and everyone was giving me hugs and going crazy.
DB: He wanted to stay. There’s a point where I’m fine with listening. If he had been at 105 pitches, I would’ve probably asked how he felt and he can talk me into it from there. There’s also some decisions, at 116, there’s nothing he’s going to say to talk me into it.
AM: Yeah I agree, but at the same time I still have my doubts. It was me so I’m always going to have my doubts about it. I think not many guys get to do that or have the opportunity to do that in their professional career. I think at least let me get the opportunity.
DB: I want to hear that he wants to go back out. I think that’s what he’s going to say. He’s a competitor. The decision was made during that inning.
AM: I can throw 130 pitches and I’m still going to feel the same tomorrow and the next day, but it was definitely the right move. I don’t want to hurt myself, but looking back, at the time I was definitely upset.
Now Pitching for your Rainiers, Taylor Guilbeau – 3:50 p.m.
AG: I know it’s not what happened, but when you watch it, it was almost like [Brown] was trying to quietly sneak Taylor Guilbeau into the game. Because it happens between innings, and if you’re not watching, you don’t even notice the guy jogging in from the bullpen.
MC: It’s a home game. It’s a Sunday. There’s a good crowd at Cheney Stadium. There’s no pitch count on the scoreboard or anything; we don’t have that information for the fans to see in our stadium. So they don’t know how many pitches he’s thrown or how long he’s been in there.
AG: Before you know it, Daren Brown’s getting booed by 5,200 Rainiers fans.
DB: We have the walkie talkies for our bullpen, and the crowd’s booing. All of a sudden our walkie talkie goes off and our bullpen is booing as well.
RM: That’s the first time that I’ve announced a pitcher and people have booed for the home team. So there’s that. This was the one time where I toned it down and to kind of feed the fans a little bit and cater to them, I sounded a little monotone like I was disappointed.
DB: I would’ve booed, myself. But at the same time, I’ve got all the information that I have, and I knew it was the right decision. It was the right decision for Misiewicz looking further down the road.
Misiewicz is done after eight innings, and Taylor Guilbeau will try to finish the Rainiers first (deleted) since 2001.
— Mike Curto (@CurtoWorld) August 4, 2019
MC: I find myself feeling bad for Taylor Guilbeau. He had just been traded less than a week earlier. This was only his second game with his new team and he comes in from the bullpen trying to protect a no-hitter in the 9th inning and he’s already in a new, kind of uncomfortable situation, not knowing his teammates and then comes in in this high pressure moment.
Iowa gets their only hit of the game – 3:51 p.m.: On the first pitch of the inning from Guilbeau, Donnie Dewees hit an opposite field double off the base of the left field wall.
RM: It took it coming off the bat for me to know that there goes the combined no-hitter.
“There will be no no-hitter. Not Today.”
AG: Any reaction when you saw the double go off the wall as it pertained to the no-hitter?
DB: No… other than the fact that I got booed again.
AM: I just started laughing. Me and [Darren] McCaughan, we were just cracking up, man. I had a mouthful of Gatorade and I just spit it out. Nothing on Gilbeau, it’s just one of those things. Another lefty comes in, something different, and first pitch is a hit and I was cracking up, like, “what are you gonna do?” And he ended up closing it out so it was all good in my book honestly.
DB: I would do the same thing again with the personnel that we had. Guilbeau would’ve come in with the lefty leading off. I think there was another lefty a couple hitters behind. Obviously it didn’t work out, but he didn’t give up a run.
“The Tacoma Rainiers win it, 5-0 the final, as they pitch a one-hitter” – 3:59 p.m.:
*Guilbeau did not pitch another game at Cheney Stadium in 2019. On Aug. 15, his contract was selected by the Seattle Mariners and the 26-year-old made his Major League debut two days later in Toronto.
AM: It’s an accomplishment. I feel like I came up short though. I didn’t get the opportunity, and I believe in my abilities that I could’ve done it and I feel like it would’ve been easy at that point. Not too many guys get the opportunity in their careers to even have the chance to do that, and many Americans don’t have the chance to play at all, so I’m definitely blessed to get that opportunity and to perform that well.
DB: I remember saying to him after that, “if you have the same opportunity in the big leagues, I can guarantee you, you will be allowed to go out and finish the no-hitter. It just won’t happen here.”
CC: I remember going back down to say goodbye to fans and everyone wants to talk to me and they want me to be upset like, “Oh, we were robbed. He should’ve gone out there,” and I kind of know the information like it’s a lot of pitches and all of that.
RM: I think we all were disappointed, there was a part of us that we were disappointed in the situation. It’s almost like you’ve won a lottery ticket when these things happen because it’s very rare for someone to catch something like this.
The Pacific Coast League announced today their Players of the Week for the week of July 29-August 4. From the @okc_dodgers
our Player of the Week is Edwin Rios. From the @RainiersLand
our Pitcher of the Week is Anthony Misiewicz. https://t.co/Y8ny8sS73n
— Triple-A Baseball (@TripleABaseball) August 5, 2019
CC: I always side with the fans. I side with the Rainiers. We want our team to win, we want Tacoma to win, so I had to kind of fake a sadness for this whole thing. I obviously would’ve loved to have seen a no hitter, never seen one in real life, never seen one for the Rainiers so I had to be like, “Oh! I know! Couldn’t they have just put some ice on him? Put him on the mound with the ice on him. I don’t care!” I wasn’t that upset.
RM: We haven’t seen this happen in Tacoma… I’m sure some long-time die-hard fans have seen it, but come on, it’s been 18 seasons of going to these games and it hasn’t happened?
MC: Obviously I was disappointed. You always want to call a no-hitter. It’s been a long time for me. When I first got the Tacoma job (1999), we had a flurry of no-hitters. There were 5 no-hitters either pitched by Tacoma or against the Rainiers in the first 3 years that I called Rainiers games, then the last one was in 2001 so we’ve been in a long drought.
CC: It’s 1000% a happy story. That’s the glory of saying “Go Rainiers!” at the end of every 7th inning because, realistically, there’s this wonderful thing about Triple-A baseball where you come, you enjoy it, you root for your team, and if they win by 50, if they lose by 50, at the end of the day, you’ve still spent a perfect Sunday in the South Sound and walk away having had an affordable, wonderful time making memories and most people forgot what happened [in the game] by the time they laid down in bed that night.
AM: It was one of the best days I’ve had in baseball that’s for sure.
The Next Day
AM: I think I took the day off.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers, Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Tacoma has been a member of the Pacific Coast League since Cheney Stadium opened in 1960, and has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.
More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.