Blue Jays' Palmer deals no-hitter -- again
Trent Palmer had the kind of night pitchers dream of on Aug. 19 for Low-A Dunedin. Less than a month later, he had another one. The right-handed Toronto prospect tossed his second seven-inning no-hitter in four weeks, striking out nine while walking just two as Dunedin silenced visiting Clearwater, 3-0.
Trent Palmer had the kind of night pitchers dream of on Aug. 19 for Low-A Dunedin.
Less than a month later, he had another one.
The right-handed Toronto prospect tossed his second seven-inning no-hitter in four weeks, striking out nine while walking just two as Dunedin silenced visiting Clearwater, 3-0.
“I think this time it was more excitement,” Palmer said. “It wasn’t as much of a shock as last time. I mean, obviously it was a shock, but this time I actually was able to celebrate, not more frozen. It’s pretty cool to be able to do it with [my teammates] twice.”
Palmer has been stellar all season for the Blue Jays, but started Wednesday night's outing on an auspicious note when he plunked Threshers leadoff man Jamari Baylor with the third pitch of the game. It didn’t rattle the 22-year-old. Palmer promptly retired the next 13 batters he faced, cruising into the fifth. That was when he knew the night could be special.
“Drew Hayes, our pitching coach, came over and said, ‘How are you feeling?’” Palmer recalled. “I said, ‘Good.’ He responded, ‘Well, keep 'good' in the vocabulary and finish this thing,’ and there it went.”
Inning after inning, strikeouts continued to pile up for Palmer, who fanned a career-high 11 in his last start on Sept. 8 at Tampa.
“The biggest thing was just changeup and slider command, being able to have it to get ahead early in counts and then go to the fastball or stay soft to put guys away, and the defense was beyond helpful,” he explained.
The Jacksonville product worked through some traffic in his final three innings. After walking Clearwater’s Juan Aparicio with one out in the fifth to snap his string of 13 straight outs, he bounced back to set down the next two to close the inning. The 22-year-old hit Arturo De Freitas with a pitch to open the sixth, but erased him on an inning-ending double play off the bat of Ethan Wilson.
Three outs away from his second no-hitter of the season, Palmer walked Threshers leadoff man Kendall Simmons in the seventh. Again, he was undaunted. Following a strikeout of Jared Carr, Palmer induced a lineout to left by Felix Reyes and a groundout in front of the plate from Aparicio to finish the feat. It was yet another moment the 2020 third-round pick will never forget in his debut professional season.
“Compared to where we were a year ago at this stage, it’s just nice being able to be back on a baseball field with teammates and just having fun playing the game that you grew up loving and enjoy playing,” Palmer said.
Since the start of July, the Rochester, Minnesota native has been dominant for Dunedin. Palmer sports a 4-1 record and a 2.09 ERA in his last 11 starts, striking out 68 batters in 51 2/3 innings while posting a 1.05 WHIP and limiting opponents to a .139 average. Impressive numbers, he said, come from steady preparation.
“Just actually having a true routine, stretching, making sure I’m doing arm care, I can’t thank the Blue Jays enough for stepping in and making sure I was doing those,” Palmer said. “I would do it occasionally in college, but I was never consistent. I thank them for making sure I’m doing those things that I’m supposed to be doing.”
Tyler Maun is a reporter for MiLB.com and co-host of “The Show Before The Show” podcast. You can find him on Twitter @tylermaun.