Stammen happy to get so close to a no-no

Syracuse Chiefs starter Craig Stammen is still remembering what could have been Friday night when he came within one out and two strikes of a no-hitter.

Stammen beat the Gwinnett Braves 5-0 in a seven-inning game, allowing only a two-out base hit to Josh Anderson.

"He was terrific. He got groundball outs like we have seen before and was in total control," said Chiefs play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti of Stammen's performance.

Of Stammen's 21 outs, 12 were ground balls.

Stammen told me he was close and obviously wanted that no-hitter. The hit came on a 0-1 pitch and the pitch ended up a little lower than he wanted it. He said he was second-guessing himself a little and wished he had thrown a sinker instead.

Stammen also said he had given up just four infield singles in his other start and the pair of solo HRs came in a park what felt like "Little League"-like dimensions in Charlotte: 325 down the line and 400 to center.

Stammen is now 1-0 with 2.70 ERA in a pair of minor league starts.

As Brian Oliver from NatsFarm.com told me Friday, it's a good thing for Stammen that the organization thinks so highly of him that they want him to be a starter and not a reliever at this point in his career. They could have easily put him in the bullpen but they believe he has starter stuff and Friday's near no-no will only help him get back to the Nats on a quicker pace.

If the Chiefs game rolls along today, Stammen will be on with me live on "Nats Insider" at 5:30 p.m. on WFED, Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

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