His name may not dot many of those top prospects lists just yet, but as of last Sunday right-hander Garrett Stallings has his name in the record book for the Double-A Bowie Baysox.
In Game 1 of a doubleheader versus Harrisburg at Prince George’s Stadium, Stallings threw the first six innings of a seven-inning combined no-hitter. Right-hander Morgan McSweeney got the last three outs as Bowie blanked Harrisburg 4-0. Over the six frames, Stallings walked two, fanned five and threw 75 pitches. He didn’t get to finish it out but he did get to be a part of Baysox history.
“It was very, very special,” Stallings told me this week on my WBAL Radio Orioles postgame show. “It doesn’t happen every day and definitely had the right mix going and handed the ball off to Morgan, who finished it out. Very cool being part of the 11th no-hitter in Baysox history.”
With that win, Stallings, who pitches again tonight for Bowie, improved to 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA over five games. He has walked eight and fanned 23 in 24 innings with a WHIP of 0.75, allowing an opponent batting average of .125 and OPS of .508.
A strong start to his season and a great outing for the fifth round pick out of the University of Tennessee by the Los Angeles Angels in 2019.
“I kind of eased into the first few innings and really finished strong with some of my stuff. All five pitches were working well for me. Cody (Roberts) was doing a great job behind the plate. We were on the same page. Honestly had some great infield and outfield work behind me as well,” said Stallings of the no-no.
Stallings and pitcher Jean Pinto, who is now with high Single-A Aberdeen, were acquired by the Orioles on Dec. 2, 2020 in the deal that sent shortstop Jose Iglesias to the Angels.
Now Stallings seems to be thriving in the Orioles' pitching development program, soaking up all the resources and coaching available to him.
“You know they give us all the tools to see our data, see our spin rate,” Stallings said. “See what trends our pitches are moving in. Are there any questionable areas that you need to improve? Are your pitches doing anything drastic from start-to-start? So, it’s good to have the foundation to go back on. Hey, when you throw these pitchers to these hitters you have a lot of success. Maybe when you are struggling a little bit, they’ll help you figure some things out too."
“There is always a constant communication," Stallings added. "We are getting all the right information pre-start. You know what hitters are hot, what pitches they do damage on and then you know you can work there with your catchers and other pitchers to communicate what is going on. I think we’ve just got a really good foundation in this system now. There is a lot of talent plus we’re always learning from each other. Really happy to be a part of this and looking to continue to develop.”
If Stallings gets bumped up to Triple-A this year, he’ll play for the team he grew up rooting for as a kid in Chesapeake, Va. in the Norfolk Tides. He has pitched on the Harbor Park mound while at Grassfields High School in that area. When Stallings was seven he attended his first big league game. It was at Oriole Park. Now he wants a return trip to both parks but this time without needing a ticket.
“Definitely, the trade was surprising but something good for me and my career. Getting back to the East Coast with a lot of family here and a lot of history going to Tides games, so it’s such a surreal moment. Hopefully getting to pitch there this year. And ultimately the big leagues and Camden Yards. I think, not everyone has as special of a connection to that and if anything it drives me a little bit more,” Stallings said.
About last night: Baltimore has two highs and two lows on this roller coaster road trip, which featured a downturn with Friday's 4-2 loss at Detroit. The Orioles left the bases loaded each of the last three innings and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The O's left a whopping 14 baserunners stranded. The Tigers, now 10-23, kept leaving the door open, but the Orioles could not kick it in.
The Orioles (14-19) lost for just the second time in six games and fifth time in their last 13. They are 11-11 over the past 22 games and now are 5-12 in road games.
Baltimore has scored just six runs on 21 hits the past three games and is 2-for-19 with RISP in that span.
Trey Mancini (No. 2) and Anthony Santander (No. 4) hit back-to-back solo homers on consecutive pitches in the top of the seventh inning. But they could get no more offense than that, even with repeated chances and opportunities.
Today at 4:10 p.m., in the second game of this three-game series, lefty Bruce Zimmermann (2-1, 2.67 ERA) faces right-hander Michael Pineda (1-2, 3.43 ERA).