Now two seasons removed from the arm trouble that interrupted into his ascension into the top tier of starting pitchers, Michael Wacha has spent 2018 re-asserting himself as a star. He stated that in a forceful way Sunday, carrying a no-hitter into the ninth of a 5-0 win over the Pirates.
Wacha jogged out for the ninth to a rousing ovation, but his season-high 111th pitch was looped into right field for a pinch-hit single by Colin Moran, leaving history dangling three short outs away and ending his afternoon. But the right-hander dominated up until that point.
Spotted a four-run lead courtesy of Marcell Ozuna's grand slam in the first, Wacha retired his first 15 hitters in order and 13 in a row after issuing two walks in the fifth. Those free passes were the only thing separating him from perfection for much of the day in front of a sellout crowd of 44,432 at Busch Stadium.
In all, Wacha struck out eight and induced 12 ground ball outs over eight scoreless frames to improve to 7-1 with a 2.41 ERA on the year. Wacha has not lost since the season's opening week, a span of 11 starts.