There are people who will tell you that Mike Fiers won’t be the NL Rookie of the Year.
They will tell you that he doesn’t have the numbers. They will tell you that he doesn’t have the record. They will tell you that he hasn’t faced enough competition.
Tonight, Mike Fiers went to the mound, and told baseball fans everywhere what Brewers fans already knew: Mike Fiers is one of the best young pitchers in baseball.
Tonight was the first time in Fiers’s career that he faced a team he had already seen this season. It just so happened that this team is one of the hottest in all of Major League Baseball, and one that doesn’t cotton much to taking consecutive losses.
The Cincinnati Reds are now stuck – thanks to the brilliant performance of the Milwaukee rookie – in the worst losing streak they have had since the fifth of July. A team that batters pitchers, wears down defenses and finds gaps better than any other club in the majors was stuck with only three hits and one run in a dominant performance by Fiers.
Fiers finished eight full innings of work, fanning seven and carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning until Zack Cozart doubled to lead it off. He would eventually score on a sac fly to give the Red Legs their only run of the game. He would strike out two batters in the eight inning, before giving way to Jim Henderson for his first Major League save.
So, if anyone has been on the fence over where to put Mike Fiers in the Rookie of the Year discussion, they have to have an answer now.
If he isn’t the Rookie of the Year candidate, he has to be pretty darn close to the top. Carrying a game to perfection against that kind of talent for nearly seven innings is pretty amazing for anybody, let alone a 27 year-old first year pitcher making his 12th Major League start. Now add his 1.08 WHIP and his 1.88 ERA. Or his 75 strikeouts in 74 innings pitched.
Face it, this guy is a contender. He proved it tonight, as he has proved it again and again in his time in the minors and his short stint in 2011. Mike Fiers is a competitor. Mike Fiers is a dominant pitcher.
Mike Fiers just might be the National League Rookie of the Year.