Moment #16 – Brett Smith’s no-hitter
July 4, 2007
It’s incredible when you think of just how far Brett Smith fell after throwing the first no-hitter by a Thunder pitcher in the history of Waterfront Park.
You would have thought he would have followed the path that Alan Horne or Jeff Marquez did based on what he did early in the season, but his season fell apart after he was somewhat unexpectedly sent down just two games after his Independence Day no-no.
Smith started the season on fire, leaving after seven innings with a no-hitter intact on April 21st against the Binghamton Mets…which at the time was the most impressive performance I’d seen by a Thunder pitcher since Tyler Clippard had taken a perfect game into the 7th inning in 2006.
After that, he had two consecutive starts where he allowed one hit over eight innings of work in the month of May.
But even during his no-hitter, Smith struggled with his control late in his stay with the Thunder, walking a mind-boggling seven during the five innings of the rain-shortened contest.
He made just one more start for Trenton, but was pulled after just three and two thirds innings. After that, he made a brief appearance out of the bullpen, but faced eight batters in one inning of work.
Smith was then sent down to Single-A Tampa, where he more or less imploded. He went 0-6 in eight starts, and his ERA was a robust 7.68. He had more walks than strikeouts, and had at least two free passes in every start.
In a farm system absolutely overflowing with pitching prospects, Smith had a year he couldn’t afford to have, and may have fallen off the prospect map. It’ll take a huge 2008 to re-gain his status as someone to keep an eye on, and it’s a season that will likely see him return to Mercer County.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com