Apr 1, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Ronel Blanco (56) walks off the field after pitching a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Astros Ronel Blanco Tosses First MLB No-Hitter of 2024

Houston Astros right-hand pitcher Ronel Blanco tossed the first no-hitter of the 2024 MLB season on April 1.

The 30-year-old Blanco hurled a gem last night against the Toronto Blue Jays, in full command from the get-go. The Astros opened up their 2024 campaign getting swept all four games against the New York Yankees and bounced back in no-hitter fashion.  In what was Blanco’s eighth career start, he went the distance and ended with a stunning pitching line:  nine innings pitched with two walks and seven strikeouts.

https://twitter.com/MLBPA/status/1775182803170156724

Blanco’s Background

Blanco was expected to be stowed as a bullpen piece due to his minor league stints. However, Astros General Manager Dana Brown caught immediate attention during Blanco’s throwing ability during winter ball. Quite a story for the front office who saw tremendous potential in Blanco, and it ultimately panned out to be a historical night.

Showdown

Newly hired Astros manager Joe Espada took over after Dusty Baker announced his retirement last season. After Houston started off the 2024 season on the wrong foot, Espada called Blanco’s performance impressive as he got his first win as manager.

Pregame Throwing

Prior to first pitch, Blanco was warming up in the Houston bullpen and instantly felt that all his pitches were there and had a great grip of the baseball.

Astros Outlook

Houston’s star-studded core is hopeful to be a top team in the AL this season. Despite losing to the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of ALCS last year, they are a threat in many aspects. The Astros have a star-power lineup with the likes of Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker and Jeremy Pena to name a few. In addition, Houston made a huge splash this offseason by signing lefty closer Josh Hader to revitalize their bullpen. Despite the 1-4 start to open up this early juncture of the season, the Astros are expected to be contenders to win it all.

 

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